A Farmingdale education organization will receive more than $2.7 million in federal funding for Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Kennebec County.

The Southern Kennebec Child Development Corporation, at 337 Maine Ave., Farmingdale, was awarded $2,788,560 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of a $12,905,079 grant being shared by five Maine groups, according to a joint news release Tuesday from U.S. Senators Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine.

“Head Start programs across Maine provide invaluable resources to young children and their families, helping them to develop new skills and build educational opportunities,” the senators said in the statement. “Our Head Start providers work tirelessly to make their communities stronger, and we appreciate this continued federal investment in Maine’s future.”

Cristina Salois, agency director of the Southern Kennebec Child Development Corporation, said the organization, which has service centers in Augusta, Gardiner, South Gardiner and South China, also partners with local school districts to provide prekindergarten programs in Winthrop, Monmouth, Readfield, Chelsea and Vassalboro.

Salois said the funding supports services for 222 Head Start children, ages 3 to 5, and 70 Early Head Start infants, toddlers and pregnant mothers in the Kennebec valley region.

“Many children and their families served by our programs face challenges such as food insecurity, homelessness, domestic violence, addiction and other at-risk factors,” Salois said. “The comprehensive service delivery model supports our agency mission of improving lives and opportunities for children and families.”

The Head Start program, established in 1965, promotes school readiness and provides comprehensive health, nutritional and social services to eligible preschoolers and their families.

Salois said the Southern Kennebec Child Development Corp. has been receiving federal for its Head Start services for 50 years.

The other organizations receiving Head Start grants as part of a multi-year, noncompetitive funding are:

• Aroostook County Action Program in Presque Isle — $3,030,735

• Androscoggin Head Start and Child Care in Lewiston — $1,206,200

• Midcoast Maine Community Action in Bath — $1,308,535

• Penquis Community Action Program Inc. in Bangor — $4,571,049.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

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