Please note: This was published over a year ago. Phone numbers, email addresses and other information may have changed.
Portland CC Earns Head Start-Higher Education Grant
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Community College in Oregon is the recent recipient of one of seven national Head Start-Higher Education Hispanic Service Partnership grants. The college recently received $149,920 for the first year of the four-year grant. It will provide training in early childhood education to Head Start teachers and staff who primarily serve Hispanic children and families. The total award will be close to $600,000 over the life of the grant. The funds will help address the shortage of bilingual Migrant/Head Start teachers in the Portland metro area. Currently just 28.5 percent of Head Start teachers serving Hispanic youth are in compliance with the minimum education standards outlined in the 1998 reauthorization of the Head Start Act. Toward this same endeavor, the college also received $25,000 in August from the Paul G. Allen Charitable Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to promoting the health and development of vulnerable populations and to strengthening families and communities.More than 200 Head Start staff and over 1,000 Head Start children at several sites within the Portland Community College district will benefit. PCC will work closely with community non-profit agencies to deliver the training, including the Community Action Head Start in Washington County and the Oregon Child Development Coalition. The project directors were Maurice McKinnon, PCC division dean of Health and Family Studies, and Susan Sager, director of Early Childhood Education program. McKinnon said, "We have been actively working with our partners over the past one and one-half years to shape this project." She said the program for Head Start teachers and staff would allow for recognition of prior learning experiences. It would also allow full-time child care workers to remain employed while seeking their associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from PCC.The secondary goal of the program, McKinnon added, will be to build bridges between the college and high schools, social service agencies and workforce development programs to expand the pool of qualified Head Start teachers and staff."It will have a tremendous impact on Latino families in our community," she said.