KCK public schools awarded multi-million dollar grant for Head Start

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools will receive a five-year, $6.7 million per year grant for Head Start services in Wyandotte County.

The grant will provide 560 part-day and 318 full-day slots for three and four-year-old children, and also support work with their families. KCKPS is the lead agency in a community partnership that includes churches, social service agencies, day care providers and public agencies.

“We are thrilled to receive news of this grant award,” said Dr. Cynthia Lane, superintendent of schools for KCKPS. “Research clearly supports investments in supporting brain development in children’s earliest years, and we are strongly committed to developing the highest quality Head Start program in the country.”

Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages three to five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. Head Start programs provide a learning environment that supports children’s growth in:

  • Language and literacy
  • Cognition and general knowledge
  • Physical development and health
  • Social and emotional development
  • Approaches to learning

Head Start also supports work with families on health and safety, child development and parenting, providing them resources and knowledge to support the growth and development of their children.

KCKPS submitted the grant in October, 2013, and since then has been working hard to prepare for the possibility of receiving the grant. More than 100 staff will be hired for this grant, including early childhood teachers, teaching assistants, family service workers and site managers. The district has also been working with the current grantee, the Community Development Institute Head Start, on a plan for transition, which will take place during the month of June. Currently, the district is in the process of hosting centralized enrollment for all of its preschool slots at its Central Office and Training Center, 2010 N. 59th Street, Kansas City, KS.

The grant begins June 1, 2014, and KCKPS will begin serving Head Start families on August 12, 2014.

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4 comments

    • srsims

      I grew up in Wyandotte county and graduated from Wyandotte County schools. As an educator now living in Georgia, I can tell you that this is absolutely NOT a waste of money. Head Start is a wonderful and effective way to give children the foundation to ensure their future academic success. Your comments are meant to be divisive and controversial. However the program has already been awarded and funded and thankfully there isn’t a thing YOU can do to prevent it!

  • Susan

    You are crazy if you think this is a waste of government money. As a teacher of these children for the last 18 years I can tell you these kids really improve their skills from language to emotional and cognitive skills. I just wish it could be opened up to all children.