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Nearly $30mil going to Miss. Delta childhood education programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today announced that the U.S. Department of Education is awarding nearly $30 million to childhood education programs in the Mississippi Delta.

The nonprofit Delta Health Alliance (DHA) has been awarded a “Promise Neighborhood” grant, consisting of $5,999,980 per year for five years, to administer to schools and education programs in Leland, Hollandale, Arcola, and Stoneville.  The funding will focus on supporting schools, community programs and family support systems to promote early childhood education, high school graduation and college attendance.

“This grant award is significant and should help improve educational achievement in the Delta,” Cochran said.  “Education is a key to promoting economic growth and well-being of our state, and I’m pleased the Department of Education is making this investment in the Mississippi Delta.”

Cochran is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and serves as a senior member on the appropriations subcommittee with funding jurisdiction over the Department of Education.  He supported the DHA grant application.

DHA applied for the federal grant to establish the “Deer Creek Promise Neighborhood” with partners, among which are the city governments and school districts of Leland and Hollandale, the City of Arcola, area medical and housing organizations, Delta Council, Keplere Institute, Mississippi Delta Community College, and others.

The purpose of the Promise Neighborhood program is to significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children and youth in distressed communities.  The program seeks to transform those communities by increasing coordination of schools, programs, and family support organizations to enable long-term success of local students.

The Deer Creek program will be the second Promise Neighborhood operated by DHA.  In 2012, it was awarded federal funding for a program in Indianola.  At Cochran’s request, Education Secretary John King this year visited the Indianola program and praised its success.

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