Maine Head Start Program featured in Photo Exhibit at U.S. Capitol
(Washington, DC) – The National Head Start Association today unveiled a poignant photo exhibit that captures the fortitude and dignity of Head Start families who are buttressed by the stability and possibility offered by Maine’s Passamaquoddy Head Start. The photos, on display in the U.S. Capitol’s Russell Senate Office Building from January 27 through January 31, were taken by Passamaquoddy tribal members Donald Soctomah and Stephanie Ann Francis.
The photo displays from Maine, along with those from four other states, offer visual insight into the crushing impact of the 2013 federally-mandated sequester budget cuts. As funding is restored and Passamaquoddy Head Start works to rebuild, these photos graphically emphasize the need for a renewed commitment to Head Start and economic mobility for all our nation’s children.
Created by Curators Without Borders, the exhibit depicts a day in the life of rural, urban, tribal, and migrant Head Start programs and families in Kentucky, California, Maine, Maryland, and South Dakota. Each photograph captures the strength and resiliency of the at-risk children and families being served by Head Start. Sadly, sequestration deepened the vulnerability of these children and their futures. Sequestration reduced access to the Early Head Start, Head Start, and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs. More than 57,000 children lost critical health, nutrition, family support, and educational services. Head Start programs reduced hours or laid off over 18,000 staff and hundreds of thousands of dental visits, home visits and medical visits did not occur.
“Since the summer of 1965, Head Start has represented a national commitment to children living in poverty – a commitment to ensuring every child, regardless of circumstance at birth, be given the opportunity to succeed in life,” said National Head Start Association Executive Director Yasmina Vinci. “We must embrace a strong and consistent investment in Head Start so these photos don’t ever again represent thousands of potential lost opportunities for Maine’s youngest and poorest children.”
Additional information about the National Head Start Association can be found at www.nhsa.org.
Curators Without Borders (CWB) is a nonprofit organization that creates and implements dynamic and participatory educational exhibitions and public programming through partnerships with nonprofits, museums and international development organizations.