REDMOND, Ore. - NeighborImpact has 448 spots available for their Head Start program for next school year, and recruitment is in full swing.
The program is designed to prepare children of low-income families for kindergarten and school.
Parents of former Head Start students say they know it does so much more than that.
"Me and my son had to figure out how to experience life again on our own, without my wife and his mom," said Joe Hight of the Head Start Policy Council and parent of a former Head Start student.
"It put us around people who truly understood what we were going through and people that were having similar experiences," Hight said.
The program aims to not only prepare the child for school, but help the whole family in the process.
Head Start offers health, nutrition and family support services.
"We're working also with the families," said Carol Guillory, a Head Start teacher advocate and parent of a former Head Start student. "It's about the whole unit, because if there's a problem in one area, it's going to affect the other."
Head Start began the application process earlier this year, because many parents don't even know about the program.
"It's so that we have time to educate families," said Patty Wilson, deputy director of Neighbor Impact's Early Care & Education. "We reach out to those families that are low-income so that they know about the opportunities that are out there for their children."
It;s an opportunity that has changed lives of many families for the better.
"There's other people that are going through the same thing. And this is a great bonding experience to be able to reach out to your community and your family.," said Hight.
Check the related news release accompanying this article for more details. NeighborImpact is a 21 Cares for Kids partner.