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$21.9 million awarded to head start programs across Illinois


(WSIL) -- U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) Wednesday announced a total of $21.9 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to support the return to fully operational, in-person Head Start services.

The money is aimed to help children most impacted by the pandemic, including low-income and those in underserved communities.

The following Head Start agencies have been awarded funding in our region:

Southern Illinois and Metro East

  • B.C.M.W. Community Services, Inc. (Centralia): $457,063
  • Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University (Carbondale): $403,221
  • Centerstone of Illinois, Inc. (Marion): $101,703
  • Community Link, Inc. (Breese): $64,611
  • Illinois Valley Economic Development Corp (Gillespie): $285,964
  • Mount Vernon City Schools, District 80 (Mount Vernon): $260,837
  • Riverbend Head Start and Family Services (Alton): $908,144
  • Southern Seven Health Department (Ullin): $564,748
  • Wabash Area Development, Inc. (Enfield): $571,927
  • Western Egyptian Economic Opportunity Council (Steeleville): $368,522

“This Head Start funding is an example of the critical economic support that the American Rescue Plan is providing for communities around Illinois,” Durbin said. “Many of the families served by these programs live in communities that have been disproportionately devastated by the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This federal funding will help build the foundation for lifelong success by supporting early learning, health, and family well-being.”

“Early Head Start and Head Start programs are critical for kids throughout Illinois to have the tools they need to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom,” Duckworth said. “Investments in early childhood education and parental support programs aren’t just critical during this pandemic, they are investments in our future. I’m proud to continue supporting this program with Senator Durbin to help children reach their full potential.”

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Kenzie Dillow

Kenzie Dillow is the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at News 3 WSIL. She joined the team in 2016 as a video editor, moved into a Producer role in 2017 and took over the SMDCM position in 2021. Kenzie graduated from SIU Carbondale in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Sports Broadcasting and a minor in Advertising.

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