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Head Start Recognizes Cole as Congressional Champion for Children and Families

February 4, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Last week, Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) was recognized by the National Head Start Association (NHSA) with the 2020 Head Start Pledge Award for demonstrating a steadfast commitment to fulfilling the Head Start pledge to serve America’s most vulnerable children and families.

“I am honored to be a recipient of the Pledge Award from the National Head Start Association this year,” said Congressman Cole. “Education is one of the most important building blocks for success, and quality learning and development in the earliest years makes a world of difference in the lives of our children. I am grateful for the tools Head Start provides, ensuring all children can have a solid foundation for learning and thriving in school.”

“Head Start children and families are grateful for Congressman Cole’s support and thank him for keeping the commitment to Head Start in both his words and his deeds,” said NHSA’s Executive Director Yasmina Vinci. “For 55 years, Head Start has been partnering with vulnerable children and families on their paths to success, and our impact would not be possible without the steadfast support of our long-standing allies in Congress.”

Cole was honored with the Pledge Award for:

  • His leadership as the former Chairman and current Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies at a time when Head Start has continually seen increases in funding;
  • His continual ability to unite across party lines to keep the focus on children; and
  • His sponsorship of H.R. 4196 to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to make jobs in early childhood education eligible as community service under the Federal Work-Study Program.

Cole received the Pledge Award last Wednesday during the annual Head Start Breakfast, where congressional champions addressed Head Start parents, alumni and other supporters who were on Capitol Hill to advocate for the early childhood development program with members of Congress and their staff.

Last week’s Head Start on the Hill events were part of NHSA’s 2020 Winter Leadership Institute, which brings together more than 500 Head Start leaders to plan for the future of the comprehensive early childhood education program. Leaders of the Head Start community from across the nation convened in Washington, D.C., for four days of informative sessions, innovative panels and results-oriented workshops.