Every Word Counts: Head Start and Congress Read Together!
Throughout the week of April 6th, join Head Start programs around the country in celebrating Head Start's 50th Anniversary by participating in Every Word Counts: Head Start and Congress Read Together! The week of April 6th, Members of Congress will be home for their "spring recess."  NHSA encourages you to take advantage of this great opportunity to invite your Member to visit your program and read a book to a classroom - helping to close the "word gap" and learn more about their local Head Start program.
To help you plan and execute the visit, NHSA has created 6 simple steps (with resources) to a successful event: 

1. Send this invitation to your Member of Congress. If you do not receive a response in one week, call to follow-up.
Why this is important: A Member of Congress will not know to attend the event Every Word Counts: Head Start and Congress Read Together! unless you send them an invitation. This is the first step in building the relationship. 

2. Once your Member is confirmed, plan their visit to your program: What are you going to show them, what will you say to them, which classroom will they read to?
Why this is important:  Members have a limited amount of time to spend with each constituent they visit.  You want to be prepared so they are able to see  everything you want to show them. Click here for an example of a visit schedule.  
3. Take lots of pictures, share them on social media and tag your Member of Congress (House, Senate and NHSA)!   
Why this is important: Research shows (click here for an article) that Members of Congress pay attention to comments on social media. Posting pictures and tagging your member - so it is brought to their attention - will raise awareness of the importance of Head Start in your community.
4. Enjoy a spectacular Congressional visit!
Why this is important: You've worked hard! Enjoy it! 
5. Share the event with your local press! Send a press release - NHSA to provide at a later date - to your favorite local education reporter and talk radio show and let them know you hosted your Member of Congress at your Head Start center to help close the word gap!  
Why this is important: Local press helps your program and your Member of Congress gain recognition for the great work you are doing! 
6. Send a thank you letter to your Member of Congress for visiting! 
Why this is important: This is your opportunity to close the loop with your Member, build your relationship and provide them with any additional information they may have asked for on their visit.

Upcoming Events

March 30 - April 2, 2015
National Head Start Association 50 Years of Opportunity Conference
Washington, D.C.

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