Getting A Head Start in CII’s Early Childhood Program

The Anderson Family


When Anthonyque Greenwood and Tyree Anderson dropped their son off at CII’s Head Start Center in the Imperial Courts housing development, they were mostly looking for a friendly place with a solid program to care for him during the day. What they —and he—acquired in the space of a few short weeks was much more than they could have imagined: Support they didn’t know they needed to help ready their son for a bright future.


The world was opening up — and moving fast — for Anthonyque and Tyree Sr. As a young couple, they were taking on new duties and investing in their future. Tyree was working full-time in IT, and Anthonyque had just enrolled in college child development courses that would take her away from their four-year-old son Tyree Jr. four days a week.

Recently, one of her son’s CII Head Start teachers quietly pulled Anthonyque aside and asked a few key questions. She zeroed in on something about Tyree that hadn’t been identified before—there was something irregular about his speech patterns. “He was talking very fast. And it was hard to understand,” she explains.

“He would try to say things, but it was like gibberish,” his father remembers. “Like when you try to sing a song and you don’t know the words. He was just making the sounds.” What they later realized was he was listening to them and trying to mimic the rhythms he heard.

The supportive teachers in CII’s Head Start program made recommendations about how the parents might work with their son. And they found that much of the assistance could be neatly embroidered onto their existing daily activities.

“We’ll tell him to slow down. ‘Pronounce each syllable’ or ‘Tell us again so we can get each word’,” says Tyree Sr. They already see a shift in his self-confidence. The repetition gives him a sense that he is not only being heard — but listened to. By getting ahead of the problem, says Anthonyque, “‘Now he knows his ABCs. He knows how to count. My baby knows how to speak his name.”


  • Infographic

The goal of CII’s Early Childhood Services is to ensure the optimal development of children in their fundamental early years, and to prepare children and their families for success in school. Our center and home-based curricula support the engagement of parents, not only in the educational process, but as life-long advocates for their children.


They motivate me to be a better parent. And I can come here for whatever I need. Services. Volunteering. They are here for us.Anthonyque Greenwood


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