Assistant Director, Texas School Ready
Director, Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office
Dr. Alferma Giles is the Director of the Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office, and the Assistant Director of Texas School Ready, located in the Children’s Learning Institute (CLI), at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. She has served in this capacity since June 1, 2014. Prior to her role as the Head Start Collaboration Director, she was the Program Manager/Technical Assistance Specialist for the Texas School Ready Project for five years. She has been employed in the early childhood field for 40 years, working in various capacities; as a pre-K, kindergarten and Head Start teacher, education coordinator, program specialist, and human resource coordinator.
Dr. Giles provides leadership/management and oversight for all initiatives of the Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office, which includes working with the CLI leadership team, and in collaboration and partnership with multiple local and state agencies; facilitating collaboration among Head Start agencies and entities that carry out activities designed to benefit low income children from birth to school entry and their families. According to the Office of Head Start 2021 Program Information Report, Dr. Giles provides support to 68,460 children in 4,593 classrooms, served by 196 Head Start/Early Head Start grantees and delegate agencies, in 218 of the 254 counties across the state of Texas.
Alferma was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to serve on the Early Childhood Intervention Committee from 2014-2019, and currently serves as a member of the Texas Early Learning Council, appointed by Governor Greg Abbott.
Dr. Giles is a native of Arkansas. She holds a bachelor of science degree in child development from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and a master’s and doctorate degree in education administration from Madison University. She has been employed with the Monterey County Office of Education in Salinas, CA; Oakland Parent Child Center, St. Vincent’s Day Home, and the City of Oakland Head Start Program, in Oakland, CA.
A little-known fact about Dr. Giles is, she was a part of the inaugural class of Head Start when it began in 1965. She attended a summer program located at Carver Elementary School, in the rural community of Moro, Arkansas, prior to entering first grade.