The little girl with the curly dark hair and big black eyes stood in the doorway, her blanket under her arm. She scanned the room and immediately her face crumpled. Nothing in her short three years of life had prepared her for this. All these strangers made her heart pound with fear, especially because she was here alone, without her mom.
She had told Mai she was going to enjoy her first day at Heartland Head Start, but she was wrong. One of the teachers came over to talk to her. “Mia, would you join us on the circle rug?” she said kindly. Mia held onto her blanket even tighter, clenched her eyes shut and shouted, “Leave me alone!”
Jump ahead two years. The same dark-eyed girl walks into her room at Heartland Head Start. Her eyes light up! There is Stephen, her friend. And Amy too! She runs into the room. Mrs. Eddy smiles when she sees him. Mia is light years beyond where she was two years ago.
And so is her mom. Mia doesn’t know it, but her recent dental surgery – allowing her to eat pain free – and her mom’s Certified Medical Assistant certification were identified in their family needs assessment. Heartland’s Family Resource Advocates had helped her create this plan.
And next year Mia starts kindergarten ready to learn and engage. A world of hope and possibilities has opened up for Mia. Thanks to Heartland Head Start.