Community effort built on failed attempt

By Emily Bregel special to the Arizona Daily Star | Sep 19, 2021

A couple of months after her 3-year old daughter Mariah began attending free preschool through Head Start, Tucson mom Janet Cervantes noticed something pretty amazing.

Normally, the toddler’s reaction to someone taking a toy from her involved a lot of screaming and crying, Cervantes recalled.

‘After the teachers working with her at school, she completely changed,’ Cervantes said. ‘She actually started saying, ‘Hey, I was using that. Can you please wait your turn?’ There was a lot more communication than just tears and yelling.’

Now 8 years old, Mariah is thriving in elementary school, and in August, Cervantes started her 4-year-old son Juan Enrique in Head Start’s extended-day program. The full-day option was crucial to Cervantes, allowing her to work more hours at In-N-Out Burger, as well as giving her son an extra boost before he starts kindergarten next year.

Scroll to Top