The United States Department of Health and Human Services has designated East Coast Migrant Head Start Project (ECMHSP) as the grantee to provide Head Start services to agricultural workers in the states of Indiana and Oklahoma. In accordance with the terms and conditions of a federal grant award due to be issued on or before January 1, 2021, ECMHSP will receive $4,998,607 annually. ECMHSP will provide high-quality and comprehensive Head Start services to 236 children of agricultural workers in nine Head Start centers. ECMHSP anticipates opening its doors to farmworkers families in the late spring of 2021 with the start of the agricultural seasons.
“We are thrilled to bring our successful proven model of Head Start services to the hardworking farmworker families residing in Indiana and Oklahoma,” noted Maria C. Garza, ECMHSP’s Chief Executive Officer. “We have decades of experience serving farmworker communities up and down the east coast,” Mrs. Garza continued, “and we will leverage this opportunity to ensure we meet the needs of our new families in Indiana and Oklahoma.”
ECMHSP was aided in its funding application through the support of many community partners including the Indiana Department of Migrant Education, Proteus, Inc., Indiana Legal Services, Inc., and Telamon Corporation. ECMHSP works shoulder-to-shoulder with its community partners in the states in which it operates. Partnering with the organizations who serve the farmworker communities in Indiana and Oklahoma will be a high priority for ECMHSP as it transitions into these new service areas.
East Coast Migrant Head Start Project was established in 1974 through a grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Under the leadership of Sister Geraldine O’Brien, Head Start centers were opened along the east coast of the United States to ensure continuity of services, as families migrated to work in agriculture. Currently, ECMHSP operates 38 Head Start Centers in seven states.