SANDPOINT — The North Idaho Friends of Head Start group and two individuals were honored for their contributions to Head Start families and local communities at the National Head Start Association’s annual conference held in Chicago recently.
The North Idaho Friends of Head Start organization was honored with the Edward Zigler Innovation Award.
Joan Goldsmith and Ken Cloke, of Hope, were recognized for their contributions to Head Start by winning the Sargent Shriver Excellence in Community Service Award.
The Edward Zigler Innovation Award celebrates those local programs that have partnered to create high-impact services to children and families. North Idaho Friends of Head Start is a collection of people focused on ensuring the availability of services to Head Start families and arranging locations of services.
“They have assisted families with gas vouchers or car repairs so they can transport their children to school. They facilitated access to social services as well as assistance with tuition so a caregiver can earn a GED,” said Beth Ann Fuller, NIC Head Start director. “They continuously find creative and innovative ways to support Head Start services. In the past, they have created a diaper bank, provided infant safe sleeping sacks and funded a center-specific wish list.”
The Sargent Shriver Excellence in Community Service Award recognizes an individual’s or organization’s community service to Head Start. Goldsmith and Cloke, nationally known authors, have written numerous books on leadership and conflict management. Their involvement with Head Start began in 1998, when they conducted a training in conflict management for NIC staff.
“Over the years, they have donated money towards assisting Head Start parents in obtaining their GED as well as donating clothing and supplies for Head Start families several times a year,” Fuller said.
North Idaho College Head Start is a school-readiness program that provides education and support to young children and their families. The program serves 293 children at nine different centers in North Idaho.