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Head Start drops program in Johnsburg

Johnsburg Central School

Johnsburg Central School

— Low enrollment is causing the Johnsburg-based Head Start program to close after 40 years of service.

Mary Hafner, executive director of Warren County’s Head Start program, explained Tuesday, June 12 that the Johnsburg program requires a minimum enrollment of 16 students to receive federal-grant funding from Health and Human Services. Projected enrollment next year was less than 10.

“We feel bad about this, but we have no choice,” Hafner said.

To help absorb the loss of the program, the Johnsburg Central School is offering double sessions of pre-K.

Johnsburg parents interested in Head Start can still seek help, though.

“We won’t have a center in Johnsburg, but our presence is still there,” Hafner said. “We can take people in our Warrensburg or Chestertown services, or people can apply for our Home Base program.”

The weekly Home Base program focuses on assisting parents with their child’s development at their homes.

To qualify for Head Start, the family must meet criteria based upon certain needs. Young mothers, parents with disabilities, and families referred by doctors or social services are all potentially eligible, Hafner said.

JCS Superintendent Mike Markwica could not be reached for comment by press time.

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