NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation has provided essential funds to Lutheran Social Services (LSS) of the USVI, which launched the first Head Start program for children in the Caribbean. Head Start is a long standing federal program enacted by Congress in in 1981, to advance the education of young children during their formative years before kindergarten.
Founded in 2000 by the science philanthropist, Jeffrey Epstein, the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation supports science research around the world but has since expanded into education and youth initiatives across the US Virgin Islands.
The success of Head Start caught the attention of LSS which is located on St. Croix. LSS is the oldest known charity for children in the US Virgin Islands. Founded in 1904 by Princess Louise of Denmark to combat infant mortality, LSS expanded in 1917 to three buildings, including an orphanage for girls. In 1967, the buildings were transferred to a local board of directors and became known as Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands.
Today, LSS provides houses for the disabled, elderly and orphanages for abandoned and abused children. Their education program stands as a role model for the Caribbean. Started in 2003, their Center-Based Program of Early Head Start serves their younger children as well as low income children in Frederiksted. Classrooms encourage each child's individual development. With an emphasis on manipulatives, on visual and audio stimuli, and on independent discovery, the program seeks to develop cognitive, physical, creative, social and emotional needs. LSS also provides a vast outreach Head Start program, encouraging each child's development in their own homes. The Early Head Start Program works in partnership with the Department of Human Services and the Department of Health.
"Lutheran Social Services' Head Start program is a critical example of how early development dramatically, if not physiologically stimulates a child's mind for a lifetime of motivation and achievement," Jeffrey Epstein remarked. Jeffrey Epstein is a former member of Rockefeller University, the New York Academy of Science, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations and sits on the board of the Mind, Brain and Behavior Committee at Harvard University.