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More than $1 million awarded to local Head Start organizations

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Article courtesy of The Oakland Press

Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency board member Beverly Beltramo spent some time reading to preschoolers as part of the Head Start program. OLHSA recently received a $100,000 grant from Community Foundation’s Head Start Innovation Fund.

Photo from OLHSA’s Facebook


To kick off the New Year, Community Foundation’s Head Start Innovation Fund awarded nine grants of $100,000 to $150,000 to the following organizations:

· Four equal grants, totaling in $600,000, were provided to Matrix Human Services, Metropolitan Children and Youth, St. Paul Tabernacle Head Start Agency and Starfish Family Services. These investments focused on agencies serving children in the city of Detroit. The grants support professional development efforts to improve classroom assessment scoring system (CLASS) scores and address teacher recruitment and retention.

· Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency was awarded a $100,000 grant to launch new teacher recruitment and retention strategies leveraging its Trauma Smart trained staff to support teachers and candidates in Oakland and Livingston counties experiencing significant personal trauma.

· Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency received a grant to expand the LEAP to Teach program as an innovative teacher recruitment strategy to help candidates earn their Child Development Associate (CDA).

· The Guidance Center, serving southeast Michigan, was awarded a grant to implement childhood mental health consultation by providing teaching staff in-classroom support from infant mental health specialists.

· Starfish-Western Wayne, serving Plymouth, Inkster, Livonia and Redford, received a grant to support teacher development and retention strategies to provide reward and recognition to employees and mentoring for new staff.

· Macomb County received a grant to support teacher retention strategies including Trauma Smart trained staff to support new teachers; growing their partnership with Macomb County Community Mental Health and will hire a recruitment consultant to engage with local Macomb county high school students.

Since 2013, the Head Start Innovation Fund has promoted models and collaborative partnerships that increase the quality of Head Start programs and improve overall outcomes for vulnerable children and their families. This latest round of grants continues support for nearly 9,000 young children and their families enrolled in local Head Start agencies in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

For more information about the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, visit

-Submitted by David Stoyka

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