Special to the Journal
COLUMBUS, GA – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement today announcing the award of a continuing grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to assist Enrichment Services Program, Inc. (ESP) programs in Georgia. Head Start grants are used to promote quality school readiness for children from birth to five years old who come from low income families.
“I am very grateful for these Head Start grants and the positive impact they will have on our children and families in the lower Chattahoochee Valley,” said Congressman Bishop. “I commend HHS and Head Start for their continued commitment to helping socially disadvantaged children prepare for success when they enter school.”
“The Board and Staff of Enrichment Services Program, Inc. are looking forward to serving 887 Early Head Start and Head Start children during the 2013-2014 school year,” said Belva Dorsey, CEO at ESP. “We are disappointed that we had to cut 118 Head Start enrollment slots this school year because of Sequestration. This means that 118 fewer vulnerable children may enter school without the skills necessary to be successful.”
“Unfortunately, sequestration’s ripple effect throughout our communities negatively impacts education, job training, and many other services Georgians rely on every day beyond what any grant may support,” concluded Congressman Bishop. “As a strong and sustainable educational foundation is vital in strengthening our nation’s economy, I will continue to urge Congress to adopt a balanced solution to end this unwise and destructive policy.”
HHS granted $6,350,032 to Enrichment Services Program, Inc. to support services that promote healthy prenatal outcomes, enhance the development of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, and promotes healthy family functioning. ESP services are available to residents within an eight county area of the lower Chattahoochee Valley including Chattahoochee, Clay, Harris, Muscogee, Quitman, Randolph, Stewart, and Talbot counties. In total, HHS awarded $6.461 billion in Head Start Grants to agencies across the United States through its Office of the Administration for Children and Families.