Success Story: Early Childhood & Family Support Services Provide Opportunities for Parents and Children
Natasha, North Carolina
Hi, I’m Natasha. I work with children, parents, and families every day. This is not where I started!
When my own babies were small, I was approached by a Telamon-TRC staff member about enrolling Gabe and Sidney into the Head Start program. I was working as a correctional officer in a prison 12-hours a day. My job was stressful, and I wasn’t able to spend any time with my family. All I knew is I needed a baby sitter. When Gabriel and Sidney were accepted into Head Start, I was happy to have the childcare, but didn’t see any use in getting involved otherwise.
I had no interest in being involved in any of the activities offered to parents. With the patient encouragement of the staff, I slowly came around, participating for 5 or 10 minutes – working up to a whole 90-minute session. However, I was still stressed due to my job and I had very few social skills.
“Telamon Head Start has been a blessing to me.”
When my son was seen because of some speech delays, I left my job to be a stay-at home mom. I became more involved in my children’s education in Head Start. With more time to spend with my family, I became more involved in my children’s education. During the parent education sessions, I warmed up and starting learning from the other parents and staff about low cost ways to engage my children in educational activities at home, tips about healthy eating and child development. In the words of Ms. Tanya, the Head Start Center Director where I am now employed as a secretary, I “blossomed!”
Inspired by what I was learning and doing, I got involved with our local Chamber of Commerce to arrange a coat drive – 200 coats were donated to help keep children in Sampson County, NC warm. From there, I developed a project called “Village Closet,” to provide Head Start families with clothing and other things that they might need but sometimes cannot afford.
Tanya says that I’m a role model, mentor and advocate for other parents, children, and families, but I say that Telamon Head Start has truly been a blessing to ME. Now ages 3 and 5, my children are growing up to be great at everything they do, and I attribute this to being blessed to cross paths with Telamon.
Head Start is part of Telamon-TRC’s Early Childhood & Family Support services, a comprehensive program that offers quality early education in and out of the home, parenting education, health and social-emotional wellness services (including for women before, during, and after pregnancy), nutrition education, and family support services.
Since 1965 Telamon-TRC has helped individuals like you access services that lead to better jobs, better lives, and better communities. Learn more about our Head Start programs today!