BRIDGEPORT, CT - Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) visited Action for Bridgeport Community Development (ABCD) today to formally announce the Head Start and Early Head Start grants they were recently awarded. ABCD won a competitive grant for these programs, and will receive an additional sum of $1,848,754 to support its programs through October of this year and $9,681,217 yearly for the next five years.

“I am pleased to be here today to congratulate ABCD on receiving these competitive and well-deserved grants,” Himes said. “Early childhood education programs like Head Start are some of the smartest investments we can make as a nation. They lead to better academic, professional, and social outcomes for our children and improve our communities. I look forward to continuing to work with ABCD on their Head Start and Total Learning programs, and I thank them for all of their hard work in educating our kids in Southwest Connecticut.”

"As a parent, I've seen first-hand how important early childhood education programs like Head Start are to ensuring future success for our kids. And research clearly shows that if our kids aren't reading at the level they need to be by third grade, they're less likely to graduate. That's why further investments in educating our kids, starting early, are vital to making certain that they are prepared to one day attend college and compete for 21st century jobs. Thanks to Congressman Himes for his hard work in helping to prepare our kids to compete for the jobs of tomorrow," Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said.

“We accept this award with enormous pleasure and pride.  Over the years ABCD has provided thousands of children and families with the highest quality of child care and developmental services in preparing our young with a solid foundation for achieving a successful future.  Our dedicated staff will continue to make that happen.  This award is a tribute to them as well and we applaud them,” said Charles B. Tisdale, Executive Director at ABCD.

Himes has been a strong supporter of the Head Start program and an advocate for early education. Earlier this year, he introduced two bills to expand access to and improve the quality of early education programs. The Total Learning Act provides assistance to community partnerships focused on implementing advanced early education curricula, modeled after the renowned Total Learning program utilized with great success by Action for Community Development in Bridgeport. The Supporting Early Learning Act establishes two competitive grant programs to help states implement or improve early learning systems, particularly for children in low-income areas.