Former Head Start parent shares the programs impact on son's life
written by Sandra BullockGrowing up, my oldest son Vernell Townzel (pictured left), was a quiet and shy boy who loved airplanes. Given his introverted nature, I was worried about him being bullied once he started kindergarten. Thankfully, that didn't happen.
I enrolled him in the Head Start program. It was the best thing that could have happened for us. I was so grateful for the opportunity. It turned out to be an enriching experience which helped my son break out of his shell and flourish socially and academically.
I was fortunate enough to have my other two children go through the program. As a single mother of three, I was constantly overwhelmed with being the sole provider and ensuring my children were properly taken care of. At the time, I was receiving welfare, food stamps and housing assistance.
After graduating from high school, my son served in the United States Air Force and worked several years as an airplane mechanic before he retired. I credit Head Start for his early childhood success and also helping to provide a good foundation for my other children.
Head Start's role in early childhood development and family support should never be taken for granted. Happy Anniversary to all of the Head Start centers across the country and a special thanks to the one in my hometown of Davenport, Iowa. You've been a real blessing for me and my family.