Thanks to a new federal Head Start grant, an estimated 307 children in Alabama’s Black Belt will be able to receive critical investment in their early educational development through high-quality program options.
The $1.4 million grant was recently awarded to the Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to oversee the Head Start programs in Dallas, Choctaw, Marengo, and Wilcox counties in Alabama.
“We are excited to be selected as a first-time Head Start grantee and we are eager to expand our education and community development efforts by providing high-quality Head Start services to children and families in the region,” said Felecia Lucky, BBCF President. “With our programs, we have served over 50,000 children and families. Like Head Start, our programs emphasize the importance of starting early and working closely with families to improve academic outcomes.”
Founded in 2004 with the idea that those living and working in the Black Belt best knew the area’s challenges and opportunities, the BBCF actively puts needed resources into the region that make a lasting impact. Since its inception it has granted in excess of $3 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the 12-county region it serves to bolster programs primarily in the arts, community and economic development, education, and health and wellness.
“This is outstanding news for children and families in the Black Belt region. It is so important that our children are supported at an early age with educational programs such as Head Start so that their learning capabilities can be cultivated throughout their formative years,” said Alabama 7th District U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell. “With this grant, the Black Belt Community Foundation will be able to bring valuable program offerings to children in the state that need this support the most.”
The Community Foundation will be hosting information sessions in the upcoming weeks to introduce its programs to the community and prospective families and staff.