In January of 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared “The War on Poverty” in his State of the Union speech. As a result, sociologists, psychologists, and pediatricians began discussions to design a program to assist children to overcome set backs or obstacles caused by poverty. The name chosen for this program was Project Head Start.
Head Start began as an eight-week summer program for children in low-income communities going into school in the fall. It served over 560,000 children across the United States of America in the first summer and provided preschool classes, medical care, dental care, and mental health services. Today Head Start and Early Head Start continue to deliver comprehensive and high quality services to children birth to five years of age, and pregnant women.
In 1992, the four school districts in Sarpy County; Bellevue, Gretna, Papillion/La Vista, and South Sarpy District #46, applied for a Head Start Grant to serve sixty children. The grant was awarded in 1992 to serve fifty-seven children.
Starting in 1993, Sarpy County Head Start continued expansion to its current enrollment of 221 children. The Head Start program serves one hundred twenty-five children and Early Head Start serves fifty-six children in a center-based option and thirty-six children in a home-based option and four pregnant women.