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Lincoln County Head Start Avoids Shutdown

Head Start U.S.

Two Head Start programs in Lincoln County have averted closure due to assistance from Oregon’s Early Learning Division.

Head Start provides preschool programs as well as health, nutrition and social services to low-income families. Due to the federal shutdown, the programs in Lincoln City and Toledo were running out of time. The agency had sent out *25 layoff notices and prepared for suspending classes as well as supplemental food and weekend programs. Dr. Suzanne Miller, Lincoln County’s Head Start Director, said October 31st would have been their last day:

Miller: “And we would’ve had to start telling parents, oh, next week, to start making other plans.”

But the state’s Early Learning Division announced it will provide over 73-thousand dollars to cover costs for the month of November. When she found out, Dr. Miller was so happy she ran into a nearby classroom to spread the news. She said the kids didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about:

Miller: “But I made it sound so exciting, they all jumped up and started clapping and shouting ‘hurrah.’ It was so sweet. It makes your heart just open.”

Lane County Head Start directors were unavailable for comment.

Karen Richards has been a KLCC reporter since the fall of 2012.