United Way Spotlight

Meet Lynne Dittman - Preparing At-Risk Kids for Kindergarten

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“I enjoy helping Head Start children, their families and our staff, and I love seeing all their smiling faces!” said Lynne Dittman, Director of Head Start. “Our Head Start children receive a high-quality preschool education while building the social-emotional skills they must have for a successful transition to kindergarten and beyond. Our work helps at-risk children succeed!”

“I have the easy job when it comes to the Head Start kids! I get to see their smiling faces each day, and sometimes I find a little time to talk, laugh, and even dance with them! It truly takes a community to nurture and support a child, so my main role is to make sure our team, which includes staff, community partners and families, has what it needs to realize its potential and thrive so the children who leave Head Start have the skills they need to be successful in kindergarten and life.”

Lynne was born and raised in Grass Creek, Indiana. She has called Warsaw her home for over 25 year. During that time, she has worked for Head Start and has been its Director for more than 13 years.

According to Lynne, “Not having kids in school for the past 3 months meant most of those children transitioning to kindergarten may not have acquired all the kindergarten skills they will need this fall. As educators, that concerns us. We also worry about the social-emotional health of our children and their families. This has been a very difficult time for everyone, and although kids may not be able to verbalize the trauma they have been through, they will show us in their behavior!”

“My hope is that every parent we work with becomes more involved in their child’s education and learns that positive discipline, sending their child to school every day, having true conversations with their child while attending to their needs, and reading with their child every day will make an important difference in both the parent’s and the child’s lives. My dream is to see a more emotionally healthy community as all parents and children understand the importance of limiting screen time and utilizing those precious moments to instead focus on learning, talking, eating meals, reading, and just having fun together!”

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Like Lynne, United Way works all year long to support children and families in our community. You can do something right now to help those most in need. Become a United Way Champion by making a recurring monthly donation.

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