Horizon City Mayor, Ruben Mendoza Visits Pete Duarte Head Start
Horizon City Mayor, Ruben Mendoza paid a special visit to the classrooms of Pete Duarte Head Start where he spent the morning interacting with the early childhood development center’s three and four year-old children as part of the literacy and community partnership initiative.
“We have activities like this on a monthly basis so that our children and parents can see the community support and resources that are out there for them,” said Pete Duarte Assistant Site Manager, Steve Lopez. “A community partnership in early education sets a strong foundation for children’s school and lifelong readiness.”
After reading to the children, Mendoza explained his role in the community and invited them to share what they want to be when they grow up. The children’s excited responses ranged from a teacher to a princess. The Mayor encouraged the children to be best students they can be and assured them they will not regret it.
“I was excited to come today because I’m very interested in what the children are learning – they are so much more advanced than when I was their age,” said Mendoza.
According to Lopez, male visitors, such as Mendoza, have a special impact on children at the center, “You can see the difference in their response,” said Lopez. “These kids are excited to see a male who is in a leadership position supporting and taking an interest in them. This type of positive male role model is absent in many of our families across the border and has devastating impacts on their development.”
Mendoza agrees, “Unfortunately many kids today don’t have a male figure in their life to tell them they are proud of them. I would like for fathers to step up and understand how important their involvement and those simple words are to a child.”
Parent and community volunteer opportunities are available and encouraged at any of Region 19 Head Starts 27 centers throughout El Paso and Hudspeth counties. “The benefits of an early education cannot be calculated and I highly encourage more community leaders to take the time to visit and support Head Start and see the fruits of their efforts,” Mendoza said. “These kids are our future- investing in them is an investment that gives back.”