This year’s Cropped benefitting organization is Luzerne County Head Start. Serving both Luzerne and Wyoming counties, Luzerne County Head Start is part of the national Head Start organization. The Head Start program was created in 1965 to address the educational and developmental needs of children. Luzerne County Head Start community advocate Lindsey Fredericks explains the organization’s rationale for participating in Cropped and what it hopes to achieve now that the winning creative team has been chosen.

1) Why did you decide to apply for Cropped?  Luzerne County Head Start applied for Cropped because we are looking for a better way to help our community understand who we are and what we do.  Many recognize Head Start as “free preschool” for low-income children; however, our organization is much more than that.  We are looking to see what our area’s creative professionals can do to help our community and its leaders better understand our mission and the importance of the services we provide to children and their families.

2) What are you hoping to get out of participating?  We are hoping to rebrand our image.  We currently use the national Head Start logo, but we want to come up with something creative that sets us apart and helps us to better define our local organization. We also want people to understand the full scope of Head Start and Early Head Start, as well as all of the services we provide not only to children, but also to their families.  We believe the creative team can help us develop a logo, tagline and campaign idea that would set us on the right path to achieving our goal.

3) How important is it to build your brand? Many people recognize the name “Head Start,” but they do not know what our organization does for our community’s most vulnerable children and their families.  Our program seeks to enhance children’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual development. It also assists parents in fulfilling their parental roles, and emphasizes healthy outcomes, school readiness and family self-sufficiency.  Research has shown that early childhood education fosters cognitive skills along with attentiveness, motivation, self-control and sociability. These are the character skills that turn knowledge into know-how and people into productive citizens.  We want our community and its leaders to know that we are educating the workforce of tomorrow.

4) What is one thing about your organization that people might not know?  Many people might not realize that Luzerne County Head Start offers comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families in both Luzerne and Wyoming Counties.  In addition to an early childhood education, we also provide children with breakfast and lunch, health and nutrition services, hearing, vision and lead screenings, and social services.  Our center-based program is available to preschool-aged children and their families.  We also provide home-based Early Head Start services to pregnant women, infants and toddlers.