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The Centers for Families and Children Awarded $9.4M Head Start Grant

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Agency will lead Coalition of providers to improve quality of early learning in County

CLEVELAND, July 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This week The United States Department of Health and Human Services Administration of Children and Families Office of Head Start announced that The Centers for Families and Children (The Centers) has been awarded a federal Head Start grant of $9.4M to prepare 1,210 of Cuyahoga County's children each year for kindergarten. The Centers was awarded this grant on behalf of The Learning Coalition, a group of local early learning providers that came together to pursue Head Start funding.

Head Start is a federal program that was started in 1965 to promote school readiness for children ages 3 to 5 from low-income families. The federal government initiated a widespread "recompetition" process last year for over 100 grants across the country, to ensure that children and families have high quality, effective early childhood education options available to them. The Office of Head Start published a list of grantees late yesterday through its website.

The Learning Coalition is a collaboration of local early childhood education organizations and K-12 schools which recognize the value of investments made in preparing children and families to enter school. Its members, which include The Centers, Catholic Charities, West Side Ecumenical Ministry (WSEM), OhioGuidestone and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), are committed to making every one of a child's first 2,000 days count.

"We are thrilled with The Learning Coalition's new leadership role for Head Start," said Sharon Sobol Jordan, CEO and president of The Centers. "We have such a short time period to make a true impact, and together we are committed to increasing the number of children entering school on a path toward high school graduation and beyond."

"Investments in early learning pay dividends in elementary school and beyond," said Eric Gordon, CEO for CMSD. "Research indicates that low-income children often start Kindergarten 12 to 14 months behind their peers, a disadvantage that is not easily overcome even in the best schools. We have an extraordinary responsibility to change and improve the way we are educating our youth to ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed."

The Learning Coalition will provide services through early learning centers and CMSD elementary schools located across Cuyahoga County and through an in-home program.  The Head Start model focuses on the entire child including education, social and emotional development, parent engagement, health and nutrition.

About The Centers
The Centers believes lasting, positive change begins with access to opportunities and bridges the opportunity gap by connecting as many people as possible to effective health care, education and essential human services. The Centers is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit organizations in Northeast Ohio, serving more than 20,000 people annually in our community and is the lead agency for The Learning Coalition. Visit TheCentersOhio.org to learn more.

CONTACT: AMY MARTIN
The Centers for Families and Children
216.403.1009
Amy.martin@thecentersohio.org

SOURCE Center for Families and Children



RELATED LINKS
http://www.thecentersohio.org/

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