January 26, 2022 by Alex Gault

Congresswoman Elise M. Stefanik on Wednesday received the PROMISE Award from the National Head Start Association, in recognition of the work she has done to support the children’s education program.

Bob Bissen, director of governmental affairs for the NHSA and presenter of Wednesday’s awards, said Rep. Stefanik’s work on the Early Childhood Nutrition Act, and her support for the Head Start program in budget discussions was deserving of recognition.

“For all that and for her continuous support of Head Start, NHSA is pleased to present the congresswoman with our 2022 PROMISE award, for protecting our most important students early,” he said.

The PROMISE Award, which stands for Protecting Our Most Important Students Early, is given to legislators the NHSA identifies as particularly strong and effective supporters of the program, which offers free preschool education programs to low-income families funded by the federal government.

Reps. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, and Mondaire L. Jones, D-White Plains, represented New York among the recipients. U.S. Reps. Fred B. Keller, R-Pa., Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, and Jamie Hererra-Beutler, R-Wash., also received the award.

“It’s truly an honor to earn the 2022 PROMISE Award,” Rep. Stefanik said during the ceremony. “I want to thank the National Head Start Association for your leadership in early childhood development in education.”

The congresswoman said she’s long believed in the essential part early childhood education plays in allowing children to grow and learn.

“This is particularly meaningful to me as a new mom,” she said. “I gave birth to my son Sam just five months ago.”

The Head Start program in Jefferson County, run by the Community Action Planning Council, has been operating for 56 years, and Rep. Stefanik said the people who have gone through the program have come back to the program as adults to run it.

“These people are truly dedicated to giving disadvantaged kids in our community strong social, emotional and academic skills they need to be successful in kindergarten and beyond,” she said.

She pledged to continue working across the aisle to support the Head Start program and to keep it flexible at the local level.

“I will continue to fight for the flexibility of education at lower levels, so Head Start leaders can be responsive to the unique needs of the students and families within their community,” she said.

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