Handy Head Start to lose building

New space will be needed after July
Handy Head Start in Florence
Handy Head Start in Florence
Published: Mar. 8, 2019 at 4:20 PM CST
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FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - The Florence City School Board has decided to take back the building that was being used for Handy Head Start program.

The decision means more than 200 children and their teachers are looking for a new school to call home.

Florence City Schools superintendent Jimmy Shaw told WAFF the school system has plans to start its own pre-school this fall.

Now, Head Start must find a new building quickly so the children can stay in school and the teachers can keep their jobs.

Director of Children Services for Community Action for North Alabama said she learned that the building would need to be vacated by July. The Florence Board of Education made a deal with Community Action more than 5 years ago allowing them to use the building if took over the federally funded program.

Dodd said she is disappointed for families in staff, but adds, that the building is the property of the Florence City School Board.

“They have been kind to let us use it," said Dodd.

Now, Head Start has no choice but to hurry and find a big enough space that can house 200 kids and 50 teachers. They need at least 13 classrooms.

Some parents are concerned for their children who have special needs. Patricia Martin says the head start program is a big help for her child’s development so the idea of the program possibly not being in place would be detrimental.

“Everybody is unsure of where their child is going to be at and it is a big deal because a lot of parents depend on this they get the diapers, wipes, and there are other needs and necessities that we get here now its like where is my child going to go," said Martin.

Dodd told WAFF her message to parents is to not worry or stress. She says that Head Start leadership is doing everything it can to find a new building.

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