SAL, Head Start receive federal funds for education programs

Head Start

The Quad Cities-based SAL Family and Community Services was among two organizations in western Illinois to be awarded federal funding for their Head Start education programs. 

In a news release, U.S. Rep. Eric Sorensen, D-Moline, announced more than $12 million in federal grant funding was awarded for the pair of programs. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded these grants: 

The grants will be used to administer the Head Start programming in their respective regions, the release said. 

“Making sure our kids have access to the classroom is a critical step to putting our children on the road to success,” Mr. Sorensen said. 

Head Start is a program within HHS that provides comprehensive early childhood education services to children from low-income families. 

SAL to grow its mission

“SAL Community Services is grateful for this renewed funding that will grow our mission and make the highest quality child care accessible for more families in Illinois,” Marcy Mendenhall, SAL’s president and CEO said in the release.

“Supporting children and working families at this early stage can be absolutely life-changing. Early care is essential to building a strong future for our community and state — and it wouldn’t be possible without grants like this.”

Similarly, Rachael DeSpain, Tri-Counties’ Head Start director, said the program’s multigenerational approach focuses on providing opportunities and addressing needs of both children and their parents.

“Funding through HHS provides countless benefits that appear immediately, last a lifetime, and positively affect our communities and future generations,” she added. “It has been proven that investing in high-quality early childhood education services such as Early Head Start/Head Start results in positive impacts on children and families of disadvantaged and under-resourced communities.”

In 2023, SAL was awarded $3.74 million in funding for its Head Start programming.  

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