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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!

Encourage Head Start Families to Participate in the 2020 Census
Mel Gravely
April-13-2020

Every 10 years, the United States federal government is required to collect an accurate count of all residents of this country. It’s such an important task, that the framers of the U.S. Constitution included it in the first Article: “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within…

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Head Start and COVID-19: What you need to know
Mel Gravely
March-31-2020

The current issue of COVID-19 has raised a lot of questions, including the discussion of how it is affecting our schools. More than just classrooms and hallways, for some families school is a haven for their children. Now with the closure of many schools and programs across the country, its left families with the challenge…

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Communication Methods that Work with Head Start Parents
Mel Gravely
March-12-2020

It cannot be put any clearer than this: Parents are the gateway to their child’s education. Although you cannot demand parents become involved in their child’s education, as an educator of young children, you can foster parental involvement by following a few simple, common-sense communication strategies that have existed since the dawn of spoken language.…

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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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