Albina Head Start has been educating, informing, and enlightening Portland’s low-income children and families since the 1960s. It currently serves more than 900 children in the Portland area from birth through five-years-old through its home-based program, and in 51 classrooms in 24 locations throughout Portland.
One of the organization’s most important goals is to enhance parents’ roles as the principle influence in their child’s education and development. Head Start invests in its families' growth by providing parents with computer training, development and health screenings for children, early childhood educational activities, and community referrals and resources. In exchange, Head Start depends on guidance by an involved parent-run policy council.
In addition, Albina Head Start allows current parents to enroll in the Center Assistant Training Program which provides on-the-job training for parents who want to become teacher assistants. As an added incentive, Head Start offers tuition assistance for teachers and teacher assistants who want to obtain an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education. With this program, Albina Head Start is able to hire staff that reflect the community and provide parents with employment opportunities.
Albina Head Start is dedicated to the success of families beyond Multnomah County. They have been in direct collaboration with Nike since 1998 to make $5.2 million in computer grants available to Head Start classrooms all over Oregon, Washington, California, and rural America. Since the inception of the Nike “Start Line” Computer Program, over 60,000 children and families have benefited from classroom access to computers, software, and training.