Mary Jo Sattler

–  Mary Jo Sattler, Head Start teacher, Hollywood, FL

Olivia family

Head Start makes a lifelong impact on families. I am honored to be a Head Start teacher for the last 11 years. Head Start creates an environment that supports and empowers a partnership between the family and school setting, all for the benefit of the child. The Mercado family is a perfect example. Mr. and Mrs. Mercado began with Head Start in the 2013–2014 school year, when their daughter Chloe entered at 4 years of age. This year their second daughter, Natalie entered when their third child was born.

These parents became an instant partner with Sheridan Park Elementary and donated over 200 hours of volunteer work. They were nominated for Volunteer of the year in Broward County, FL in 2014. These parents value education, attending parent workshops, policy council meetings, and school wide events. Recently, they created weekly hands-on science activities for the early childhood classes. They were renamed "Mr. and Mrs. Science" by the student body.

I met the Oliva family five years ago when their son Jorge entered Head Start. Their daughter, Yanalies, began two years later and this year, Julian started the 4-year-old class. I am so proud of this Head Start family. Life is a struggle but they know that the best that they can give their children is a wonderful education; so they moved next to the school and walk their children every day.

My class recently had a visit from a Head Start auditor from New Mexico. We spoke about how Head Start makes a difference. She suggested that I take the time to blog about these families. I wanted to take time to celebrate these wonderful families and to show that Head Start impacts children and their families for a lifetime.