Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Representing the 7th District of Alabama
 

Rep. Sewell Announces over $7 Million in Funding for Local Head Start Programs

Jun 30, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) announced over $7 million in federal funding for Head Start programs serving Alabama’s 7th Congressional District. This funding will allow Head Start programs to continue preparing Alabama children for success and will grow our economy by helping caregivers get back to work knowing their children are safe and cared for.

“Our children are our future and our greatest asset,” said Rep. Sewell. “Tragically, the COVID-19 pandemic deprived too many Alabama children of a safe, supportive learning environment, causing them to fall behind in their educational journeys.”

“The best way to put our country on a path to prosperity is by investing in the next generation of change-makers,” continued Sewell. “I’m so proud to announce that Head Start programs serving children in Alabama’s 7th District will receive over $7 million from the American Rescue Plan. This funding will help us bounce back from the devastation of the past year by getting parents back to work and providing our children the tools they need to grow and thrive.”

Funding, which totals $7,170,627 was awarded to the following Head Start programs serving Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.

Head Start programs serving only Alabama’s 7th District:

  • Pickens County Community Action Committee and Community Development Corporation, Inc. - $271,606
  • Sumter County Opportunity, Inc. -  $579,106
  • Lowndes Co. School District - $233,318
  • The Black Belt Community Foundation - $367,326
  • Berean Head Start - $143,580

Head Start programs serving multiple congressional districts including Alabama’s 7th:

  • Alabama Dept. of Human Resources - $677,219
  • Childcare Resources - $710,721
  • Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc. - $629,359
  • Gulf Regional Early Childhood Services, Inc. - $635,342
  • Jefferson County Child Development Council, Inc. - $303,911
  • Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity - $959,593
  • Montgomery Community Action Committee & CDC Inc. - $1,554,254
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham - $105,292

This comes in addition to the $732 million in funding that Rep. Sewell helped secure through the American Rescue Plan (previously announced) to keep Alabama’s child care providers on the job and keep costs down for working families.

The American Rescue Plan also includes a historic increase in support for child care through the tax code, helping millions of working families afford needed care. Rep. Sewell played a critical role in drafting the expansions of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan, which are projected to cut child poverty in the United States in half. More information on the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit can be found here.

How local Head Start programs are using funding from the American Rescue Plan

“The 2020 school year was very challenging,” said Cynthia Simpson, Executive Director of Pickens County Community Action. “We, like many other schools, elected to offer virtual learning to protect our staff and most importantly, our little people. We understand the burden this may have caused and the educational setback, so we are proud to offer the Pickens County Summer Learning Program for our students. The American Rescue Plans has provided the opportunity to offer summer learning to ensure our 4-year-olds are prepared for the transition to kindergarten. We were also able to purchase PPE and an additional bus to provide necessary space for support staff and students during transport to and from school.”

“The Blackbelt Community Foundation has been overwhelmed with requests for support from our communities,” said Felicia Lucky, President of the Blackbelt Community Foundation. “Funds made possible by the American Rescue Plan have allowed us to bridge the digital divide that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We were able to purchase laptops to keep our children and staff safe as we all worked to decrease the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Most importantly, we have been able to extend necessary resources for the communities supported by the Blackbelt Community Foundation in Choctaw, Dallas, Marengo, and Wilcox counties. This ensures our children have the tools necessary to navigate educational requirements during these unprecedented times.” 

“The Lowndes County Head Start plans on using the funds from the American Rescue Plan to provide mental health support for children, families, and our staff as well as opportunities for professional development,” said Lashica Mason, Fiscal Manager for Lowndes County Head Start. “The funds will also help purchase cleaning supplies and new playground equipment.”

Background on Head Start Programs

Head Start programs promote the school readiness of infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children from low-income families. Services are provided in a variety of settings including centers, family child care, and a child’s own home. Programs also engage parents or other key family members in positive relationships, with a focus on family wellbeing. Head Start programs provide services through 1,600 agencies in local communities and serve more than one million children per year in every state and U.S. territory. Most are run by non-profit organizations, schools, and community action agencies.