What an exciting and eventful conference we had in Nashville! It was truly a wonderful experience to have the Head Start community in one place to work together, collaborate, and innovate for the next generation of Head Start.
From the Head Start Hackathon to Opening Session to the Research and Public Policy Institutes, to celebrating Head Start’s 51st Birthday, to Paul Tough, and the Scholarships and Awards dinner, there was so much to do and learn.
Additionally, the Head Start Expo was filled with opportunity as educators and professionals were able to discover new products, speak with experts, and visit the Meet the Authors corner and the NHSA Action Center! We are grateful to all of our sponsors and exhibitors for making #NHSA16 the place to be last week.
For more photos, check out our Facebook album!
On Thursday, we heard from Paul Tough the author of Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why! Paul Tough has been paying close attention to research about the stress of poverty and writing about it with compassion. Ultimately, we must understand the effects of stress and poverty on children and families so we can understand their battle. The question of how do we improve the lives of children in adversity is a critical and important question that we must continue to discuss. The most important environmental factor in children’s early lives is the way their parents and other adults interact with them as Parents play a critical role as external regulators of their children's stress. There was much to learn from him!
The Scholarships and Awards Dinner was a great celebration as we heard inspiring stories from and about individuals who represent the very best of Head Start!
Friday, it was time to say goodbye to Nashville as we wrapped up our 43rd Annual Conference! Our closing session was just exciting as the opening as we announced Hollywood actor and children’s book author Taye Diggs would serve as our Head Start Child Literacy Ambassador this year! Speaking via video, Diggs thanked 4,000 Head Start teachers, parents, and alumni, and saluted the enormous contribution the Head Start community makes to the nation’s most vulnerable children and families. This year, as our ambassador, Mr. Diggs will help raise awareness about the importance of Head Start and the importance of family reading. In September, Taye will travel to Washington D.C. for NHSA’s Fall Leadership Institute, during which he will participate in a book signing, join us at our Head Start rally at the U.S. Capitol, and meet with members of Congress to advocate on behalf of the Head Start advantage.
We thank you all for joining us in Nashville for #NHSA16! To see our conference recap, check out our Storify!