Community members take time to read to and visit Pontiac Head Start classrooms Posted: March 14, 2017

As part of the National Head Start Association initiative “Supporting School Readiness and Success of Young African American Boys,” OLHSA’s Head Start program welcomed male community leaders to speak to and read to the students in our Early Head Start and Head Start program at its Pontiac location. The initiative focuses on the many issues all at-risk children face, but especially boys. 

Head Start has a direct impact on two of six key milestones, which were established by the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, that are predictive of later success and where interventions can have the greatest impact. The two milestones are entering school ready to learn and reading at expected grade level by third grade. A recent statistics gathered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), showed that Michigan is the worst state for literacy and learning to read, especially for African American boys.

In an effort to reverse this trend and tie the two milestones together, OLHSA came up with strategies to use in its program with both short term and long term goals. One of the short term goals was to get positive male influences into classrooms. The men were asked to read a book or tell a story. They were also invited to stay in the classrooms to engage with the children.

OLHSA Early Head Start and Head Start hosts many male involvement activities throughout the year and we hope to implement even more in the future.