'Stroll-in' staged to protest proposed cuts to Head Start

'Stroll-in' staged to protest proposed cuts to Head Start
LEWISTON - Be Smart - Keep Head Start was the message being spread by parents and kids Wednesday at what they called a "stroll-in".

"We are out here to get the message out," said stroll-In organizer Rebecca Cordoba. "We are going to do whatever it takes. We can't afford to lose this program for our kids."

About 15 parents and children gathered outside of Congressman Raul Labrador's Lewiston office. They want to end proposed cuts to early childhood programs.

"For me, personally, my youngest boy has down syndrome and he came into the program wearing diapers, not being able to talk very good, not being able to do self-help tasks on his own and now he is starting to talk," said Cordoba. "He can wash his hands on his own, he can help himself, I don't know what I would do without the program."

Parent Jessica Powers said for many low-income families these programs give children a leg up.

"Without these resources there is no way a lot of children would be able to keep going and grow and learn," said Powers.

She said cuts to education are counterproductive.

"We don't want them to cut Head Start," said Powers. "We don't want them to cut early Head Start. We don't want them to cut kindergarten or first or 12th."

Desirae Zabel said there's even a waiting list to get into local programs. She said education is good for society as a whole.

"They say that kids who go to Head Start and early education programs tend to stay out of prison and jail and off the streets and crime is lower. So it's really important that we give each child a chance to be able to do this," said Zabel.