The Social Development Commission (SDC) Head Start Program was named as one of four possible recipients in Milwaukee County to receive five-year federal program grants. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the nationwide list of 160 programs selected from hundreds of applicants.
SDC Board Chair Kristina McHenry said “SDC submitted a strong application, reflecting it’s nearly fifty years of providing children in this community with valuable Head Start programming. The Board was confident SDC would be a finalist today and is confident that it will be a finalist at the end of the selection process.”
Interim SDC CEO Hannah Dugan added “The success of SDC’s Head Start is due in no small part to a terrific staff, engaged parents and its effective small class size.” SDC’s classrooms are capped at seventeen for 3 year old students and fifteen for 2 year olds; other local providers have up to thirty-seven students per classroom.
The SDC Head Start program assists preschool age children with academic and social skill preparation as well as dental and health screenings. An elected Parent Council ensures parental involvement and program innovations. SDC and its delegate agencies serve over 3,000 children or two-thirds of all Head Start children in the County. The program recently received a positive report from the Head Start Regional Office for a review earlier in 2013 of program practices and procedures.
Even though SDC has not received the final word on funding, it continues its planning and preparations for the end of this school year and for the next school year in September. “The teaching goes on” says Ms. Dugan.
Health and Human Services has started contacting agencies identified as preliminary grantees to start negotiations. The federal office plans to announce its final grant decision for Head Start Programs by July, after negotiations are complete. In its announcement, HHS listed SDC, Milwaukee Public Schools, Council for the Spanish Speaking and the Next Door Foundation as the Milwaukee County’s preliminarily-selected grant awardees.
To learn more about the SDC Head Start program, visit the SDC website: www.cr-sdc.org/index/Programs–Services/Education–Training/Head-Start.htm.