Today the Washington State Association of College Trustees (ACT) announced it is honoring a Spokane Head Start director with its Professional Staff Member Award.
The award, given to only one staff member among all 34 community and technical colleges, is being given to Patty Allen, the Community Colleges of Spokane’s director of Head Start and district director of EHS-ECEAP in a special ceremony tonight in Vancouver, Wash. Allen oversees child care operations that serve nearly 2,000 infants and preschoolers in the Spokane area.
"Patty is the unique person who believes in moving mountains to provide care and support to an individual child, while still having a manager’s perspective of simultaneously building the program infrastructure to serve nearly 2,000 vulnerable children each year," stated the nomination from the CCS Trustees to the state association.
Allen has worked for CCS in leadership roles in early childhood education and Head Start operations since 1991 and is credited with expanding the programs to serve more children in areas of greatest need. She created numerous partnerships with area community centers, school districts, health clinics and various coalitions. She even partnered with Washington State University in a Safe Start program, with a grant aimed at reducing children’s exposure to violence.
“Patty is passionate about the role of Head Start in the lives of our students, their children and children throughout the community,” said CCS Chancellor Christine Johnson. “She recognizes that too often quality childcare and preschool can stand in the way of our community college students being able to attend classes and move beyond poverty. She also knows, from her experience with a career in this field, that lives are changed when young children in poverty are provided with high quality care and education before starting kindergarten.”
Community Colleges of Spokane (CCS) operates more than 30 Head Start/ECEAP/Early Head Start centers in Spokane County, providing care and support for nearly 2,000 children and their families. CCS also operates centers on the campus of SCC and SFCC for qualifying students. CCS began providing this service in 1973 and have been growing and adapting to meet community needs ever since. CCS offers safe and secure environments that nurture child growth and development, and provide learning opportunities for children to enhance their skills and abilities for school success. Learn more about Spokane Head Start.
Here is the press release from the Washington State Association of College Trustees.