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Happy Birthday, Head Start: Day 2 Recap

On May 18th, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson said of his great experiment in education, "Birth in poverty will not mean a life in ignorance." Fifty-one years later Head Start and President Johnson’s legacy live on. Today, Head Start's 51st birthday, LBJ's granddaughter, Lucinda Robb, visited her local Head Start Center in celebration. Lucinda visited the Campagna Center (in Alexandria, Virginia) to read to the children and wish Head Start a very Happy Birthday!

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Today was also a day of great excitement, energy, and enthusiasm here in Nashville as we came together to celebrate the nation’s oldest early childhood program with a special birthday cake! For 50 years, Head Start parents and staff have been the most active advocates on behalf of the program, keeping LBJ's experiment alive and healthy. “In particular, the work of Head Start parents has kept the program alive,” he said. “It's a tribute to our country that [they] have been able to be a force, that Congress and the executive branch have listened."

I have been following birthday celebrations and the community’s activity online, and it has been incredible to see you rallying around Head Start on it’s special day!

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There were so many exciting and interesting things going on at the conference today. This morning we had a special Excellence Breakfast where we celebrated five Quality Initiative Programs of Excellence: Mid Florida Community Services, Inc, Lutheran Services Florida Pinellas Head Start/Early Head Start, Head Start Greater Dallas, Inc, Salt Lake CAP Head Start, and Parents in Community Action Inc.By design, the process for becoming a Program of Excellence isn’t a cakewalk - these are truly some of the highest-quality Head Start programs in the country!