LIMA — Several of state Rep. Matt Huffman’s youngest constituents showed at his law office Friday to ask him to support Head Start programs.
“We’re here to show you a few of the hands that are held and the lives that are touched by Head Start,” said Christina Morris, a member of the Head Start Policy Council and a volunteer with the organization.
Several children under the age of 5 presented Huffman with posters they created to thank him for the support.
Huffman said it was nice to see the children stop by, along with parents who care enough to volunteer with their children's programs.
“It’s gratifying for me to see these parents involved in their kids’ lives and wanting to make sure the public and people in government know how important these things are,” Huffman said.
Morris told Huffman that Allen County has 427 children up to age 5 in Head Start. The programs work to get children up to speed and beyond on learning shapes, colors, numbers and socialization so they can hit the ground running in kindergarten.
Crying from the youngest constituent, still in a baby stroller, caught Huffman’s attention.
“What’s the baby thinking in there? He’s tired of listening to a politician talk,” Huffman joked.
Morris responded, “The baby says keep the programs strong and alive so I can benefit from it.”
Huffman said he voted for Head Start funding in the recent state budget.
“Head Start will mean a lot to the children when they get in school,” he said.
Head Start faced some financial difficulties recently. A month ago, the organization announced 42 fewer children will be able to enroll in Head Start programs in the fall, and four staff members will lose their jobs due to $190,000 in cuts because of sequestration.
Head Start could face other changes, as well, due to looming federal budget cuts.
Head Start and Huffman