The War on Poverty: The Start of the Head Start Program Essay

The War on Poverty: The Start of the Head Start Program Essay

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In January of 1964 Lyndon B. Johnson declared “war on poverty” in a state of the union speech. His dream for a better America came with the greatest prosperity of the post war years. The nations GNP was up, unemployment was down and disposable personal income was at an all-time high. As the baby boom generation aged more American’s than ever would enter the work force and it was imperative that the county develop some a plan for its growing nation. As part of Johnsons war on poverty he create the idea of a “great society” in which ground rules where laid out for programs that the president was sure would help the nation. Johnsons first ever reference to the great society came in a speech directed toward students at the Ohio University in Athens where he proudly boasted “and with your courage and with your compassion and your desire, we will build the great society where no child will go unfed, and no youngster will go unschooled”. Johnson was dedicated to this ideal of a new society, together with Sargent Shriver, he worked on developing a committee of civil rights activist. He also arraigned a team of sociologist, psychologist and pediatricians including pediatrician Dr. Robert Cooke of John Hopkins University. Johnson and his crew worked rigorously to develop a program to help America’s children overcome the obstacle of poverty. The name head start was chosen as a representation of the gap that is ever present between middle class and lower class children academically and the ideal that this program would give underprivileged children a much needed head start on education and over all wellbeing.
The announcement was given in the spring of 1965 that an official head start program had been developed and was going to be given a ...


... middle of paper ...


...hould serve as a guideline not only for teachers but also for parents. I also believe parents should be held accountable for their children’s successes. As with most government funded programs, in order to be eligible parents must meet a financial criteria to participate in head start, I believe there should also be a required class or number of classes that parents must also participate in if their child is in the head start program. This serves as a reinforcement for the child, and helps the parents become active in their child’s development in and outside of the classroom. Often children struggle because they don’t have access to constant support and education. I feel as though if parents know better they can do better, and because often these cycles tend to repeat themselves, I do feel as If educating parents is also a step towards ending the cycle of poverty.

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