November 15, 2007

CARDIN, MIKULSKI ANNOUNCE $6.1 MILLION IN NEW FUNDING FOR MARYLAND HEAD START PROGRAMS

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD), announced today that  the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded grants totally more than $6.1 million to three Maryland jurisdictions for the Head Start program.  

 

Head Start was created in 1965 as part of President Johnson's War on Poverty.   It provides comprehensive child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families with a special focus on pre-school reading and math skills.   It promotes school readiness by improving social and cognitive development through educational, health, nutritional and other services.  

 

"Research shows that the Head Start program works," said Senator Cardin.   "Low-income children who attend the program make significant gains in vocabulary, writing and letter recognition, and they have access to health care.   These children arrive at school better prepared and do better academically than children who do not attend Head Start."

 

"Head Start has been one of the most successful federal programs. It helps the children who are most in need to keep up with their age group in school. It brings children to the doctor to get immunizations or hearing checks. It provides nutritious meals for children who might otherwise go hungry," said Senator Mikulski. "I'm a social worker. I've seen first hand children whose lives were changed by a simple hearing aid. It can make all the difference. I will continue to make sure our children are a top priority in the federal checkbook."

 

The HHS grants will go to the following three Maryland jurisdictions:

 

  • $2.8 million to the Prince George's County Board of Education;
  • $1 million to Frederick County; and,
  • $2.3 million to Montgomery County.

 

On Wednesday, the Senate passed legislation reauthorizing the Head Start program.   The bill will provide $7.3 billion for Head Start nationwide next year, benefiting approximately 12,000 children in Maryland who receive Hear Start services.