Handy Head Start To Stay Open For Now

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Florence City Schools makes a bold move in order to keep the Handy Head Start program open for two more weeks.

The Head Start program funds were put on hold when the federal government shut down.

The school district relinquished their grant from the National Office of Head Start in order to get keep the doors open for now.

“What I’ve learned through this process is that sometimes you have to give up something to get to the higher cause to do what’s right for kids so that you can continue to serve them,” said Florence City School Superintendent Janet Womack.

Two philanthropists donated $10 million to the National Head Start Association.

However, Florence City Schools couldn’t use any of that money because their grant was through the National Office of Head Start.

Womack says she spent hours going over hundreds of scenarios to keep the doors open.  Finally, in a tough decision, Womack says she turned the program over to the Community Action Partnership of North Alabama.

The Community Action Partnership will then be able to funnel funds from the philanthropists to the Handy Head Start program.

“What we have to remember at the end of the day is, it’s about the kids, and if we can come up with a solution, it may not look the way it always looked on paper, but at the same time, those children will continue to be served in W.C. Handy School, as our youngest Florence Falcons all partnering together for many years to come,” said Womack.

The donation from the national philanthropists will keep these doors open until the end of October.

The Community Action Partnership of North Alabama operates from Decatur. The facility already oversees 2,000 Head Start students in the area.

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