In the District, some 2700 children under the age of six grow up in poverty and experience homelessness, and they often begin school with disadvantages that create a life-long "achievement gap." Bright Beginnings gives them a more secure, positive start, offering a rigorous infant, toddler, and pre-k curriculum along with access to counseling, speech therapy, and early literacy tools. Serving some 350 children annually, its Early Head Start and Head Start programs establish a solid foundation for reading and writing, and ensure early intervention for learning disabilities and health problems (free therapeutic services, and dental, vision, and hearing screenings, are available on site). A strong family services program sees that parents develop the skills to monitor their children's development, meet their basic needs, and tap resources to find employment and move toward self-sufficiency. Your support can be the start of something extraordinary.