Linda Dale

–  Linda Dale, former Head Start employee, Iron Mountain, MI

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In 1965, I was attending high school and was working on the summer work study program. I was assigned to the summer Head Start program which had just been started. I fell in love with the program and for the last 50 years, I have been involved in one way or another with it. I went into the classroom with my neighbor's children whenever I had a day off of school and volunteered from time to time.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I lived near one of the bus drivers who called me to be a bus aide when she didn't have one. When someone got sick, I was hired. I held the positions of bus aide, bus driver, assistant classroom coordinator, classroom coordinator, home visitor, and family and community partnership coordinator. I retired two years ago, but am still subbing and filing in.

I have seen wonderful things come out of this program for children and families, including my own. My grandson was born with a cleft palette and attended Head Start. One year, my mother subbed for us; I worked here; my daughter volunteered; and my grandson was enrolled. I continue to recruit for the program, because I have a strong belief in all the benefits it provides for families and children.