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Getting Started in Nashville: Day Zero Recap

Hi everyone, my name is Evita Almassi and I am NHSA’s voice on social media. Follow along with me this week as I post daily about NHSA’s 43rd Annual National Head Start Conference on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I will also be doing daily conference recaps on our blog, like this one!

Make sure you don’t miss anything happening in Nashville by following along on the channels listed above, and, for the first time, on Snapchat! My friend and colleague Nyemadi Dunbar is posting on Snapchat all week with sneak peeks behind the scenes of @NatlHeadStart. You can also follow along and share your own conference experience by using the hashtag, #NHSA16!

Taking Nashville by Storm

We are live from Nashville getting ready for this year’s conference - fresh off of a weekend of hacking Head Start where we worked with awesome members of the Head Start community to come up with some really innovative ideas for the future of Head Start.

This morning dozens of conference attendees and I were hosted by Metropolitan Action Commission of Nashville and Davidson County the largest provider of early childhood education for children birth to 5 in Nashville and Davidson County. In the true spirit of ‪Head Start‬ this program has embraced innovative practices recognizing that we are all only enhanced by our abilities to dream and to create!

From a personal perspective, it was wonderful to visit a Head Start center for the very first time! I was so impressed with the teachers and staff who welcomed us into their center.

As we walked around there was great energy and flow as it became more and more evident that MAC embodied the very principles upon which Head Start was founded and has made learning fun through these core ideas:

  • Living Integrity
  • Achieving through teamwork
  • Serving clients with the highest quality
  • Embracing innovation
  • Delivering enriched customer service
  • Showing compassion

We look forward to embracing new ideas with our wonderful community this week. Thank you to Metropolitan Action Commission for being such gracious hosts today and volunteering this past weekend to help get the conference ready. To me, this spirit of generosity shows what Head Start is all about - lifting people up!

I then attended the New Directors Orientation - one of a number of special pre-conference sessions being held the day before the full conference - where the room was bright with excitement as two of our foremost leaders in Head Start, NHSA’s Yasmina Vinci and the Office of Head Start’s Dr. Blanca Enriquez welcomed new directors to the Head Start family. Dr. Enriquez emboldened the crowd by encouraging them to light the world for every Head Start child with special, symbolic glow sticks.

Directors then engaged in lively discussion and heard advice from expert panelists on navigating their journeys to embracing the next generation of opportunity in the Head Start field. We have the opportunity to move Head Start into its second half century with expertise, innovation and dedication!

Thanks for joining us today - I’m looking forward to spending this week with everyone!

Follow along with the conference!

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