Last month we covered the vast amount of grants for families with low-income. Today I wanted to talk about the Head Start Grant which has been around since 1965 and is still going strong. This grant was originally an eight-week summer program, organized by a pediatrician and psychology professor of the Johns Hopkins University and the director of Yale Child Study Center. The original program was intended to create a child development program, helping underprivileged children in local communities. However, the program was such a big success it eventually grew out to be a federal grant. The Head Start Program is now run by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
This admirable program has grown out to be one of the most effective grants in the United States and serves more than 1 million children and their families. The Head Start Grant is available for all fifty states, including the Columbia district and Puerto Rico.
The Head Start Grant offers a variety of services to people in need, for example education, healthcare, the management of community resources and development. However, the grant does not follow a laid-out pattern, because all services are amended to fit the families they are meant for.
There are some requirements to be eligible for this grant, although the eligibility is mainly based on income. The federal poverty level is considered during the evaluation of this grant. This poverty level is determined by the United States Census Bureau. A family is generally under this poverty threshold when they have insufficient income to provide basic needs, for example food and clothing.
Even though poverty levels are not always clear and people are often not aware they are entitled to a grant, the program has delivered some excellent results. A 2009 study has shown that students who attended Head Start had generally achieved better academic results. They were also less likely to fall into a life of crime and more likely to obtain a high school or college degree.
Of course, the United States government could not have achieved such an effective program without the help of other institutions and organizations. The Head Start Grant therefore uses a lot of external parties to help provide children and families the help they desperately need. One of these partners is the Office of Child Care or OCC. This institution supports low-income families financially and also plays a role in the education of the children who attend. They provide early childhood care and various afterschool programs.
Another, often forgotten, partner is the EPA or the Environmental Protection Agency. The link between both is not often clear, since you wouldn’t really associate them with a grant like Head Start. However, EPA plays a big part in the work of Head Start, thanks to the educational programs they offer to children and families. One of their most recent ones is promoting smoke-free homes, which protects children from passive smoking.
Applying for this grant is fairly easy, because everything can be done electronically. Families can apply for the Head Start Grant by surfing to the grants website of the United States. On this website you won’t only find the Head Start grant, but all available U.S. grants that you might be eligible for.
It seems like the Head Start Grant had quite an impact on low-income families all across the United States for the past 50 years. What started as an eight-week program grew out to be so much more. The Head Start Grant attracts more volunteers and partners every year, which makes the organization that much stronger. These are the type of remarkable projects that give people on the poverty line new hope for a better tomorrow.