Pathways for Children, the leading provider of early education services on Cape Ann, has been awarded a five-year federal grant that will add Head Start early education services to eight North Shore communities in addition to its present programs on Cape Ann.
According to Pathways' CEO Sue Todd, among the reasons Pathways was awarded the grant, with an annual budget of approximately $2.3 million, is its long and successful record of delivering high quality programs to students and their families. Pathways, which was originally called Child Development Programs of Cape Ann, was started under Gloucester's Action, Inc., 45 years ago.
Pathways today serves children and families in Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, Ipswich and Manchester-by-the-Sea. The eight new communities it will serve, all located in Essex County, are Peabody, Salem, Danvers, and Beverly, Topsfield, Hamilton/Wenham, Middleton and Boxford.
Todd described the mission of Pathways as serving "the best interests of infant through adolescent children and their families -- whether disadvantaged by circumstance or in search of opportunity -- by delivering the empowering gift of quality educational, social development and support services that strengthen the family unit and the community."
She noted that its years of experience, its strong management, its facilities, and its highly qualified staff, along with its geographic proximity make the addition of the eight communities "an ideal fit. We very much look forward to this opportunity to serve children and families throughout the North Shore."
"Pathways for Children has a long record of service to hundreds of children and families in our area. I continue to be impressed with their hard work and commitment to education and social development. Sue Todd and her staff should be extremely proud to be receiving this grant. Students and families in eight new communities will soon benefit from the experience and care offered by the men and women at Pathways," said Congressman John Tierney, who supported Pathways grant application throughout the process.
Katharine Hamilos, chairman of the Pathways' Board of Directors, said the board is "very pleased that the federal government's Head Start office selected Pathways to deliver early education programs to these additional Essex County communities. Many Cape Ann families have benefited greatly from our Head Start, as well as other child and family services, for many years, and we're excited to be able to extend those services to the broader Essex County community."
In addition to Head Start, Pathways provides a variety of programs and services for children from infancy through adolescence and their families. These include programs for infants, and those in preschool to middle school, teen and parent mentoring, family and community engagement initiatives and social and health services for participating families.
Research has shown that high quality early education significantly improves language and math skills and doubles the likelihood that children will attend college.
"These programs directly benefit our communities by enriching minds and ultimately enriching lives. Children develop learning skills, become socially aware and gain confidence, which translates into productive citizenship," Todd noted.
Pathways will assume responsibility for the Head Start services effective July 1 and does not expect any disruption in service to the 232 children and their families being served from the eight communities.
Pathways will be leveraging its management team and staff resources, and will achieve economies of scale, which will allow for an efficient and effective transition and benefit all children and families entrusted to their care.
The new grant will bring the total number of Head Start students served by Pathways to over 400. More than 780 children and their families are served through Head Start and other programs offered by Pathways.