Porter-Leath applies for Head Start grant - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

Porter-Leath applies for Head Start grant

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Porter-Leath, the primary resource for Memphis' at-risk children and families, said Thursday is has applied to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to serve as a Head Start grantee for Shelby County.

Porter-Leath said in a news release the grant is expected to be awarded to Shelby County in early 2014.

"Providing top-quality early childhood education for Shelby County's most at-risk children has been at the forefront of our mission since 1996," said Sean Lee, president at Porter-Leath. "We make sure children get the best start in life and are ready to learn, families are armed with the resources they need to support their children as they grow, and that both are empowered to achieve healthy, optimal and independent lives. Through this competition, we have informed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of our desire and capacity to serve our community and we look forward to their decision."

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Shelby County Commissioners on Oct. 14 said the county wanted out of the Head Start business and the commission wouldn't run the Head Start program anymore. It suggested the program could be run by a coalition between nonprofit Porter-Leath Children's Center and the Shelby County Schools.

The countywide school district has yet to mention if it applied to HHS to also serve as a grantee for Shelby County.

Porter-Leath said it has a proven track record in early childhood services, as the organization has been providing home visiting services for young mothers since 1996, serving as an Early Head Start grantee since 1999 and Shelby County Head Start delegate agency since 2000, showing strong outcomes for children through program evaluations and stewardship of these programs with effective oversight.

With six different focus areas that meet the needs of at-risk children and their families, the organization served more than 8,000 children and families in 2012. Porter-Leath currently provides high-quality education and resources for more than 900 children and their families through the organization's pre-kindergarten, Early Head Start and Head Start centers.

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