Spanberger announces grant for Orange Head Start

FREDERICKSBURG FREE LANCE STAR

Orange County Public Schools have received a $1.43 million federal grant to continue funding their Head Start and Early Head Start programs, Rep. Abigail Spanberger announced this week.

The funding is second-year money that is part of a continuing five-year grant, School Board Chair Sherrie Page said in an interview Wednesday.

“The work of fostering thriving communities in Central Virginia starts in the classroom with early investments in our children,” Spanberger said in a statement Tuesday. “Head Start has a documented beneficial impact on preschool children. With basic, early interventions in preschool, Orange County children from all backgrounds can see gains in vocabulary, language skills, and other building blocks of scholastic success.”

“This federal Head Start grant funding will help the Orange County community lay a strong foundation for the next generation, increasing their chances of future academic success and sparking a life-long love of education,” she added.

“This funding is an important investment in our regional economy, and I thank the Department of Health and Human Services for their continued partnership with Central Virginia families, businesses, and communities.”

The grant will provide preschool for about 200 children at three sites in Orange County, said Heidi Lohr, supervisor of the school district’s Early Childhood Programs.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Head Start program serves nearly 900,000 children and families in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and six United States territories.

Open to children from birth to age 5, Head Start works to cultivate school readiness in children from low-income families by providing educational, nutritional, health and social services.

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