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USD Head Start Seeking Family Stories and Tributes for Early Head Start 20th Anniversary

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Head Start is celebrating 20 years of Early Head Start programming by creating a video tribute for parents and families.

Past and current families, staff and community partners are invited to leave a tribute to help kick off the 20th anniversary celebration activities that will be scheduled throughout the upcoming 2021-22 school year. To leave a tribute, visit

The Early Head Start program supports new and expectant mothers, guides parents through early growth and development, and helps to build stronger family connections.

“One of the base tenants of our program is supporting parents as a child’s first and best teacher,” said Carmen Stewart, director of the USD Head Start program. “Our home visitors go into the home and plan and conduct activities with families that parents can do over and over again on their own in order to support their child’s development. Our staff may be in a home for just a 90-minute visit each week, but they are leaving behind skills and ideas to help parents to connect with their child every moment of the day.”

USD Head Start serves Clay, Lincoln, Turner and Union Counties and has classrooms in Tea, Harrisburg, Canton, North Sioux City, Beresford and Vermillion. The program has immediate and fall openings for children pre-birth through age four in the no-cost preschool classrooms and in-home programs (services vary by location and age). Call 800-813-8132 or apply online at Aplicación en español Income and other eligibility restrictions may apply. The program has flexibility with a limited number of over income spots available and encourages everyone to apply.

This year marks 20 years of USD sponsoring the Early Head Start grant and 44 years sponsoring Head Start grant programming through the Office of Head Start under the Department of Health and Human Services. Families participating in Head Start receive comprehensive services including education, family support, nutrition, health, dental and mental health.


USD's School of Education is transformative in preparing students both inside and outside the classroom. Its research- and practitioner-based programs train future educators, counselors, leaders, fitness and sport-related professionals for successful careers. The school focuses on a comprehensive learning experience, lifelong learning and developing professionals grounded in best practice. The school’s divisions include counseling and psychology, curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, kinesiology and sport management, and teacher residency and education.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News