“This great group of staff at Klamath Head Start has weathered a long storm in the virus-outbreak, continuing to provide care and educational support for young children in our community. My time visiting Head Start was both educational and informative. As a member of the Joint Ways & Means Sub-Committee on Education, it was important for me to get a first-hand look to understand how Head Start is run and what their needs are going forward.”
– E. Werner Reschke, State Representative for Southern Klamath and Lake Counties
Because Head Start programs receive both state and federal funding, it is important for all programs in the state to join together to advocate for continued funding. As legislators create new laws, they sometimes change program funding and/or other state programs, that can impact Head Start and community partners.
One of the ways we do this is through the Oregon Head Start Association (OHSA), which is comprised of elected representatives from each local program across the state (parents, staff, directors, and friends of Head Start).
Every other year at the February meeting in Salem, all Head Start representatives schedule a time to meet with their state representatives to provide them with information about each Head Start Program in the state. This information helps to educate all the legislators as to all the nuts and bolts of each program. Parents are able to tell their individual stories about how Head Start has assisted them in becoming the Number One teacher of their child, as well as how Head Start has helped their family move forward with tools to succeed and be more self-sufficient.
Each Head Start program is encouraged to invite their own state representatives to visit their locations to see first-hand the excellent and holistic services each individual program provides to many low-income children and families in their communities.
The Oregon Head Start Association also provides trainings and a variety of workshops about different subject matters, as well as opportunities for parents, staff and directors to meet other people from all the programs across the state of Oregon. These meetings provide information and guidance as to how to advocate for our families and their needs.
The voting membership of the Oregon Head Start Association is comprised of local program directors, two staff and two parents from each local program. This board of members meets three times per year in November, February and May in Salem and other towns where these programs are located. If you’re interested in being involved, learn more about Parent Engagement opportunities here!