In a room filled with excitement and anticipation for the start of another new school year, the ABCD Head Start & Children’s Services Summer Welcome Back Citywide event on August 14th successfully balanced business with pleasure.
Among the business items covered at the large gathering at the Marriott Boston Copley Place hotel were a presentation on the program’s Five Year Goals and Action Plan, new program initiatives, the Perfect Attendance campaign and information on the Scholarship for Leadership program. For the first time, the annual meeting also allowed staffers to use technology to provide instant feedback on work plans for the new school year.
“It was my Head Start experience that gave me a love of learning … I am standing here today to show that Head Start is worth the investment!” Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius told a captive audience of over 400 ABCD Head Start staffers who throughout the year provide comprehensive education, health, nutrition, mental health, resources and referrals to keep disadvantaged families in around Boston strong.
Dr. Cassellius, who was a former Head Start child herself in her hometown state of Minnesota, was the keynote speaker at this year’s annual ABCD gathering. Dr. Cassellius was introduced by ABCD Vice President Yvette Rodriguez who oversees ABCD’s Head Start programs at 21 sites in Greater Boston and the Mystic Valley that enroll over 2,300 preschool children from low-income households.
ABCD President/CEO John J. Drew and ABCD Executive Vice President/COO Sharon Scott-Chandler also spoke at the City Wide event with each of them personally thanking the ABCD Head Start staffers for their dedication to advancing the education and development of preschoolers in income-eligible families that reside in and around Boston.
Susan MacDonald, a consultant who was hired by ABCD to provide leadership training to the ABCD Head Start staff, provided the closing remarks at the 2019 Summer Welcome Back City Wide event and ended the event with the spirit of camaraderie.