Maranda Shepherd

–  Maranda Shepherd, Head Start parent, Wheeling, WV

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I'd like to share how Early Head Start is helping me and my children, Sarah, age 2, and Nevaeh, 4 months. Sarah likes to play outside with the other children and gets along well with them. She learned "gentle hands" at Head Start and no longer hits. When she first went to school, she hardly talked. Now she's talking, singing, and dancing. Through the Early Head Start Program, Sarah is learning her ABC's, too. Nevaeh is learning to sit up. She is already trying to crawl and is holding her head up on her own! Early Head Start is amazing. They're teaching my children and helping them excel.

They're also giving me the opportunity to get things done for myself. I have signed up for my GED and am working on getting my own apartment. Our family has experienced some tough times, and I feel good knowing that my daughters are safe and secure at school. There are two great teachers in each room. I am confident that my children are getting the proper care and attention. Sarah can even see her little sister through her classroom window, which she loves! I'm also getting support from the YWCA Family Violence Prevention Program. Through the Y and Early Head Start, I have the chance to provide the kind of life my children and I deserve. I can never thank these programs enough for helping me through this time in my life.