Cuyahoga County – County Councilwoman Meredith M. Turner, who represents district nine, visited one of Step Forward’s Head Start Centers Thursday.
Turner toured Louis Stokes Head Start Center, interacted with the children and spoke with agency leaders about some of the challenges Step Forward continues to face, including an ongoing teacher shortage. Representatives from PRE4CLE and UPK also attended.
Turner is a proud Head Start alum herself.
“I remember the building and everything,” she said. “We were on Unwin Road and in the basement of one of the buildings there. I still have a tattered certificate somewhere.”
Turner said she immediately responded to the invitation to tour a Head Start site, with it being so close to her heart.
“I feel like a part of the legacy,” she explained. “I feel like this is an important stage of a young person’s life where development could lead to so many wonderful things, especially with the right staff and enrichment.”
“I don’t know what I had at the time, but it was such a great experience that at 49 years old, I still remember it. So, for the experiences the young people are having here today, I hope they are foundational to building their lives and careers,” she said.
Turner spoke briefly about her memories at Friendly Inn, as well. She used to attend several programs and activities there.
After seeing several classrooms at Louis Stokes, Turner said she was surprised by how many people and children the agency serves. She admitted that she didn’t even know the Louis Stokes Head Start Center location existed.
“I am an educator by training,” she told those at Step Forward. “You have a special place in my heart. I’m here to be helpful and support the mission for the next generation of innovators and public servants.”
If you would like more information about Early Head Start and Head Start, or if you would like to enroll, please click here.