MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

July 16, 2014

Head Start grant a great thing

It’s nearly impossible to overemphasize the importance of giving our children a proper start to their education.

So it’s very gratifying to see that Green Country Behavioral Health Services’ grant to provide county Head Start programs was renewed for another year.

Head Start officials heard recently they would get $3.4 million to help run its eight sites for another year.

“We are thrilled to death,” said Cheryl Nelson, compliance officer for Green Country Behavioral Health Services.

Muskogee has four Head Start sites, including an Early Head Start site for children 6 weeks to 3 years of age. The federal program, geared to helping children from low-income families prepare for school, also operates sites in Fort Gibson, Braggs, Warner and Haskell.

Nelson said Head Start will have a total funded enrollment of 337 kids, including 112 in Early Head Start.

GCBHS has been Muskogee County Head Start’s grantee for at least 16 years.

This year the grant application process was more competitive than in past years.

“Previously, the federal grants just rolled over to the next year,” said Muskogee County Head Start Director Diane Woodard. “This year it was competitive. Anytime it is open for competition, that is a concern.”

 Muskogee County children again will get much needed help in their development.

That’s a great thing.

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