Testimonials & Stories about Head Start

It was 1973 when my son went to Head Start.  At that time I volunteered in the classroom so I could learn to deal with his behaviors.  His teacher Lila Hedlund was excellent with him and myself.  She was an excellent role model.  After the bus picked him up one morning I went to Head Start(located in the Lutheran Memorial Church) and the phone was ringing off the hook, Kay Hammond answered one and asked me to answer the other that started a 25 year relationship with Head Start.  Kay hired me to be the secretary/ bookkeeper.  The secretary part was easy the bookkeeping not so easy.  I barely balanced my checkbook let alone Federal books.  So in January of 1974 I quit BUT that day one of the teacher “aides” quit also and Kay asked me to fill in in that room.  I did and loved it.  I worked on my CDA and got it, moved into teacher position a couple of years later.  During this time Head Start moved a lot: Lutheran memorial needed their class rooms back, we moved to what is now the Cattleman’s  restaurant , that building was falling down we went to the City Auditorium(which has since been torn down), that was deemed unsafe as we were in the basement with only one way out!  Then we moved in next to Kozy Korner  restaurant , Boys & Girls Club and then into a brand new building.  I continued my Head Start education and in 1984 they started Home Visiting.  I was the first Home Visitor, then Cindy Malsom joined me and that program took off.  I moved into supervisor of 6 home visitors covering 6 counties.  Moving on was a hard decision but it was time.  My heart can still be found there somewhere and now my granddaughter is attending and I volunteer once a week to help with lunch.

Wonderful training opportunities, great friendships were established and being with the children keeps you young.  I still meet my former Head Start students (who now have children attending Head Start) at the store, fast food eateries etc., that is what makes me love Head Start – you leave such a lasting impression.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Biwer

"My son has learned so much with Head Start. He enjoys his home visits with his teacher and loves PALS, especially the sensory table. It has been such a great opportunity for him to socialize and have new experiences. It is truly a wonderful program and I would recommend it to any family." - Head Start Policy Council member

 "I love Head Start because me and my child learn new things and I learn how to use new tools to teach my child." - Head Start Parent

The childcare program at Inter-lakes Community Action Partnership (ICAP) has been a blessing to our family in several ways. First, I was able to pursue my dream of attending law school because of the assistance ICAP provided our family. First year law students aren’t permitted to work, and South Dakota doesn’t provide childcare assistance to graduate students. This put our family in a difficult position. ICAP gave us the means to realize my dream, and ultimately become more capable of providing for my family in the near future.

Second, ICAP is more structured, and offers a more reliable educational program for its children than most other daycares. My wife, Brianna, and I place a high priority on education, and structure, in the lives of our children, and ICAP easily surpasses our expectations. On a related note, ICAP provides a more balanced and healthy meal plan for its children than many other daycares. When tested, our children regularly perform above average for their age, and ICAP has been instrumental in their achievements and mental growth.

Third, and most importantly, the staff and teachers treat our children in a loving and respectful manner. Our son, Oliver, has been out of the program for around a year. When Oliver comes in to help pick up our daughter the teachers and staff call him by name, and interact with him as if he never left. Oliver absolutely loves a couple of the teachers, and literally runs to them to hand out hugs almost daily. Our daughter, Eloise, is independent and less quick to warm up to people. Even she has developed close relationships with a couple of teachers and a staff person. Both of our children experienced some separation anxiety when getting dropped off at ICAP. Due to the close relationships each of them developed with their respective teachers the anxiety quickly diminished, all but disappearing.

The most important hope any parent can have for their children is that they will be healthy, happy, and loved. Anytime our kids spend time at ICAP I know unequivocally that these desires are being met, and surpassed. I have referred close friends to ICAP for their childcare needs because I feel unabashedly certain that ICAP is a diamond in the rough, and quite possibly the best childcare center in the city. If you have any questions, or want further elaboration, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Chad & Brianna Boelhower