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The Gravely Group

Welcome to our blog! We are very proud of the wealth of information we put out there for Head Start agencies. Take a look around and let us know what you think!

Bus Drivers Can Play an Important Role in Family Engagement
Mel Gravely
June-12-2019

As we know, parent/family engagement is one of the most important and longest-lasting benefits of Head Start. To do it right, it requires an all-hands-on-deck mentality. Every interaction with a parent or caregiver, no matter how small or fleeting it may seem, should be considered when putting together the best plan for family engagement. After…

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Vaccination Requirements for Head Start/Early Head Start
Mel Gravely
June-11-2019

Head Start at the national level does not have any explicit rules regarding the vaccination status of children who attend local programs (a bill proposed in 2015 would’ve required all Head Start children to be vaccinated, but never made it to a vote). As it stands now, it is only mentioned once in the Head…

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The Importance of Avoiding “Shop Talk” when Communicating with Parents
Mel Gravely
May-16-2019

I’m sure you’ve let it slip once or twice. An acronym that you use every day in your work as a Head Start staff person, only to experience a deer-in-the-headlights look when you use it in conversations with parents. Federally-funded programs have a title and term for everything. Every framework, initiative, program, tactic, and strategy…

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A Letter to My Mother on Mother’s Day
Mel Gravely
May-12-2019

As Mother’s Day approaches we at The Gravely Group asked Mr. Gravely about his experience growing up. Even until 2014, Mr. Gravely’s mother was living and a very important part of his life. This week he pays homage to his mother and all the things she taught him… “So many children grow up without the…

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Head Start’s Recommendations for Responding to Potentially Violent Situations
Mel Gravely
May-09-2019

This may be one of the most difficult topics I’ve ever had to write about. No one wants to think about a scenario in which our country’s most vulnerable, our children, might be the targets of intentional violence. This week, another act of school violence made headlines, just seven miles from Columbine, Co, in which…

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Serving Foster Children in Head Start
Mel Gravely
April-12-2019

I have a special place in my heart for foster children, having been a foster parent myself for many years. Foster children can often feel like the world has forgotten them, as the many adults around them are busy navigating the complex bureaucratic web that is the foster care system. While we all mean well,…

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OHS updates policy regarding programs affected by natural disasters
Mel Gravely
March-25-2019

In 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. In 2018, California experienced the deadliest wildfires in its history. Just this month, portions of the Midwest suffered some of the worst flooding in living memory. When faced with the fallout from natural disasters, it’s the community-based institutions that serve the local residents everyday who are in the…

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Head Start and Sesame Street are natural partners
Mel Gravely
March-14-2019

We received an email from the ECLKC a couple weeks ago, which promoted their February vlog titled “Home is Where the Love Is: Homelessness, Children and Families.” In that vlog, Dr. Deborah Bergeron, the Director of Head Start, visits the iconic Sesame Street studios to talk to Kama Einhorn, creator of Lily, a muppet character…

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What is your plan to engage fathers in Head Start?
Mel Gravely
March-06-2019

We recently received a great newsletter from the National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement from their “Fatherhood Connection” initiative, in which they provided a year in review of the many strategies they talked about in 2018 to engage fathers in Head Start programs. The way we see it, it’s never a bad time…

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New York Times: Recompetition is Helping to Increase Head Start Quality
Mel Gravely
February-11-2019

The New York Times recently published a story called “Cleaner Classrooms and Rising Scores: With Tighter Oversight, Head Start Shows Gains,” in which it reports that Head Start has seen gains in program quality across the board “more than a decade after Congress imposed new standards” that required “a third of its partners… to compete…

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