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Couple provides funding for Head Start program

Washinton, D.C.Laura and John Arnold have provided up to $10 million in emergency funding to keep children in the Head Start program. This support will allow more than 7,000 at-risk children to return to their classrooms.

The Arnolds, who made their money in hedge funds and the oil industries, established the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in 2008.

Arnolds' statement:

Like everyone else, we are disappointed in the stalemate that has led to the federal government's shutdown. Our representatives inability to resolve their differences has caused severe disruptions in the lives of many low-income Americans.  We believe that it is especially unfair that young children from underprivileged communities and working families pay the price for the legislature's collective failures. In an effort to address this injustice, we will help keep the doors open at Head Start programs across the country this month. We sincerely hope that our government gets back to work in short order, as private dollars cannot in the long term replace government commitments.

As a result of the government shutdown this month, many Head Start and Early Head Start programs were forced to close or are facing closure because they have no access to federal funds.

For nearly fifty years, Head Start has been the window of opportunity for more than 27 million of our nations poorest children as they embark on their journey to achieve the American Dream, said Yasmina Vinci, Executive Director of the National Head Start Association in a statement.

The closure of many Head Start programs has forced many low-income parents to miss school or work in order to find other child care options.

Head Start not only provides children with a safe place while their parents are at work or school, they also provide healthy meals, medical screenings, and early learning opportunities so that children may be better prepared for kindergarten.


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Washington Times