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I want to talk about the proposed changes to Head Start regarding Family Partnership Services [“Proposed Head Start changes could limit access, sideline parents, advocates say,” Local News, Aug. 12].

The new proposal risks a decline in parent participation and school readiness for children. The current mandatory model kept my son in Head Start, helped me move from working in a kitchen to law school and gave me the confidence to be in control of my son’s education.

After enrolling my son in Head Start, I learned how to set goals for myself, support his learning at home and become more financially stable. With program encouragement, I joined the parent Policy Council, which empowered me to have a voice in my son’s education. The Parent Ambassador program, through my state Head Start association, strengthened my advocacy skills and ultimately led me to enter law school.

Without Head Start’s current policy, I cannot say that I would be in the same position to give back to my community and become a more productive member of society. The new proposal does not give families the same opportunity that I had.

Education should be a family model and other programs should learn from Head Start’s success stories. Please read and comment on the new proposal by Aug. 18 at

Emma Aubrey, Bainbridge Island