A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Read With Me - September 1997


The Head Start Program

Head Start, launched as an eight-week summer program in 1965, was designed to break the cycle of poverty by providing preschool children of low-income families with a comprehensive program to meet their emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological needs. Currently run by the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services, Head Start now serves over 751,000 children and their families each year in urban and rural areas of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories.

There are currently four components of Head Start:

For more information about volunteer opportunities contact the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families at the Health and Human Services regional office nearest you:

CT, MA, ME, RI, VT call (617) 565-2482

NJ, NY, PR, VI call (212) 264-2974

DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV call (215) 596-1224

AR, LA, NM, OK, TX call (214)767-9648

AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN call (404) 331-2398

IA, KS, MO, NE call (816) 426-5401

IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI call (312) 353-8322

CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY call (303) 844-3106

AZ, CA, HI, NV, Pacific Insular Areas call (415) 556-7408

AK, ID, OR, WA call (206) 615-2557

The Even Start Program

The purpose of Even Start is to help break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy by improving the educational opportunities of the nation's low-income families through the integration of early childhood education, adult literacy, including adult basic education or English as a second language, and parenting education into a unified family literacy program. Even Start is implemented through cooperative projects that build on existing community resources to create a new range of services designed to help families become full partners in the education of young children.

While smaller than Head Start, Even Start greatly appreciates student volunteers. For more information on Even Start family literacy programs in your area, get in touch with your state Department of Education or contact Patricia McKee at the U.S. Department of Education. She can be reached at (202) 260-0991.

The America Reads Challenge

The America Reads Challenge is an initiative that calls on all Americans-parents, educators, librarians, religious leaders, university officials, college students, members of the media, community activists, business leaders, and senior citizens--to support teachers and help ensure that every American child can read well and independently by the end of the third grade. The America Reads Challenge builds on groundwork being laid by classroom teachers, librarians and reading specialists by drawing upon the invigorating spirit of community volunteers in tutoring and mentoring. One way the America Reads Challenge operates is through Federal Work Study expansion. To fulfill his challenge, President Clinton has proposed that 100,000 Federal Work-Study (FWS) students serve as reading tutors. To help institutions with this initiative, the Secretary of Education has waived the employer matching requirement for FWS students tutoring pre-school and elementary school children.

Other features of the Federal Work Study portion of the America Reads Challenge include:

For more information contact the America Reads Challenge at 1-800-USA-LEARN or visit their homepage at http://www.ed.gov/inits/americareads/.


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