To the editor of THE EAGLE:
The recent cuts to the Head Start program harm everyone. This vital program provides early children education, nutrition and health services for children under five and affects the youngest, poorest, most vulnerable children.
Study after study shows that if you want to make a difference in a poor child’s life, teach them to read. Head Start prepares our poorest children to begin kindergarten with the necessary developmental and cognitive benchmarks, ensuring their equal access to reading and learning. Having been a reading teacher for many years I have seen this effect. Without the program, children in poverty end up as they began -- unprepared and separate from their learning peers and without a voice.
Education is the only way out of poverty. There are further cuts on the drawing board for this September’s congressional session. This cannot be allowed to happen. In one of the wealthiest countries in the world, education should be a right, not a privilege.
As an educator, advocate, and parent, I am running for an opportunity to serve on the Pittsfield School Committee. I will be a voice for all Pittsfield children, working to give all of them an equal opportunity for a successful education. We are only as strong as the weakest link in our family and community circles. All of us have a stake in the educational outcome of our youngest citizens.