It is a program that can change a child's life.
The Enrichment Services Program, Inc. in Columbus is raising awareness about how important it is to have family and community involvement in kids lives.
Deborah Paris says she does not know what she and her 5-year-old son Josh would do without Head Start under the Enrichment Services Program, Inc. in Columbus.
"They would probably just be at home. I would not have been able to financially put them through any type of early care learning," said Paris. "Josh has had speech problems. With him, they were able to help give me the necessary resources to get him and make sure that he is on track with his speaking and everything."
Friday, she and Josh joined others kids and their parents at the Child Development Center in Columbus for a Fall Festival.
Kids learned from Columbus police officers, competed in sack races, and just had fun, but Family and Health Services manager Leona Watts said the day was also about encouraging parents to get involved.
"Parents are a child's first teacher and by a parent being actively engaged in their child's education that better prepares them for success," said Watts.
The month of October is Head Start awareness month when Watts and others emphasize how much of impact this program has on the community especially for some parents who might not otherwise be able to afford early education for their kids.
In Columbus for more than 30 years, Head Start has prepared kids five years old and under for school and has provided health, nutrition, and special needs services to students.
"Research has shown that children who are enrolled in early childhood education programs such as Head Start and Early Head Start go on to be successful, productive members of society," said Watts.
"Josh has had speech problems. With him, they were able to help give me the necessary resources to get him and make sure that he is on track with his speaking and everything," said Paris.
On Saturday, there will be a Family and Community Resource Fair at the 29th Street gym to raise awareness for Head Start. The fair will last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.