Culpeper Star Exponent: Head Start recognizes Spanberger as congressional champion for children


The National Head Start Association awarded the 2020 Head Start Pledge Award to U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., Wednesday for working on behalf of children and families in Central Virginia and across the nation.

Spanberger was given the award for speedily focusing on issues vital to Head Start during the 7th District lawmaker’s freshman year in the House of Representatives, the association said.

The group also recognized the legislator for her bipartisan bill to enable Head Start programs to receive federal work-study dollars and to give college students more opportunities to gain experience in early childhood education.

“Early childhood education remains one of the strongest investments we can make in the long-term success of our students and the long-term economic strength of our communities,” Spanberger said. “Head Start has a proven track record of success in Central Virginia, and millions of Americans have walked through its doors and benefited from the foundation it provides.”

She expressed her gratitude for the association’s honor, and thanked the Central Virginia teachers, parents and community leaders who advocate for the critical program.

“They are true heroes in our communities, and they are laying the groundwork for increased educational opportunities for the next generation,” Spanberger said.

She vowed to continue advocating for robust investment in the successful program, pushing back against any proposed cuts, and fighting to make Head Start and its employees eligible for federal work-study dollars.

“Head Start children and families are grateful for Congresswoman Spanberger’s support, and thank her for keeping the commitment to Head Start in both her words and her deeds,” said Yasmina Vinci, the association’s executive director. “… [O]ur impact would not be possible without the steadfast support of our longstanding allies in Congress.”

Spanberger received the award during the annual Head Start Breakfast on the Hill, where she addressed parents, Head Start alumni and others visiting Capitol Hill to advocate for the early childhood development program with members of Congress and their staff.

Spanberger introduced her legislation to expand work-study to Head Start in August 2019. The bill, which she sponsored with Reps. Tom Cole, R-Okla., and Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to make jobs in early childhood education eligible as community service under the federal work-study program. Currently, work-study recipients cannot work in a Head Start center.

Since taking office last January, Spanberger has fought to strengthen support for Head Start programs in Central Virginia and across the country. In June 2019, she helped secure a $1.5 billion increase for Head Start in a House-passed funding bill.

In September 2019, during an eight-stop education tour throughout Central Virginia—including Culpeper—Spanberger visited schools and workforce training programs to learn how she can continue her work to expand educational opportunities for all students.

Recent Posts

Jun 20, 2024

Spanberger, Carey Lead Bipartisan Effort to Waive Passport Fees for Family Visiting Injured Servicemembers Abroad

The “No Passport Fees for Heroes’ Families Act” Would Apply to Family Members Visiting Injured Servicemembers Who Are Not Yet Medically Cleared to Travel Back to the United States WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Mike Carey (R-OH-15) introduced bipartisan legislation to waive passport fees for family members obtaining a passport for […]

Jun 17, 2024
Local Issues

NEW MILESTONE: Spanberger’s Office Returns More Than $39 Million in Federal Benefits to Virginians

Since the Start of 2019, the Congresswoman’s Office Has Returned More Than $39 Million in Backlogged IRS Refunds, Social Security Checks, VA Benefits, & More WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger announced today that her office has now returned more than $39 million in federal casework funds to residents of Virginia’s Seventh District. Casework dollars […]

Jun 14, 2024

Spanberger Statement on Supreme Court Ruling to Strike Down Federal Bump Stock Ban

Congresswoman: “As a Former Federal Law Enforcement Officer, I Know that Weapons Designed to Inflict Maximum Casualties Do Not Belong on Our Streets, in Our Schools, or in Our Communities” WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Garland v. Cargill, which overturns a […]