In August 2010, Sofia was a shy little girl who had a speech delay. She had trouble communicating verbally and she often played by herself. Her mother, Manuela, a physical education teacher at Creighton Elementary School, is the main source of income for the family while her father, Juan, is a stay-at-home dad waiting to establish his residency.
Sofia's parents enrolled her in Southwest Human Development’s Head Start preschool program, which offers high-quality education and a wide array of services to help prepare children for success in school and life.
Sofia’s speech was quickly evaluated and speech therapy was provided. Head Start teachers worked with Sofia and the family to help her develop her social skills; now Sofia has begun leading group activities, and actively participates in classroom routines.
At the same time, Juan has become active in the Head Start program, taking full advantage of the comprehensive services this program offers for children and their families. He volunteers at the school and attends monthly planning and parenting meetings. He's serving on the Head Start Policy Council and the Family Development Committee, where he helps other parents learn about nutrition, home safety and community events. Manuela also volunteers in Sofia’s classroom, further demonstrating the family’s commitment to their children’s education.
Sofia’s sister, Jimena, is a Head Start graduate and now she, along with siblings, Fernanda, and Juan, is doing well in school. Sofia is eager to follow in their footsteps next year.
Photos by Dan Vermillion