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Spring 2012: Early Head Start News

Head Start Program at Through the Looking Glass in Berkeley, CAWe’ve almost completed the first year of our new on-site Early Head Start program. We now have three classrooms (birth to 1 year olds, 1-2 year olds and 2-3 year olds) along with four accessible outdoor play yards. We’re proud of our new facilities and what we can offer families with disabilities.

Patricia L. Henderson (Ms. Pat) has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area her entire life and raised her nine children here. When the children were grown she had the urge to travel and was considering her first destination, when her life took a turn. She received a call from one of her sons asking for help. He picked her up and as they were driving he explained that they were going to meet his new born daughter. That night Ms. Pat met the baby and could see that it would be a better situation if she cared for her grandchild. Within 72 hours Jonea was at home with Ms. Pat. Thinking that it was only temporary Ms. Pat settled in to full time grandparenting. Thirteen months later Jonea was still with Ms. Pat and her new born sister, Ja’Nya, joined them. Recently Ms. Pat adopted both girls and is in the process of trying to include Jonea and Ja’Nya’s older brother, James, in their family.

Nikki Brown-Booker, a TLG clinician, is a neighbor of Ms. Pat and recommended the program to her. Daily Ms. Pat strolls the girls over in their double stroller with the grace of an experienced, loving, wise grandmother. Ms. Pat describes the teachers as “surrogate mothers” that love the children like they are their own. She appreciates their professionalism and commitment to the families and is very grateful that Jonea and Ja’Nya are here “at this time in their lives.”

Ms. Pat participates in the EHS program by serving on the Policy Council. The policy Council is a cornerstone of the Early Head Start program that recognizes that the family is the child’s first teacher. Policy Council members participate in the program decision-making process and setting policy.

More info on TLG's Head Start Program