Celebrating a well-earned Head Start

America’s free preschool for the less fortunate, Head Start, has served 30 million children since being founded in 1965. Each morning at Head Start, kids start their day off right by brushing their teeth with their friends.

Created to address the educational and developmental needs of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens- young children, Head Start programs have been operated at the local, grassroots level across the country.

Over the past 45 years, through Head Start’s comprehensive service system for both children and their families, thousands upon thousands of children have been given the chance to be and to do their best in order to achieve their potential in school.

A May 16 event presented one moment in a Luzerne County Head Start success story, when John Dietrich (shown above, center) received a Head Start Alumni Scholarship sponsored by the Benco Family Foundation. Dietrich, a recipient of a merit-based, competitive scholarship, attends Hazleton Area High School, in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and will attend Misericordia University in the Fall.

Annually, the Benco Family Foundation presents a $2,000 scholarship to a former Luzerne County Head Start student. Shown, in the photo above, with Dietrich, are members of the Benco family: Terry Barrett, VP, Information Technology, Larry Cohen, Chairman and Chief Customer Advocate, Chuck Cohen, Managing Director, Lou Mangino, VP, Operations and Meredith Wall, Benco Family Foundation Administrator.

Each year, in addition to the scholarship, Benco Dental, the nation’s largest privately owned dental distributor:

Adopts two classrooms in the Luzerne County Head Start program. At those classrooms, Benco provides volunteers (in the form of Benco associates), hosts holiday parties, and donates pajamas and other supplies,
Donates 3,000 toothbrushes to Luzerne County Head Start.
Benco Dental also supports the efforts of Head Start on a national level, through its PRO-SYS® Buy One, Give One program (For every PRO-SYS® Tapered or Antimicrobial toothbrush purchased, PRO-SYS donates one to a person in need.)

Find out how you can support Luzerne County Head Start Inc., to provide the opportunity for every child to develop the building blocks for learning – physical and nutritional well-being, social and emotional competence, and developmental growth: http://lchs.hsweb.org/

Or support Luzerne County nationwide: http://paheadstart.org/index.php/head-start-national/office-of-head-start-and-acf/