Debra L. Spring, vice president of education at Vistas Nuevas Head Start, Detroit, Michigan, and her colleagues serve the multicultural community of Southwest Detroit. Vistas Neuvas is the largest Head Start provider in the city. Spring was honored for her leadership role in extending literacy initiatives beyond children to entire families, She implemented English language classes, a multilingual curriculum, “Readers are Leaders” program, “Literacy Explosion” workshops and “Dia De los Ninos – Dia de los Libros” in collaboration with the Mexican Consulate and Wayne State University Center for Chicano Borua studies. Spring’s commitment to celebrating diversity contributes to the continued quality of services offered to children and their families at Vistas Nuevas. In 2008-2009 Vistas Nuevas Head Start’s children achieved gains 75 percent above the normal expected gains in math, science, literacy, language, social and emotional, physical health and development, creative arts and approaches to learning.
The Colina Foundation, Detroit, Michigan, was recognized for its grant programs focusing on children 0-5 and their families. Since 1992 the Colina Foundation, headed by John and Nancy Colina, has been helping fund the “Save Our Children,” “Everybody Ready!” and “Great Start Collaborative” programs in Wayne County among many others. The efforts of the foundation help create collaboration among community groups for foster care children, encourage the community to support families and caregivers and engage the entire community in building a coordinated system of services and resources to assist Wayne County families in providing a great start for their children from birth through age five.