LTE – Leona Ubberlohde – 6-13-2013

June 8, 2013

Dear Carlton (Editor of our Messenger),

My heart cries every time you spout off about the Head Start Program.

I would like to have you publish the statistics you have gathered in your studies about the Head Start Program from 1966-2013 to back up your criticisms of that super life saving program.

 Please tell me about the people you know who have gone through the program since 1966 and what they have done with their lives as contributing citizens – their successes and their failures. Your thoughts will be much easier for one to stomach if I am wrong in my feeling toward this program and you can prove it.

One other teacher in Montana and I in Colfax were the “Pilot Teachers” of the Head Start Program in 1966. I am in  my 49th year of teaching in the public schools of Wisconsin – one year in Glenwood City when I had your sister, Mary Carla DeWitt, in my first Kindergarten class. I still love her dearly and have the whole class picture hanging in my living room, one year in Chetek and the remaining 47 years in Colfax.

My husband and my life came in close contact once again when the Head Start Program touched our lives in the 1980’s.

I don’t even want to think what would have happened to our grandchildren who were born with congenital ear problems. The Head Start intervention and persistency had the problems corrected and with the follow up caring of the Glenwood City Schools, they have become productive citizens – one a human resource person for a factory in Osseo and the other  a special chosen teacher to teach in the Maxwell School (a hard core school) in downtown St. Paul.

I am still in contact with many of the students I had in that Pilot program of Head Start in that summer of 1966. They have become contributing citizens and now are at the age of 52 and I am sure they have parents living who are thankful for the Head Start program of that summer.

I know our “defense program” needs oodles of money but just as important is money for our future leaders who are and will be paying yours and mine Social Security in our future. We need both programs.

Sincerely,
a champion of the children,
Mrs. Leona Ubberlohde

P.S. I hope you haven’t forgotten or are ungrateful for that close knit faculty and student relationship and excellent education you received as a pupil of the Glenwood City Public Schools under the leadership of Mr. Lee and Mr. Sylla.

By the way I did stay at home to raise my family for 13 years and then resumed my career.