When I came to Bucknell, I wanted to get involved. I came across the Head Start program at the club fair during orientation and have volunteered there ever since. I now consider it one of the better decisions I have made here. Head Start is a blend of a government policy and organization, but it definitely qualifies as successful. Founded in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s poverty reforms, Head Start has given 30 million children all across the country an educational experience that never would have been possible without the organization. This program changes lives.
Studies have proven that Head Start children are more likely to succeed entering Kindergarten than those from similar backgrounds who are not fortunate enough to enroll in this program. The success stories that have emerged from this program, some of which are chronicled here, demonstrate how this program has the ability to permanently change the lives of young people. In many discussions, we have talked about principles of justice, fairness, and equality. Unfortunately, we are faced with the fact that distribution of income in this country is not fair or just. However, programs like Head Start are helping give impoverished children the same educational beginnings as other students with more financial means.
Volunteering with Head Start has been one of the best parts of my Bucknell experience. I have been lucky enough to watch these children grow from quiet, troubled, sometimes mute children in September with little social skills and difficult home lives to happy, social, and smart children in April. It may sound cliché, but I have actually witnessed a major transformation in these children’s lives. I could tell many different stories about the children I have encountered and how the program helped transform them. If this isn’t an example of a successful policy, I don’t know what is. Children are the future of this country and, despite being born into undesirable socioeconomic situations, these kids deserve the same education that many others are receiving. Head Start gives them that opportunity.