The Hidalgo County Head Start Program is the recent recipient of nearly $1 million to purchase school buses for their students. The award of $922,420, in addition to their yearly budget, will purchase 10 school buses at $92,242. The funds come from a Supplemental Funding competitive application for Program Improvement by the national Office of Head Start.
“This funding will strengthen partnerships with local school districts, reinforce recruitment efforts, help sustain desirable attendance levels and allow Hidalgo County Head Start to focus on innovative ways to address the competition for enrollment in our service area,” said Head Start Executive Director Teresa Flores.
The Hidalgo County Head Start Program is a comprehensive child development program. It assists the most economically disadvantaged 3- and 4-year old children as well as their families. They are funded yearly by the Office of Head Start, Administration of Children and Families. Under the Department of Health and Human Services, the program serves 3,690 children and families countywide.
Head Start children receive educational, nutritional, health, social, and special health services. After 35 years under the county, the program continues to enhance both the social and cognitive development of children. It promotes school readiness to prepare children to achieve high levels of academic and developmental success in kindergarten and beyond.
In 2017, Head Start conducted a Community Assessment Family survey which 2,200 Head Start families then completed. Staff learned that transportation was the top issue preventing parents from enrolling their children in programs such as Head Start.
“This grant will allow Hidalgo County Head Start to continue serving children and families in South Texas through motorized travel and transportation,” said Flores.