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Metro Action Celebrates 50 Years of Providing Early Education and a Re-birth of Head Start

8/3/2015

Metro Action Celebrates 50 Years of Providing Early Education and a Re-birth of Head Start Head Start Grant Returned to Metro Action Commission Symbolizes New Opportunity

For Immediate Release: Tuesday,  August 11, 2015

Nashville, TN— On Monday (August 17), 1,365 pre-school children will begin their first full day of in 78 Head Start classrooms throughout the city.   

This year is different for many reasons.  The Metropolitan Action Commission will join Head Start programs throughout the nation in celebrating the 50th year of the Head Start program. 

In 1965, Metro Action’s Head Start classrooms were housed in church basements, community centers and abandoned schools with only a few hundred students.  Today, the agency has seven (7) Head Start Centers that were newly constructed or renovated to meet the needs of three- and four-year old learners. 

“This year is met with excitement as well as a real sense of accomplishment after a difficult end of the 2014-15 school year,” said Dr. Cynthia Croom, Executive Director.    

Although Metro Action has continuously administered the Head Start program in Nashville for 50 years, last November the agency was required to enter a competitive process to remain the Head Start provider in Nashville.

“Although this was a shock to us, our team met this as our new opportunity to create an amazing  proposal that was literally a re-birth of our program, a new opportunity to better reflect the mission of our agency,” said Croom.  

Major changes include a newly appointed Head Start program director, creation of the Early Educators Training Unit for classroom teachers, new center leadership teams at all Head Start locations, a greater emphasis on family advocacy, financial literacy, adult education and industry specific training and employment opportunities. 

Metro Action will also increase its capacity in the Early Head Start program by adding four classrooms for newborns and toddlers, increasing its capacity from 71 to 120 families.

The Office of Head Start officially announced last month that Metro Action was successful in being awarded a 5 year grant to continue to administer the Head Start and Early Head Start program for Davidson County. 

Metro Action’s Head Start and Early Head Start has a combined total of 1,485 children enrolled which continues to make the agency the largest sole provider of early education service for children from birth to five years old in Davidson County.