|Updated: 6/18/2012 2:59 pm
||Published: 6/18/2012 2:57 pm
The White House honored Tulsan Caren Calhoun as one of 11 individuals from Head Start programs across the country who have demonstrated a commitment to delivering on the promise of Head Start in their local communities.
More than 45 years after its inception, Head Start continues to serve as a national laboratory for how to think about educating and caring for our youngest, most vulnerable children.
“Today’s Head Start Champions of Change have collectively shaped the lives of thousands of children and their families,” said Roberto Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President for Education Policy. “Each day, these champions work to innovate and forge new paths to deliver the support that our most vulnerable children and families need to reach their full potential and break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. This work is essential in helping our country win the future.”
The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted, and groups of champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.
Caren Calhoun is the executive director of Tulsa Educare, where she oversees three high-quality early childhood education centers for low-income children and their families. Caren has created strong partnerships within the community to develop two-generation programs to help families break the cycle of poverty. Caren completed a year-long National Head Start Fellowship in Washington, D.C, at the Office of Head Start and Administration for Children and Families, Budget & Policy Division prior to returning to Tulsa and assuming her current position.
Portia Kennel, who developed the research-based model for the first Educare School that opened in Chicago in 2000 and who now serves as executive director of the 15-school national network, attended the recognition ceremony with Calhoun.
“The Educare Learning Network is delighted that Caren Calhoun is being recognized for her tireless leadership to expand quality early learning opportunities for children in her community and state,” Kennel said. “Because of her efforts, countless children have a better chance for success in school and in life.”