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Mel Gravely

2017 Year in Review

All things considered, 2017 was a relatively quiet and stable year for Head Start programs. Head Start seemed to be off the radar of the national political debate for the most part, and funding was stable.

We saw 2017 as a year of growth and training for programs. Throughout the year, we focused on three of the main pillars: 1.) Staff appreciation; 2.)Board development; and 3.) Parent engagement.

Staff Appreciation

Of all the topics we cover in Head Start training, staff appreciation is often the most forgotten about. We wanted to bring that back to the forefront. We wrote about the 14 ways that staff appreciation is important in your program, as well as why we should also focus on ourselves as a member of that staff and practice self-care. We also gave some fun and inexpensive ways to show appreciation on a regular basis.

Board Training

Board training is one of our core trainings at The Gravely Group. This year, we used our blog to talk about many facets of good board training and development. We also touched on the financial oversight responsibilities of a board, creating effective bylaws, and staffing your board.

Parent Engagement

We asked a fundamental question, Why is parent engagement so important? and got real with why we should try to engage parents. We also gave some specific strategies to use in you program, such as how to talk to millennial parents and ask parents to volunteer.

As for The Gravely Group, we once again had a very busy year of conferences and in-person trainings. We also launched a brand new website, and revamped our webinar series. Mel Gravely also earned two new certifications, one for Family Engagement and the other for Governing Body.

What about 2018?

As we look forward to 2018, changes seem to be on the horizon. As an example, read our article “What is the Johnson Amendment and Why Should You Care?.” With a new administration and a tax overhaul looming, many are concerned that programs such as Head Start may see funding cuts in the future. Stay tuned as we keep an eye on all the latest news for 2018 on our blog.


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