Rochester, NY - One-year old Rylan doesn't talk much yet, but his mother says he thrives in his Head Start Program through Action For A Better Community.
Tyra Barton has sent two of her children through this program and said it has helped them in many ways.
The program offers the neediest families in our area the chance to send children ages six weeks through four years to an all-day pre-school program.
They receive emotional and social support, follow an educational curriculum and get meals, hugs and even a nap during the school day.
But, under the Federal Sequestration cuts, Head Start Programs around the country could lose funding and some could be eliminated.
The local Head Start program is run by Action For A Better Community.
It serves more than 14-hundred children. Families must meet income guidelines to be eligible for the program. That means a family of four cannot earn more than 23-thousand fifty dollars.
A.B.C. Executive Director James Norman said even a five percent cut would mean a loss of 700-thousand dollars in funding. He said that could mean cutting 75 children or more from the pre-school program.
Norman said these are cuts that hit the poorest families in our community and those cuts will be felt.
He also said eliminating this kind of early education hurts children later in life. He said those who have a strong program in pre-school are less likely to get involved in the criminal justice system later in life and are more likely to graduate from high school and pursue a higher education.
Like many others, he hopes Congress will act to prevent some of these massive cuts before the March 1st deadline.