This historic Memphis institution was just awarded $3.7M in grants to support Head Start programs

What’s happening: It’s good news for Porter-Leath Inc. at the start of the school year as Congressman Steve Cohen recently announced that the Memphis institution will receive more than $3.75 million in grants to operate its Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Shelby County. 

In detail: The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Head Start has awarded Porter-Leath Inc. two grants that total $3,781,648 in support of their Head Start and Early Head Start programs. ACF, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, administers the early education and well-being programs on a national level. 

Memphis made: Porter-Leath Inc. traces its Memphis roots all the way back to the year 1850, when a group of Memphians founded what was then the Protestant Widows’ and Orphans’ Asylum in downtown Memphis. The organization would move to their historic 9-acre Manassas campus in 1854. Porter-Leath Inc. was recently in the news just this past July when they sold the campus to the Community Redevelopment Agency with the promise that the CRA would preserve the historic campus.

What it is: Head Start programs are available to those children whose families’ incomes are at or below federal poverty guidelines or receive a number of public assistance services. According to ACF, “Head Start programs support children's growth from birth to age 5 through services centered around early learning and development, health, and family well-being. Head Start staff actively engage parents, recognizing family participation throughout the program as key to strong child outcomes.”

Click HERE to learn more about eligibility requirements for Head Start programs and HERE to learn more about those programs offered at Porter-Leath Inc. and its various locations.

Why it’s important: “I’m pleased that Porter-Leath will be receiving this Head Start funding to help ensure children in our community will be ready for the classroom and the future,” Congressman Cohen says in a statement. “Head Start provides essential preparation and needed skills for Shelby County children so that they are academically and socially ready to succeed in an increasingly complex world. Early Head Start programs provide these essential skills to younger children. This continued funding is an investment in our community, its children and its future.”

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