Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced a federal grant totaling $11,549,528 for Community Action Organization of Erie County. The funding, provided through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will support Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Western New York.
“We know that providing children with access to educational programs early provides a lifetime of benefits,” said Congressman Higgins “This federal grant to CAO is an investment in Western New York children and families.”
CAO President and CEO L. Nathan Hare said, “This award demonstrates that Congress still values the commitment to education for preschool children and prioritizes Head Start and Early Head Start as an effective way to give children a leg-up toward claiming a better future.”
CAO provides Head Start services to more than 1,100 children through center-based classrooms and CAO operated academies across Erie and Niagara Counties.
Head Start and Early Head Start are based on a national model that promotes school readiness among low-income families with a particular focus on language and literacy, as well as cognition and development. When compared to their peers, children who participated in Head Start are more likely to excel academically in high school and attend college after they graduate.
The Community Action Organization of Erie County, Inc. (CAO) was organized in 1965 as one of about 1600 “Community Action Agencies” across the country established to wage what former President Lyndon B. Johnson referred to as a “War on Poverty.” CAO has remained committed to its mission to provide programs and services that help families improve the quality of their lives and achieve self-sufficiency.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, during the 2015-16 school year, Head Start programs served 1.1 million children nationwide.