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Before Maria enrolled Vicente her three-year-old son in the Cesar Chavez Head Start Program in Concord, she was apprehensive about kindergarten. Vicente first language is Spanish, and he rarely interacted with other children. After just a couple months of being enrolled in the program, Vicente was exposed to many games and activities that allowed him to develop his motor and language skills, and he became more comfortable interacting with other kids.

On a note to her son’s teacher, Maria wrote:

My name is Maria Hernandez. My oldest son had the opportunity of attending the school, and I liked it a lot. My son had the opportunity to learn how to socialize with other children and to do activities that I did not even know existed.

[The school] helped me take my children to places I had never taken them. All the information they gave me was really good, that is why I want my son Vicente to continue to go to the school. I want him to learn to speak better and be prepared for kindergarten.

Maria and Vicente’s story is one of many. Nearly 1000 children under five and their families attend our Head Start program every day. Our program operates at 4 sites in Oakland spanning from East to West, and we operate Cal-SAFE for pregnant and parenting teens in high school. We expanded our services to Concord in 2014 adding two more sites to our program.