russell-benford_web.jpgOPA-LOCKA — Miami-Dade County Deputy Mayor Russell Benford made a special appearance at the Ophelia E. Brown-Lawson Center, 16405 NW 25th Ave., Opa-locka, to read to children as part of the celebration of Head Start Awareness Month by the Miami-Dade Community Action and the Human Service Department.


“We are proud of the outstanding job our Head Start/Early Head Start Program is doing to prepare our children for the future,” Benford, who read to the children on Oct. 24, said in a statement from the county. “It starts here with their Head Start education. It was a delight to witness the eager anticipation of the children as I read to them.”

As part of the observances, children at the county’s 80 Head Start/Early Head Start Centers wore the signature colors red, white and blue on designated days.

In many classrooms, they recited poems and took part in storybook parades, bringing the stories to life. They also watched puppet shows, sang songs and talked about their cultural heritage. In some of the classrooms, fathers were invited to read to the children and join in their arts and craft activities.  

President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as Head Start Awareness Month On Oct. 22, 1982, Head Start is a federally funded comprehensive child development program that serves low–income families in areas such as health, mental wellness, nutritional, disabilities, education, social services and parent involvement.

The primary goal is to assist families in obtaining self-sufficiency, as well as preparing children for kindergarten through a supportive and nurturing environment.

Miami-Dade’s Head Start/Early Head Start Program serves more than 6,700 children annually and is the largest of its kind in the Southeast region of the United States.  


MAYORAL READER: Miami-Dade County Deputy Mayor Russell Benford reads to children at the Ophelia E. Brown-Lawson Center in Opa-locka as part of  Head Start/Early Head Start Awareness Month observances.