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Easterseals and Lourie Center Selected as Early Head Start and Head Start Grantees for Prince George's County in Maryland

Release Date: September 12, 2018

Silver Spring & Rockville, Md. – Easterseals DC MD VA (Easterseals) and The Lourie Center for Children’s Social & Emotional Wellness (Lourie Center) have been selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human (DHHS) Services as the two Head Start grantees for Maryland’s Prince George’s County. Head Start programs promote school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families and were designed to help break the cycle of poverty by providing a comprehensive program to meet children’s emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological needs. These awards will enable more than 400 children to attend Head Start (3-5 years) and Early Head Start (0-3 years) programs at no cost.

Easterseals received a grant of $18.6 million over 5 years plus $3.3 million for start-up to serve 218 children annually in a center-based program. They will serve children living in southern Prince George’s County, including, among other areas, Capitol Heights, Clinton, District Heights, Eastover, Forest Heights, Forestville, Fort Washington, Glassmanor, Hillcrest Heights, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, Suitland, and Upper Marlboro.

Easterseals will begin serving children of eligible families on September 4, and its Head Start program will be delivered in partnership with Shine Early Learning, a leading national provider of Head Start service and training. In addition to providing the quality early care and education services that are the basis of Head Start, Easterseals will bring a broad range of support services such as early intervention, health, mental health, and family supports like financial literacy training and nutrition education through its own programing and in partnership with health and human services departments, and other local nonprofits in Prince George's County.

“We are honored to be selected as the provider of this critical program for the southern part of Prince George’s County,” said Jon Horowitch, President and CEO of Easterseals DC MD VA. “Having provided early care and education services for underserved children for over 70 years, Easterseals understands that participating in a high-quality child development program creates life-changing opportunities. Easterseals is committed to building a program that ensures that the children we serve – regardless of the challenge of poverty, disability, English as a second language, homelessness, or any other risk factor - are ready to thrive in kindergarten and beyond when they reach school age. This program is an important step in achieving our vision of creating a hopeful, inclusive community where all individuals realize their potential and live meaningful lives.”

For more information about the Easterseals Head Start programs, please email headstart@eseal.org.

The Lourie Center was also awarded by DHHS $14.9 million over 5 years to provide center-based and home-based Early Head Start/Head Start programs to 200 eligible children annually living in the upper northern communities of Prince George’s County, Maryland. This includes communities located in the North County and Central County areas, including Adelphi, Beltsville, Berwyn Heights, Bladensburg, Bowie, Mt. Rainier, Hyattsville, College Park, Greenbelt, Landover, Laurel, and Riverdale.

 “We are thrilled to have been selected as the Head Start grantee for the upper North and Central communities in Prince George’s County. The award enables the Lourie Center to expand our ongoing services as part of Prince George’s County’s continuum of early childhood care with a focus on comprehensive early childhood development and education, and family engagement.  We are especially honored with this award as two of our founders Dr. Reginald S. Lourie and Dr. T. Berry Brazelton were instrumental in establishing Head Start and researching its positive impact on child and family development,” said Jimmy Venza, Ph.D., the Center’s Executive Director.  

The Lourie Center will expand services on October 1 through a seamless Early Head Start and Head Start model serving pregnant women and children birth to five. This program will provide full-day, full-week, and full-year Head Start center-based and home-based options. Outreach will focus on the needs of teen parents, including pregnant teens, children with disabilities, children with social and emotional challenges, homeless families, and dual language learners. 

For more information about the Lourie Center’s Head Start Program, please visit https://www.louriecenter.org.

Head Start and Early Head Start are federal programs that support the mental, social, and emotional development of children from birth to age 5, and promotes school readiness. Head Start services encourages the role of parents as their children's first and most important teachers, and are responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage.

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Easterseals DC MD VA – For nearly 100 years, Easterseals has been the indispensable resource for children, adults, families and veterans living – and thriving – with disabilities and special needs in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Through the innovative, inclusive and person-centered work we do, we are strengthening our community and changing the way the world defines and views disability. We are committed to making profound, positive differences in the daily lives of the people we serve. www.eseal.org

The Lourie Center for Children's Social & Emotional Wellness is a private, non-profit agency with a mission to improve the social and emotional health of young children and their families through prevention, early intervention, education, research and training. The Center was founded in 1983 by the late Dr. Reginald S. Lourie, a world-wide leader in the fields of pediatric child psychiatry and infant mental health, and his colleagues, including Dr. T. Berry Brazelton and Dr. Stanley Greenspan, as an outgrowth of their six-year clinical research project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. In July 2006, the Center joined Adventist HealthCare, Inc. Impacting more than 4,000 children and families in the Washington metropolitan area, the Center is a pioneer and leader in the field of infant and child mental health. www.louriecenter.org

Contact: Jenny Chang
jchang@eseal.org

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