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Grant received for Head Start

May 25, 2000|By JOSH POLTILOVE

Resources for Children and Families Inc. has received a $2 million grant to be used for Head Start services in Washington County, the organization's president said Thursday.

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Richard Snyder Jr. said the $2.1 million grant will help provide comprehensive services to 367 eligible children ages 3 to 5 and their families.

"We were very pleased to receive the grant because we feel we've been providing services for a long time and we're in a very good position to meet the needs of the community in this regard," Snyder said.

Head Start uses health, education, nutrition, social services and parent involvement to promote school readiness. Its stated purpose is to enhance the development of low-income children.

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Before receiving the grant, Resources for Children and Families had about 200 students. The rest of the area's Head Start members were in a program run by the Washington County Board of Education.

But since the School Board did not re-apply for a grant and Resources for Children and Families received the funding instead, Snyder said he expects the number of students and employees the agency has to nearly double.

Resources for Children and Families will continue to work with local community partners to provide developmentally age-appropriate programs for children and families in Washington County. It expects to expand from its primary location in the Martin Luther King Jr. Center at 131 W. North Ave.

As a result of the grant, a variety of new Head Start options will be available starting in September, including full day/full year services and morning or afternoon sessions at several sites, Snyder said.

Head Start has been working with economically at-risk children since its inception in 1965. Resources for Children and Families has been a community-based nonprofit organization since 1980.

"About one-third of our current staff consists of former Head Start students, and that shows how much our program really works," Snyder said.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families awarded the grant to the local agency.

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