U.S. Representative for Oklahoma's 5th congressional district, Kendra Horn visited with parents, teachers and administrators as she toured pre-school facility Crossroads Head Start Tuesday, Jan. 21.
According to Horn, the tour and her conversations with parents, teachers and administrators enabled her to see the importance of the program and how it benefits Shawnee and surrounding areas.
"It is clear a lot of love and care is put into this facility and the investment of long term potential of the children and of the Shawnee area is huge," Horn said. "I believe that by seeing this up front I can see the impact on Shawnee Public Schools (SPS), the future workforce needs and the importance of investing in programs like Head Start and Early Head Start to set our children up for success and to support the families."
Before the tour, Horn met with several Shawnee, Head Start and Early Head Start administrators including Lisa Winters, Outgoing Executive Director of Youth and Family Services, Wendy Swatek the new incoming Head Start Executive Director, SPS Superintendent Dr. April Grace, Terrie Veicknair, Early Head Start and Head Start Program Director and many others.
According to Winters, Horn's visit was beneficial to the Head Start and Early Head Start programs because it allowed them to share how children, families and the community need facilities such as Crossroads Head Start.
"It's very uplifting when you see a public official taking their time to visit a local program and most importantly to go into the classrooms and talk with the children because that's where you get the belief and the feeling that these programs matter," Winters said.
Winters explained Horn's visit will also be beneficial for the future of the program because they have someone to fight for them.
"We rely on federal funds to run our program, so when you get someone like Congresswoman Horn to get out and see what you're doing, believe in what you're doing and committing to go back to Washington D.C. to fight for your cause, then you have a long term benefit because the funding has to keep coming for the programs to thrive," Winter said.