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Press Release

Rep. Castor Announces $6.1M American Rescue Plan Grant for Lutheran Services Florida

Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) announced a $6,122,491 Head Start Emergency Supplemental grant for Lutheran Services Florida (LSF) through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funding is provided through the American Rescue Plan that was passed by Congress and signed by President Biden and is intended to help Head Start students and educators prevent and respond to COVID-19.

“Here in Tampa, Head Start has equipped countless children with the skills needed to succeed in school and move onto meaningful employment opportunities while providing parents with resources to reach their financial and educational goals. Lutheran Services Florida has been an invaluable partner in helping Florida families reach their full potential through Head Start over the years, and I’m proud to announce this $6M grant through the American Rescue Plan. The Covid-19 pandemic has only underscored the urgent needs of local families, and these funds will allow LSF to expand their services to even more of our neighbors. LSF is a lifeline to so many in Florida, and I’m grateful that these federal funds are available to buoy their critical efforts to get children back in school and support the well-being of parents in the months ahead,” said Rep. Castor.

“The first five years of a child’s life are absolutely essential in preparing them for a healthy, happy, and successful future. We are serving less children because of the pandemic and these funds will help us reach more families as we focus on enrollment and re-enrollment for the upcoming school year.  The funds also allow us to address families’ economic security as we partner with them on employment, education and career goals. Our federal partnerships are critical and we appreciate the support of Congresswoman Castor in investing in safe and high-quality learning opportunities for children,” said Bob Bialas, LSF Executive Vice President of Children and Head Start Services.

While in Congress, Rep. Castor has been a champion of Head Start and led the fight to increase funding for Head Start students.

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan includes $1 billion for Head Start programs and $122 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. Rep. Castor has championed robust funding for K-12 schools in federal emergency aid packages to support Hillsborough County Public Schools. Funding for HCPS to date includes: $54.7 million in the CARES Act in March 2020, $222 million in December 2020, and $500 million in the American Rescue Plan.