A nonprofit group that focuses on the needs of western U.P. kids gets a helping hand from the federal stimulus bill.
It’ll open up Head Start services to area families who haven’t been helped before.
The BHK Child Development Board serves Baraga, Houghton and Keweenaw Counties.
The stimulus boost will help them serve nearly 40 more pregnant women and families than they already do.
It expands the Head Start program by nearly 30%.
And it couldn’t have come at a better time.
BHK executive director Denise VanDyken says over the summer, the group was worried about funding sources starting to dry up.
She says if that had happened, it would have been devastating for area families.
This money will prevent that.
BHK will also be adding jobs.
They’re hiring 5 full-time people as well as 2 part-time teachers.
They’re trying to keep the expanded Head Start going well past the stimulus money running out in 2011.
VanDyken says the group will address that by hiring someone from the area to do community-based fundraising.
BHK is receiving nearly $500,000 from the stimulus bill.
Pregnant women and low-income families with kids 3 years old and younger are eligible for Head Start.