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Gov. Steve Beshear commended Carroll County for its commitment to education during his trip to Carrollton on Friday. Carroll County Schools recently announced that it had received a two-year, $2.12 million federal stimulus grant to create an Early Head Start program.
“This has been a very long awaited day… but now we’ve really got work to do because now we’ve got to implement it and make sure it happens,” Carroll County Community Development Corporation President Bill Welty said.
CCCDC and the school district partnered to write and apply for the grant, which will benefit zero to three-year-old children, as well as pregnant women and their families in the county.
“I am committed to make sure that each one of our kids in this state regardless of where they’re from, regardless of what their income is, regardless of what their circumstances are, that each one of our children get the healthy and educational start in life that they need to be successful,” Beshear said.
Ky. Sen. Ernie Harris (R) sent a congratulatory letter to the ceremony, read by Carroll County Superintendent Lisa James.
“An investment in early education is an investment in the future workforce of the county,” he said. “The benefits to be derived from this grant are many; the need for this benefit are very real.”
Beshear echoed this sentiment and said programs such as Head Start provide both short-term and long-term assistance.
“With this grant, Head Start will now have more resources to better train staff, to individualize services and to provide parents with the knowledge they need to maintain a strong family,” he said.
Welty also agreed and advised Carroll County residents to be patient with the program.
“Hopefully you will not think that in the next twelve months it’s going to make a big change in this community because this is something that’s going to take time,” he said.
Beshear emphasized that while he is pleased with the county’s progress and dedication to education, he is not ready to end his campaign for a better-educated state.
“Have we reached our goal? No we haven’t, and I’m not sure that we’ll ever be able to sit down and say, ‘Well, we’re done; we’ve done it all.’ That’s not how it works,” he said. “But I can tell you this: We are making a lot of progress in spite of difficult times, and you’re making progress here for one main reason… the only way you can get things done is by pulling together.”