An Evening with the National Head Start Association

First Book’s mission of providing books to children from low-income families could not be accomplished without support from organizations that provide direct services. This year, First Book partnered with the National Head Start Association (NHSA) to help prepare children for school by putting books into the hands of Head Start children.  Earlier this year, we kicked off the Partnership by distributing 50,000 books through the First Book National Book Bank to Head Start Programs nationwide.

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the National Head Start Association Gala, celebrating the 45th anniversary of Head Start. I was thrilled to attend this event and learn more about NHSA, their dedicated staff, and the children they serve.  As I walked into the Grand Hyatt hotel in downtown Washington, D.C., I could feel the sort of buzz and excitement that can only happen when a group of motivated individuals committed to a single mission are in one room.  Before dinner, I met Head Start directors and parents from Los Angeles, Kansas, Montana and all across the map. But no matter where they came from, their mission was the same – to help prepare children for success in school and beyond.

Over dinner we listened to a host of speakers from Yasmina Vinci, NHSA’s executive director; Shaquille O’ Neal’s mom, a Head Start parent; Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, a former Head Start child and an incredible 9th grader whose experience in Head Start inspired her to take initiative in her hometown and turn a deteriorating neighborhood pool into a spectacular water park.  As the night came to an end, it was evident that NHSA has made a difference in the lives of thousands of children and will continue to do so for years to come.  Here at First Book, we are proud to stand beside the National Head Start Association in helping to give children a chance at a brighter future.

First Book plans to provide more special opportunities for Head Start programs.  If you are a Head Start director, be sure to register with First Book at