Submitted by Kris Landrum
Two local Head Start representatives were invited to Washington, D.C. recently to present U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Nelson County, with an award.
Casey Hurst of Ferrum, who has a child in the Head Start program at Solutions That Empower People (STEP), Inc., and Kris Landrum, STEP marketing and communications director, presented Riggleman with the PROMISE (which stands for protecting our most important students early) Award. The presentation was made during a National Head Start Association Breakfast on the Hill event last week attended by Head Start staff, parents and supporters.
Head Start is a comprehensive education, health and nutrition program designed to help parents prepare their children for school and to support family development in low-income families. STEP is the agency that offers the program in Franklin and Patrick counties.
Riggleman has supported the Head Start program and visited the STEP Head Start program in October. He was honored with the PROMISE Award for his leadership on the bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter that highlighted the importance of leveraging Head Start to support whole families in addressing childhood trauma and substance use disorder.
“We know we have a friend in Congressman Riggleman and are grateful for his support of the Head Start program, both locally and nationally,” Landrum said. “Being invited by the National Head Start Association to present this award was a real honor.”
While presenting the award, Hurst gave the Congressman a STEP scarf and hat to “continue the warm, fuzzy feeling” he inspired during his visit to the agency in Rocky Mount. Riggleman promptly put the hat on and wore it throughout his comments to the crowd and during photos and interviews following the presentation.
“I love the Head Start program ... I will always support our children and their education,” Riggleman posted to Twitter after received the award.
“Head Start children and families are grateful for Congressman Denver Riggleman’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.”