Taiwan-born State Rep. Tony Hwang credits learning the English language to the Head Start program in Syracuse, N.Y.
So he recently spent time at , attached to .
"I am where I am because of Head Start programs. It was an incredible opportunity to be able to learn and develop the skills [my sister and I] needed," Hwang told Matthew Wheeler, head of the center, calling the center a "gem."
"I'm just so impressed by your program," Hwang said.
It serves children through age 6 with a "50/50" model, or half with identified special needs and half without identified special needs. It serves Easton, Stratford, Bridgeport, Monroe and Trumbull, Wheeler said.
It offers special education, pre-kindergarten preparation, Head Start, English classes and nursery school. There are waiting lists, Wheeler added.
"It's a credit to you, the teachers, the parents, the community," said State Rep. T.R. Rowe, who also visited.
Wheeler explained that the center uses a team approach. Each child gets the help they need, from one-on-one for children with autism to physical therapy. The full-day Head Start program runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and morning and afternoon preschool, in addition to its programs for special needs children.
"Every second, every child counts," Wheeler said.