Photo: Jungle Gym

Success Stories:

CDI HS makes a positive contribution to communities we serve! We collect highlights from local program and core staff to help us reflect upon our impact.

"Success… In Their Own Words"

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Photo: Teacher with AppleIt was a bleak and dreary time for the former Cordell Hull Head Start employees when their program closed. It was a surprise! The looks and the tears were real. It was a bad dream. And then — there was “hope”, a ray of sunshine in that bleak and dreary time in the name of an interim agency, known as Community Development Institute.

You have a fear in dealing with strangers. Would they be respectful? Would they be judgmental? Would you still have a job, insurance…and the list went on and on with questions and no answers, until they arrived.

A success story………you better believe it! Staff morale went from zero to 10 in a short time after the team arrived. They treated the staff with respect and kindness. They gave the staff an opportunity to apply for their positions with CDI Head Start. Now—that was an accomplishment!!!!! The change from CHEOC to CDI was fast and streamlined. The team wanted staff to be paid immediately once working for CDI HS, and assisted all of us in filling out time sheets so we would have a paycheck. They knew that November wages and December wages for three (3) days had not been paid by the prior grantee and it was only a few days before Christmas. They really cared about us.

Other successes since CDI HS involvement: Upgrades and new computers for the central office; new computers have been ordered for the centers; internet access for centers; central office and center staff morale has improved; staff have received training and assistance with furthering their education which means more qualified staff; utilizing substitutes more; encouraging them to obtain their CDA and CDLs; “Fish training” very motivational re: team/self-enhancement for staff; employee interest for taking better care of ourselves, mentally and physically; partnerships with parents re: purchase of cots that meet licensing requirements for ECERS initiative; staff are receiving their pay checks twice monthly; requested snacks by parents are being provided; no longer using gas pumps located at centers and central office due to safety issues for children and staff; and many other center improvements!

— Written by Ann Hall, acting director, Lafayette, TN

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