Primary Head Start Architect Dies But Leaves His Mark

The New York Times notes the passing onTuesday of Jule Sugarman – the primary architect of the 45-year old Head Start program.

Jule Sugarman, a primary architect of Head Start, the federal support program for millions of poor preschoolers, died Tuesday at his home in Seattle. He was 83

Mr. Sugarman, who also ran the program for most of its first five years, was executive secretary of the 13-member commission that planned Head Start in 1964 after President Lyndon B. Johnson declared his War on Poverty. Five-year-olds “are inheritors of poverty’s curse and not its creators,” the president said in introducing Head Start.

“Unless we act,” he added, “these children will pass it on to the next generation like a family birthmark.”

Yasmina Vinci, executive director of the National Head Start Association commented that:

“It’s the execution that counts, and the execution that makes it enduring. The proof that Jule did a great job is the fact that it has lasted for 45 years and 27 million children and families have had their lives transformed.”

Locally, the regional community action agency Community Teamwork, Inc. (CTI) has administered the Head Start program since its inception in 1965. Currently, CTI provides high quality  programming for nearly 700 children in Head Start and Early Head Start services. The program is based in the James Houlares Early Learning Center – a state-of -the-art facility on Phoenix Avenue in Lowell. For more information on the CTI programs check here at:

Read the full NY Times article here.