Two organizations received federal grants totaling $ 102 million over five years to deliver a Head Start program in Erie County.
The Community Action Organization of Western New York, an anti-poverty organization, received a grant of $ 77.1 million to provide programs to 1,080 Head Start students and 205 infants, toddlers and pregnant women in the county.
And Holy Cross Head Start has received roughly $ 25 million over five years, to serve 500 Head Start children.
“We look forward to deepening our relationship with Holy Cross Head Start as their vision aligns with ours,” said Thomas Kim, CEO of CAO. “A head start for a child is essential to prepare them for a better and brighter future. “
Holy Cross will provide Head Start programming as a recipient agency alongside the CAO.
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with CAO and provide early childhood education for children as it plays a vital role in creating a pathway for children and families to thrive,” said Cortland Purks, Executive Director of Holy Cross Head Start Inc.
The OAC has had the Head Start contract in Erie County for over 50 years, but it has not received an automatic renewal for its Erie County Head Start grant, which expired this year.
Federal examiners ranked it among the lowest 10% of Head Start programs in the country that were evaluated in 2018, based on educational support for students, emotional support for students and the organization of the class.