Edie Manney's thoughtful op-ed on Head Start ("Head Start helps children and parents," Dec.25) should be mandatory reading for all legislators and think tank gurus.
Too many policymakers and social science researchers look at Head Start as only an education program; test scores of four year olds are taken to be the sole criterion of Head Start's effectiveness. Ms. Manney's story shows how Head Start's multiple services — parent involvement and support, health care, nutrition, child development and more — are effective in strengthening families and providing genuine economic opportunities.
Community Action Council of Howard County is an award-winning program, and Ms. Manney credits the Middletown, N.Y., Head Start program as vital to her and her siblings' career achievements.
The number of officially poor in America is the highest it's ever been at 46.2 million. The income gap between the top 1 per cent of Americans versus the rest of us is the widest it's ever been. Ergo, poverty-reducing, economic security programs like Head Start should be expanded.
Don Mathis, Havre de Grace
The writer is president/CEO of the Community Action Partnership in Washington, D.C.
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