Kaplan Early Learning Company Awarded Corporate Champion Award by National Head Start Association

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National Head Start Association celebrated the 45th Anniversary of Head Start at "The Dream Lives On," an awards banquet paying to tribute to Head Start, its pioneers, corporate champions and alumni.

Kaplan Early Learning Company, a Lewisville, NC company that provides products and services that enhance children’s learning, has been awarded the Corporate Champion Award by the National Head Start Association.

Hal Kaplan, President and CEO, accepted the award on behalf of the company on September 22, 2010 at an awards dinner celebrating the 45th Anniversary of Head Start and paying tribute to Head Start, its pioneers and alumni at the Grand Hyatt Washington. Hundreds of participants -- from Head Start teachers who started to work with the children of poverty in 1965 and visionary public servants who designed the model that has had lasting results, to Head Start parents whose lives were transformed and children for whom Head Start was the first step toward a life of success in teaching, law, politics, and business -- gathered for an evening of stories and celebration.

The Corporate Champion Award was also awarded to Nike, Johnson & Johnson, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Receiving these awards on behalf of the respective companies were:

  • Orson Porter, Deputy Director of Government Affairs, Nike,
  • Conrad Person, Director of Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson,
  • Huilan Yang Krenn and Joelle Jude-Fontaine, Program Officers, Education and Learning Department, W. K. Kellogg Foundation

The Sargent Shriver Award of Excellence, which recognizes individuals whose exceptional leadership and demonstrated dedication are consistent with Sargent Shriver's legacy of applying commonsense strategies to promote ideals of social and economic justice, was awarded to Gayle Cunningham, Executive Director of the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity, Birmingham, Alabama.

The Helen Taylor Outstanding Parent Award, which recognizes and celebrates the exemplary accomplishments of parents who have overcome immense challenges and obstacles in their pursuit of self-sufficiency and a brighter future for themselves and their children, was awarded to Almeta R. Keys, Executive Director of the Edward C. Mazique Parent Child Center Inc. in Washington, D.C. and Penny Lingle, Head Start and Early Head Start Director for West Central Community Action in Harlan, Iowa.

The NHSA Dream Lives On Alumni Award, which honors Head Start alumni who advance the promise of Head Start through their many inspirational accomplishments, was awarded to:

  • Patrick Gaspard, Director of Political Affairs for the White House
  • Dreya Holmes, a freshman at Wooster High in Ohio, who attended Community Action Wayne Medina’s Head Start Program for two years.
  • Ramona L. Ortiz, born in Buffalo, New York, a member of the Law Department of Exxon Mobil Corporation since 1994.
  • Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, who began her congressional career in November 1996 and is currently serving her seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

About Kaplan Early Learning Company
Based in Lewisville, North Carolina, Kaplan Early Learning Company provides products and services that enhance children’s learning. Since 1968, the company has delivered innovative products and services that support educators and caregivers worldwide in the creation of quality learning environments.

About The National Head Start Association
The National Head Start Association (NHSA) is a national non-profit representing over 113, 000 Head Start and Early Head Start programs and staff. The NHSA mission is to coalesce, inspire and support the Head Start field as a leader in early childhood development and education. For more information on the National Head Start Association, visit http://www.nhsa.org.

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Jennifer Lewis
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