Kids need all of the support and opportunities they can get in the United States today to guide them towards a life of success in education, especially early education. TAP, Total Action Against Poverty, was created to help be that catapult.
The history of TAP, now known as Total Action for Progress, grew out of founder Cabell Brand’s belief that “poverty is much broader than simply a lack of money…at its heart, it’s about lacking opportunity to fully participate in society.” That’s why, in January of 1965, Brand ordered copies of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 – a landmark piece of legislation that became the centerpiece of President Johnson’s War on Poverty.
It is believed that after studying the legislation and meeting with Sargent Shriver, who was the head of the Office of Economic Opportunity in Washington, D.C at the time, Brand returned to Roanoke determined to help the Roanoke Valley take advantage of the opportunities provided in the Act.
“He was particularly interested in the Urban and Rural Community Action Program piece, which was designed to help combat poverty on the local level, which helps our kids,” Adrienne Rock, a home visitor and teacher for Craig County, said.
It was then that Brand approached and convinced the governing bodies of Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Botetourt and Craig to participate in applying for money from the federal government to form a private, non-profit community action agency to serve low-income people living in those localities.
On April 28, 1965, Total Action Against Poverty was incorporated, and in October of that same year, TAP opened its first year-round Head Start classroom, which was the first school program in the Roanoke Valley integrated from its inception.
“Head Start has been in Craig for over 20 years, and provides a learning opportunity in Early Childhood Education with support from Family Services and Health Services,” Rock said. “This holistic approach presents families with the opportunity to participate in the Home Based Program by providing in-home preschool curriculum and preparation for kindergarten.”
Rock explained that with this option, the home visitor goes to the home and works not only with the children but also with the parents in achieving goals in education and family services. The home visitor/teacher is with the child for 90-minutes each week. The other home-based teachers are Adrienne “Brandy” Rock and Kimberly Holt.
Also, twice a month, the families come together for group socialization, where learning activities are provided, as well as educational field trips.
“Some of these include in-home preschool activities, curriculum and educational activities for parents similar to those used in Head Start Classrooms as well as field trips and monthly socialization activities with other home-based families,” Rock said.
Craig County is currently enrolling three and four-year-olds for the upcoming program year. “This is an opportunity to educate your children, as well as, a way of getting family services,” Rock added. Qualifications and fees are income based.
For more information, contact Adrienne Rock at (540) 330-2750.