Sargent Shriver, the director of President Johnson’s War on Poverty, launched Project Head Start with assistance from First Lady Lady Bird Johnson in 1965. An eight-week summer program, Project Head Start promotes school readiness and provides comprehensive health, nutritional, and social care to children from low-income families. Shortly after the program began, a doctor diagnosed five-year-old Pancho Mansera of Nipomo, California, with a thyroid problem and suggested that he attend a school readiness program. The Office of Economic Opportunity produced a short film documenting Pancho’s experience with Project Head Start. Pancho and his mother met President Johnson at the screening of the documentary in 1967.
Pancho, 1967. Documentary film written, directed, and photographed by Robert K. Sharpe.