A Northeast Ohio coalition focused on early learning has won a 9.4-million dollar Head Start grant to help prepare low-income children for kindergarten. ideastream's David C. Barnett reports that, sometimes, getting a child ready for school involves more than buying pencils and crayons.
The Centers for Families and Children is collaborating with four other partners to form the Learning Coalition --- a group that will use the grant money to focus on the needs of youngsters between the ages of three and five.
The Centers' Elizabeth Newman says the first task is to teach them the basics of going to school.
ELIZABETH NEWMAN: We also have comprehensive wrap-around services that focus on health, dental, nutrition, mental health. We help them with the unique needs of each child. We also have an in-home program where we have teachers that go to families' homes and work with the parent and the child for an intensive 90 minutes a week, if that's a more suitable option for the family."
Newman says the Head Start grant will provide funds for the Learning Coalition to work with more than 1200 children in Cuyahoga County, over the next five years.