The Kennebec Valley Organization supports full state funding for the Head Start program, which in turn will trigger matching federal funds. KVO, of which I am president, is an organization of congregations and labor union locals concerned with the welfare of people living in the Kennebec Valley.

Education is the key for individuals, communities and our state, across the board, and early education is the bedrock of that. Head Start children learn the foundations of being able to read, do arithmetic and other academic subjects.

These children also learn social skills that will allow them to work well with others throughout their lives.

Head Start helps screen kids for health problems, such as hearing and eyesight, that could delay their ability to take advantage of elementary school.

Public safety officials support funding for Head Start because it reduces the incarceration rate.

In a competitive world, we as a nation have a huge stake in at least matching what our major competitors do, and almost all of them are ahead of us on early education.

These children are our future. We ask that our legislators and our governor support this effort all the way.

Helen M. Hanson, presidentKennebec Valley OrganizationChina