Coming from a family with two generations of Head Start teachers and two generations of Head Start students, Keisha Warner has a unique perspective on the program. As a child in the early 1970’s, Keisha attended Head Start at Katie C. Lewis Elementary School in Washington, DC. In 1995, after graduating college, she returned to the DC Head Start program as a teacher and earned her Master's Degree in Elementary Education. “I had reached a point in my life and career where I wanted to make a difference,” said Keisha. During that time, she enrolled her daughter in the program. Keisha’s mother, formerly, a DC kindergarten teacher, also became a Head Start teacher.
As a teacher, Keisha saw that Head Start's “holistic approach” made a positive impact in the lives of children and families. “The home visits, in my opinion, are what seals the deal,” said Keisha. “After meeting the students at home, they come to school excited and eager to learn.” Keisha also saw how the program facilitated children’s transitions to kindergarten. Children “who need more support are able to begin [kindergarten] with support in place, so that time is not wasted.”
Keisha’s daughter, Kaila, has continued her family’s commitment to academic success. Now a rising junior and honor roll student, Kaila plans to join the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) in college and pursue a career as an officer in the United States Military. She also recently received a scholarship to attend the 2013 Summer Science and Engineering Program at Smith College. In both her 16-year career with Head Start and in her own family, Keisha said, “I was able to see the results and believe the Head Start program makes a REAL difference!”