COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Enrichment Services Program has been awarded a $1.3 million grant for its head start and Pre-K programs.
Each year, the Enrichment Services Program serves nearly 1,000 children ages six weeks to five years old in seven counties in Georgia and Alabama.
The grant now will help them expand these services to counties where early childhood resources either don’t exist or they’re very limited.
The recent additional funding will offer more educational opportunities to more families, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.
“Most of the families that we serve have very limited resources, they may have low income and this particular funding will allow their children to receive the high-quality, comprehensive education and make sure that they’re ready for school,” said Belva Dorsey, Executive Director of Enrichment Services Program.
The grant money will be used to buy supplies for classrooms, as well as hire more teachers and support staff.
It will allow 88 more children and families to take part.
Parents like Nicole Burkes have benefited from this program in more ways than one.
Burkes was a single parents who couldn’t afford child care for her two sons.
“It helped me personally to go back to school, to even finish a degree and then gain my real career,” Burkes said.
That career is now as a head start teacher.
Burkes said she was inspired by the staff who taught her sons when they were little.
“To have a free institution to where my son can come and be educated, not just get a free meal, but knowing that he’s safe, there are teachers that are trained, staff that are trained, that he can come and be somewhere safe for free while I go and better my life,” Burkes said.
The grant money will allow Enrichment Services to expand its programs for infants and toddlers in Clay, Quitman, Muscogee and Stewart counties.
For more information on the Enrichment Services Program, click here.