About Mountainland Head Start, Inc.
A brief history according to archived records…
Project Head Start began in the summer of 1965 for children who would be entering kindergarten in the fall. Nebo School District applied for a Head Start grant in 1966 for around 60 children; a couple of years later both Provo School District and Alpine School District also had small Head Start programs.
In the early ‘70s, the Region VIII Head Start office located in Denver urged programs to consolidate and named Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG) as the grantee agent for the Provo and Alpine school districts. Head Start operated through the Mountainland Community Action Program, which was also run through MAG. The Nebo School District continued operating independently under their original grant.
In 1977, Provo Head Start, Nebo Head Start and Alpine School District Head Start each had their own respective Head Start directors. Community Action also had their own Head Start Coordinator. In addition, another director from MAG supervised all of the programs. In the spring of 1978 the Regional Office declared that having five Head Start administrators in these counties was excessive, especially since all programs each had their respective Education, Health, and Parent Involvement Coordinators. They asked that Nebo be brought under the MAG umbrella and that Provo and Alpine school district Head Start programs begin operating out of the Community Action agency, with one director.
As a result, in the 1978-79 school year, the new Mountainland Head Start (MHS) program began with a new director. Nebo School District used this year as a transition year, since they too would be brought into MHS the following school year.
The peculiarities of Head Start, especially regarding program governance, caused MAG to seriously consider how difficult it would be to give the Policy Council equal status to their Board of Directors. MAG is an agency that operates many government programs and their Board of Directors consists of elected mayors and County Commissioners of Utah, Summit and Juab counties. Thanks largely to our parent Policy Council Chairperson at the time who persisted with their board, courageously defending the rights of parents to be involved in the education of their children and in the administration of Head Start according to regulation, the MAG board released MHS to become their own grantee.
The transition was smooth and on September 15, 1978, MHS was incorporated and became Mountainland Head Start, Inc. The following year, on June 4, 1979, Mountainland Head Start, Inc. received their 501 (c)(3) non-profit designation. Around this same time, and for approximately five years, Mountainland Head Start, Inc. also operated the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Food Supplement Program. After this time frame, the administration of WIC was turned over to the Utah County Health Department. The program grew from 125 funded slots in 1978 to more than 700 slots during that period. Currently, Mountainland Head Start, Inc. serves 744 children and families.