KCPS Celebrates Opening of Early Head Start Center

New program serves children up to age 3 whose parents attend Central Academy of Excellence

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A Central Academy of Excellence student and father of a child in the new Central Early Head Start Center talks about how the program helps keep him in school and prepares his baby to succeed. (PHOTOS BY: Ray Weikal/KCPS)

Kansas City, Sept. 8, 2017:  Kansas City Public Schools hosted a grand opening celebration for its new Central Early Head Start Center Friday morning, Sept. 8 at Central Academy of Excellence.

The center provides free, high-quality Early Head Start educational programming during the school day for the children of KCPS students enrolled at Central Academy. Early Head Start is part of a federal program that provides an early, continuous, intensive and comprehensive child development program to children under the age of 3 and whose family’s incomes are at or below the federal poverty line.

This is the only Early Head Start center in the Kansas City, Mo. region operating specifically to assist high school students with young children. The center reflects the commitment in the new KCPS Strategic Plan to increase early childhood education and make the school system a place that provides the academic, social and emotional support necessary so that all students can achieve their college and/or career goals.

“This program fits right in with our new strategic plan because it is helping keep young parents in school and allowing us to start educating their children at a much earlier age,” Superintendent Mark Bedell said. “This is a great example of the community coming together to meet the needs of our children.”

The grand opening and ribbon-cutting celebration included remarks by Dr. Bedell, Central Academy Principal Anthony Madry and program coordinator Bethann Smith. The event also recognized representatives from the Mid-America Regional Council, the federal Office of Head Start and the Stanley H. Durwood Foundation, all of which are providing financial and other critical support for the center.

After the ribbon-cutting, attendees toured the facility and learned more about how the program operates. Visit the KCPS Flickr site to view more photos.

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