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Mel Gravely

The Head Start Logo Tells a Story

Head Start Designation RenewalI recently attended the 40th Annual Head Start Convention in Washington, DC. During the conference, attendees received an interesting handout from the NHSA regarding the Head Start logo. I strongly feel that it’s difficult to know where Head Start is going, without first learning and respecting where it’s been. Below is the story of the Head Start logo and why it looks the way it does.

Peter Masters conceptualized the National Head Start logo in 1965. He used building blocks (common play toys and learning tools) as a metaphor for the development and growth of children through Head Start. To reflect the fact that Head Start is a national program operated by the Government, Masters added a representation of the American flag. He chose red and white stripes and an arrow, printed in reverse on a blue background. The arrow is the common denominator of all antipoverty programs and symbolizes upward mobility.

  • The two squares represent early childhood by suggesting building blocks.
  • The arrangement of the blocks represent stairs by which this can be accomplished.
  • The vertical stripes represent the child and parent.
  • The arrow pointing upward represents the direction out of poverty and on to the future.
  • The colors, red, white, and blue represent the United States and the many opportunities it provides for its citizens.

Source: The National Head Start Association

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  1. Robbie Crews says:

    I have been a Head Start teacher for 17 years, and I never knew the meaning behind the logo until now! Very interesting and exciting! I will be sharing this information and this site!


  2. Belen Gardea says:

    Thank you for sharing. I have never stopped to consider the logo meant so much. Next time I talk to Head Start employees I will ask them what they know about it.

  3. Missy Blanchard says:

    Wow, I never knew this. Very interesting.

  4. Carolyn Jordan says:

    who made the first Headstart flag. And who designed the flag

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