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Union County Head Start Receives Grant From American Rescue Plan Act

Daniel Prince

Grant will expand programs to address learning loss

Union County First Steps has received $139,576 in grants from South Carolina First Steps. The grant is part of the state organization’s initiative with the SC Department of Education to support parents as the first and most important teacher of their young child. The grant will expand high-intensity, evidence-based parenting programs in Union County to address potential learning loss in children due to the pandemic.

The grant is mostly funded by the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. The rest of the money comes from Preschool Development Grant Funds.

The grant was a competitive process overseen by senior leadership at SC First Steps. Union County received higher consideration for being an area of the state that has been negatively impacted by learning loss during the pandemic.

Executive Director Nicole Glenn stated, “We are forever grateful to receive this grant to expand our Parents as Teachers program. By receiving this grant, we are able to serve additional families in need, to ensure that even more children enter kindergarten ready to learn.”

The state organization states that Union County First Steps has a proven record of effectively addressing the high need for evidence-based parenting programs. These intensive home visiting and group parenting models have demonstrated school readiness outcomes nationally through experimental and quasi experimental studies.

The SC Department of Education received $211 million in total from the ESSER fund, with $14.7 million allocated to SC First Steps.

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