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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!

How Involved Fathers are Forging New Ground
Mel Gravely
February-27-2020

I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail. Muriel StrodeThe Wind-Wafted Wild Flowers, 1903 In the past, women were much more likely to be the primary caregivers who nurtured a child’s early development. That means that when the fathers…

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How Attachment Theory Can Help Improve our Parent Engagement Strategy in Head Start
Mel Gravely
February-10-2020

I saw an interesting article recently on Medium called “The most important theory you’ve never heard of as a parent.” That theory is attachment theory, coined by psychoanalyst John Bowlby in the late 60s. We often discuss how the presence of a parent is important for the development of the child. However, just being there…

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Sharing Ongoing Child Assessment Data Encourages Better Family Engagement
Mel Gravely
January-31-2020

Have you ever heard the saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts?” I can’t think of a better example than when parents and educators are on the same page when it comes to preparing for a child’s future. While each side’s contribution is essential on its own, when communication is flowing…

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Bringing Focus to Children’s Mental Health in Head Start
Mel Gravely
January-15-2020

Canton, Ohio-based attorney Corey Minor Smith is a long-time client, associate, and friend of The Gravely Group. She is a former Head Start parent and Board Member, speaker, and mental health advocate. She has recently written her debut book, titled #Driven, a resource for family and friends that care for a loved one living with…

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How to Set Impasse Procedures for your Head Start Board & Policy Council
Mel Gravely
January-07-2020

In Head Start, shared governance is something we live by every day. From the very beginning, the framers of Head Start wanted to provide parents and community representatives with the authority and opportunity to participate in share decision-making concerning program design and implementation. But as we know, as human beings, we sometimes disagree. That’s completely…

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2019 Year in Review
Mel Gravely
December-16-2019

2019 is not just the end of a year, but the end of a decade. What a decade it was! It all started in January 2010 with the release of the Head Start Impact study final report. A monumental, and sometimes controversial, report that found agencies across the country fielding questions from reporters: Has it…

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Ying to the Yang: How Fatherhood Compliments Motherhood for a Happy, Healthy Childhood
Mel Gravely
December-12-2019

As a Head Start consultant, I often find myself as the only man in a room full of women. It’s true, Head Start, and early childhood education in general, is dominated by women – staff, volunteers, and of course, mothers. It’s in rooms just like these that I’m often talking about the value of father…

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Partnering with Your Local Receiving Schools
Mel Gravely
November-18-2019

As a Head Start leader, building relationships within your local receiving schools is one of the best ways to both understand and plan for the process of transitioning a child from Head Start to kindergarten. However, as with most things, that doesn’t just happen automatically or overnight. It takes time to form a plan, and…

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A Personal Head Start Story: Clarice Jones
Mel Gravely
November-12-2019

Some of our favorite Head Start stories are the ones that start in Head Start, and end in Head Start. We meet so many individuals who attended Head Start as children, and are now on staff at a Head Start program. It can be a very powerful recruitment tool to be able to tell parents…

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Using Community Partnerships to Enhance Father Engagement
Mel Gravely
October-14-2019

If you’re not currently reading the Fatherhood Connection e-newsletter and webinar series from ECLKC, we highly recommend that you make a commitment to read it and share it with other staff. The Office of Head Start has made it clear over and over that engaging families in the education of children – whether mothers, fathers,…

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