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Head Start Mourns the Passing of Chairman Elijah Cummings

October 17, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC - The National Head Start Association’s Executive Director, Yasmina Vinci, commented on the legacy created by U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, who passed away Thursday morning at the age of 68.

“The Head Start community mourns the loss of Representative Elijah Cummings, a fervent leader and longstanding champion of Head Start,” Vinci said. “In his more than two decades in the United States Congress, and specifically through his chairmanship of the Congressional Black Caucus and House Oversight and Reform Committee, Representative Cummings worked tirelessly to improve the lives of America’s children and families. He was a champion not just for Head Start, but also an impassioned, powerful leader in the work to expand access to mental health care and prevent, treat, and heal childhood trauma.

“The Head Start community will greatly miss Representative Cumming’s leadership on Capitol Hill, and we offer our heartfelt condolences to his family.”

A strong advocate for Head Start, Cummings said after supporting passage of the Improving Head Start Act of 2007, “Head Start is a cornerstone of our communities, providing comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent-involvement services to low-income children and families who may otherwise not have it.” 

Cummings was first elected to Congress in 1996. Before that, he served 14 terms in the Maryland House of Delegates and was the first African American in the state to be named Speaker Pro Tempore.

The National Head Start Association is a not-for-profit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in school and in life. The opportunities offered by Head Start lead to healthier, empowered children and families, and stronger, more vibrant communities. NHSA is the voice for more than 1 million children, 245,000 staff and 1,600 Head Start grantees in the United States. Visit www.nhsa.org and follow @NatlHeadStart for more information.

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