What is Head Start?

The Head Start Program is a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. The program's services and resources are designed to foster stable family relationships, enhance children’s physical and emotional well-being, and establish an environment to develop strong cognitive skills. The transition from preschool to kindergarten imposes diverse developmental challenges that include requiring the children to engage successfully with their peers outside of the family network, adjust to the space of a classroom, and meet the expectations the school setting provides.

Launched in 1965 by its creator and first director Jule Sugarman, Head Start was originally conceived as a catch-up summer school program that would teach low-income children in a few weeks what they needed to know to start kindergarten. Experience showed that six weeks of preschool couldn't make up for five years of poverty. The Head Start Act of 1981 expanded the program.  The program was further revised when it was reauthorized in December, 2007. Head Start is one of the longest-running programs to address systemic poverty in the United States. As of late 2005, more than 22 million pre-school aged children had participated. 

What will I do as a volunteer?

Bucknell has an established volunteer relationship with Northumberland Head Start.  Students volunteer at Head Start sites in Lewisburg, Milton, and Sunbury.  Volunteers work with pre-school aged children on a variety of educational and recreational activities that will help them get ready to enter Kindergarden.  Volunteers go to the sites in groups of 2-7 people.  You may volunteer on site during regular school hours.  We will match you to the site that best fits your schedule.  We make our best effort to transport people through carpooling and the use of university vehicles.  Reimbursement is available for individuals who wish to become University drivers and transport others using University vehicles.  

Interested in becoming a volunteer?  

Click HERE to get started.