at Paciﬁc Clinics Head Start
State Sen. Anthony Portantino today championed the importance of early childhood education while helping kids kick off the school year at Paciﬁc Clinics’ nationally recognized Head Start/Early Head Start program.
Paciﬁc Clinics’ Head Start/Early Head Start program serves over 600 young children and their families and caregivers each year, providing high quality early education, health and mental health services, and connections to safety net services to give low-income children the best start to life.
Portantino held a round-table discussion with Paciﬁc Clinics ofﬁcials and toured the facility before reading some of his favorite books to the children.
“I am a ﬁrm believer that early childhood education is one of the best indicators for a successful, fulﬁlling future,” said Portantino. “Access to high quality early childhood education, regardless of economic status, is extremely important. The residents of our district are lucky to have Paciﬁc Clinics and its nationally recognized Head Start/Early Head Start program.”
According to the National Head Start Association, in the half-century since its inception, Head Start has improved the lives of more than 32 million children and their families. Head Start alumni — or “Head Start babies,” as they often call themselves — are in all walks of the nation’s life. Head Start this year is celebrating its 52nd year of helping children succeed.
“Every child should have a fair chance at success,” said Wassy Tesfa, Divisional Director Head Start/Early Head Start Program, Paciﬁc Clinics. “Head Start can transform lives—not just for the children, but for their families as well. We’re grateful for Sen. Portantino’s leadership and dedication to our community.”
Paciﬁc Clinics’ Head Start/Early Head Start program launched in 2013. The comprehensive early learning program prepares children for success in school through research-based, educational curriculum, with a strong focus on early literacy skills.
“Children who are introduced to reading early on tend to excel as they progress throughout their studies,” said Caroline Avedian-Sookiasian, Service Area Supervisor, Paciﬁc Clinics Head Start/Early Head Start Program, EHS Nesbitt Center. “We’re so pleased that Sen. Portantino took the time today to share his love of reading with our students.”
The program also offers free services to support the health and development of low-income pregnant women and infants and toddlers ages 0-5 years, including health screenings, nutritious meals, and connections to medical and dental services. In addition, Paciﬁc Clinics provides mental health screenings and in-house referrals to behavioral health counseling.