ASU and Montgomery Community Action’s Head Start ink historic partnership
Joining ASU President Quinton T. Ross Jr. and Benjamin Jones, chief executive officer for Montgomery Community Action, for the signing of a MOU are children from ASU's Zelia Stephens Early Childhood Center
By Hazel Scott
Alabama State University today signed a historic agreement with Montgomery Community Action Head Start which will allow some of the agency's pre-K children to attend the University's Zelia Stephens Early Childhood Center.
With kids from the Center by their side, ASU President Quinton T. Ross Jr. and Benjamin Jones, chief executive officer of the Montgomery Community Action, signed a collaborative partnership on Tuesday, April 3, at ASU to expand quality preschool opportunities in Montgomery County and the state of Alabama.
“This agreement is one of the first of its kind in the nation,” Ross said. “This is truly a historic moment. When you think about our theme of CommUniversity, this truly embodies that. That’s what this is all about, our most precious resource, our children.”
Jones said his organization is delighted to enter into this collaborative partnership.
“We look forward to this significant partnership in enhancing Montgomery Community Action’s mission of helping people and changing lives and to create a new and innovative learning community,” Jones said.
"Educating our young kids is an ASU commitment. The collaborative partnership signed today will help do that," said Ross, who is a longtime advocate for pre-K education.
“Working with children at a very early age gives them a head start on life, an opportunity to succeed. So we are excited to be a part of that. We will continue to work to grow the partnership, to ensure it’s the model for the state and the nation.”
Head Start is a comprehensive child development program funded by the federal government and the Montgomery program of Community Action a gencies throughout the nation.
The entire family benefits from Head Start, which prepares children for kindergarten and for success in life and academics while promoting self-sufficiency in children and their parents.
As the collaborative partnership moves forward, ASU students will become benefactors as well.
“We have ASU students who will become early childhood educators. For them to come in contact with the very students they will have to go out into the world to teach is a magnificent opportunity to experience and to learn and be very prepared when they walk out into the workforce. It’s all about the CommUniversity. It’s a great time to be a Hornet.”
Families interested in enrolling their child in Montgomery Community Action’s Head Start or ASU’s childhood center should contact the facility.
The process is seamless, Jones said.
“Just like you can come to Community Action, children can come to ASU and get the same service in getting into the program,” Jones said.
Ross said ASU and the Montgomery Community Action are accepting applications now.
“We will roll out additional information soon,” Ross said.