When Chanda, a mother of three, left her husband, she was not sure what to do. A friend told her about the Head Start pre-school program at Hancock Hardin Wyandot Putnam (HHWP) Community Action Commission. “[She told me] how great it was, how welcoming they felt, and how wonderful the teachers were,” Chanda said. It made her decide she wanted that for her children. After doing some research, she realized that while she couldn’t afford other pre-school opportunities for her children, her income qualified her for the Head Start program at HHWP.

Her oldest son was three years old at the time, the perfect age for the Head Start pre-school program. “He did two years with wonderful, hard-working and very patient teachers,” Chanda stated. She explained how her son was a difficult child, very stubborn and strong willed. The teachers at Head Start helped her to realize that he had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Chanda went on to explain how the bus driver, Mr. Al, was. “Mr. Al, the wonderful bus driver, came to my house, work, or babysitters depending on the day. I couldn’t ask for a better person to get to know… I want to personally thank Mr. Al for all the driving that he has done and will continue to do. He has bent over backwards to make sure that my children have gotten to school and home each day.”

After her oldest son completed Head Start, Chanda’s middle son started attending and she is hoping to send her daughter in two years. “With having wonderful teachers that work not only with the children, but with parents, it makes the school year go much easier. I love being able to go and talk with them, feel like I am not being looked down on or feel like I am the lower class. They treat my children with respect and they treat me with respect as well,” Chanda said. “I would like to thank all the teachers that have had the privilege to know my children and myself. It was an honor growing up with you guys and being there when needed. I can only hope that in two years I will get to be with you guys another two wonderful hands-on educational years. Head Start is a wonderful pre-school for children.”

For more information about Community Action programs in your area, visit www.oacaa.org. Note, not all Community Action Agencies offer these programs.
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