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TELL CITY - Federal funding in the amount of $683,685 will allow Lincoln Hills Development Corp. to start a new Head Start program in the new year, serving families of young children in Perry, Spencer, Crawford and Harrison counties.
The program, called Early Head Start, will serve 72 families and differs from LHDC's current Head Start program in that it serves children ages 3 to 5 with a focus on the needs of younger children. Services will be provided primarily through home-based options, but some program and group socialization activities will occur in LHDC facilities.
The expansion is expected to create 13 new jobs, said Larry Kleeman, executive director of the Tell City-based provider of community services.
"In these tough economic times and particularly with the current high unemployment rates, that is a significant additional benefit of the program's approval," he said.
The new program will begin in early 2010, and targets children and families living at or below the federal poverty level, as well as children with disabilities. Children who graduate from Head Start programs have been shown to be less likely to repeat a grade in school or to need special-education services. They are also more likely to graduate from high school.
"We are tremendously excited by this new program to provide programming to serve children and families," said Kleeman. "Research proves that Head Start programs provide cost-effective services that save future expenditures many times over. We are grateful for HHS's generous support."
Lincoln Hills has provided Head Start services for 44 years and Kleeman said the agency's "track record was significant in our selection" for funding.
This new program will be implemented within the Youth Service Bureau division of LHDC, directed by Jan Sprinkle.
For more information about Early Head Start in the four counties, contact Sprinkle at 547-3435 or toll free, at (800) 467-1435.