Living proof Head Start works
Each year, more than 16,000 of Kentucky's most vulnerable children depend on Head Start for a quality early-learning experience. I am one of the 32 million graduates who is a testament to the life-changing possibilities Head Start offers families facing poverty.
I'm such an advocate that I have pursued a career with Head Start, first as a program director and now as the executive director at Community Action Council for Lexington-Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison and Nicholas Counties.
Head Start played a significant role shaping my life trajectory. Despite the inherent barriers of poverty, I went to college. A lifelong friend whom I met in Head Start over 40 years ago, today is a tenured professor in Alabama. We often discuss what a critical role Head Start played in charting our paths.
So, as we celebrate Head Start's 50th year, let's all stand behind a program that has given millions of children the important early foundation they need for a chance at success.
Malcolm J. Ratchford
Head Start a godsend
I was a member of the very first Head Start class in Gallatin County in 1965. At that time, I did not know I was living in poverty or who Lyndon B. Johnson was or what all the fuss was about the War on Poverty. All I knew was that I was getting the opportunity to do things I had never done.
My passion for learning was ignited during Head Start and I have never looked back. I continued on an upward trajectory of education rising from Head Start student, to teacher, to school administrator and eventually to superintendent.
As superintendent, I watched firsthand what Head Start does for children and their families. In a school district with a 70 percent-plus free- and reduced-lunch rate, Head Start is a godsend for these children and their families providing critical skills in reading, math, communication and socialization. Skills that remain with a child for a lifetime.
I know the value of Head Start personally and I have seen what it does for the children of Gallatin County.
Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative
Schools to blame
I read with interest the letter to the editor stating that Head Start is not worth the cost. The writer cites a study where a Head Start child is ahead of the normal class when entering first grade, but at grade three there is "no favorable impact." If this is correct, it appears to me that Head Start children are prepared to enter school, but, by the third grade, the educational system has failed those children. Perhaps the educational system should receive more scrutiny for allowing prepared children to regress.
Are gun nuts nuts?
I recently heard of the woman customer at Home Depot who shot at a couple of fleeing shoplifters. She had a conceal-carry permit but she was arrested anyway. In searching for the story I found another about a man at a Florida Wal-Mart who also shot at a fleeing shoplifter. He also had a permit, and he too was arrested. (He said he was marking the car with bullet holes so the police could find it.)
I have a serious question, so please don't make light of it. Is it just vaguely possible that these people who feel the need to carry a gun have a psychological problem, which, if properly diagnosed, would deem them unfit to carry that gun?
Bryan Station proud
Last month, I had the pleasure of attending my granddaughter's orchestra concert at Bryan Station Middle School. The performance was outstanding. Sarah Payne, the orchestra director, should be commended for the work she has accomplished with these young students.
In addition to their obvious enthusiasm and ability for music, exemplary concert etiquette was displayed by the students.
The audience was also extremely well-behaved and respectful to the orchestra. There was no talking or leaving early during the performance.
I mention this because I have another grandchild who attended a different middle school where poor behavior from the audience and some students interfered with the enjoyment of the performance. Bryan Station too frequently gets a bad rap. I say be proud of Bryan Station, others can learn from you.
Give us Tom Leach
During University of Kentucky football and basketball games that are broadcast by one of the national TV networks, I get so tired of having to listen to "common-taters" talking about things that have nothing to do with the game. I turn down the sound.
I wish I could just hear the sound of the game being played as if I were at the game. Or better, I would love to be able to listen to Tom Leach while watching the game. He makes the game much more exciting and does not carry on with all that nonsense. Only problem is the TV action is not synchronized with Leach calling the game. I wish it were.