$10m announced for Head Start

CHARLESTON -  U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, have announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration of Children and Families has awarded $10,362,033 for Head Start programs in Bluefield and Huntington. The announcement came Friday, May 4, 2018. Community Action of Southeastern West Virginia, Inc. in Bluefield was awarded $3,526,925 and Southwestern Community Action Council, Inc. in Huntington was awarded $6,835,108. The Lincoln News Sentinel understands that the funding for the latter agency will directly impact Lincoln County.

 “Head Start programs are an important foundation for our education system in West Virginia. I’m glad this funding has been awarded to programs in Bluefield and Huntington to ensure children in these communities are receiving quality early childhood education to set them up for success down the road. I will continue to advocate for Head Start funding for West Virginia communities,” Senator Manchin said.

 “A quality education opens the door to future success,” Senator Capito said. “To help set West Virginia children up for bright futures, it is important to support programs like Head Start that help provide a strong educational foundation. I am glad to see this funding come to southern West Virginia, and I will continue to fight for resources that help educate our children.”

 Community Action Agencies provide programs, services and information that improve people’s lives and embodies the spirit of hope regardless of age, gender, race, or financial status.

 Individual awards are listed below:

 • $3,526,925 – Community Action of Southeastern West Virginia, Inc. in Bluefield

$6,835,108 – Southwestern Community Action Council, Inc. in Huntington

According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, Head Start promotes the school readiness of young children from low-income families through agencies in their local community. Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the comprehensive development of children from birth to age five, in centers, child care partner locations, and in their own homes. Head Start services include early learning, health, and family well-being. The DHSS website notes that Head Start was founded as part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty in 1965. "Since then, Head Start has grown from an eight-week demonstration project to include full day/year services and numerous program options. Head Start has served over 30 million children and their families in urban and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories. Head Start is celebrating 50 years of service in 2015," the DHSS concludes.