Our History


    Head Start was enacted on May 18, 1965, as part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, the centerpiece of President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty."Head Start Logo

    Head Start began by serving more than 560,000 children and families nationwide during an eight-week summer program under the Economic Opportunity Act. "Today, over 31 million children have benefited from Head Start since its inception

    Cora Roberson, a long-standing teacher in Alachua County Public Schools, was the first director, and under her tenure, she encouraged staff to pursue professional credentials for early childhood educators. 
    She said in 1984, Mary "BeBe" Fearnside became Head Start director, and during her tenure, the family services center model was adopted. The Fearnside Family Services Center is named in her honor, and now the center will, in perpetuity, display a plaque to honor both Fearnside and Roberson.