Lincoln, NE (November 15, 2022) – Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties, which provides access to early childhood education to children age 5 years and under from at-risk backgrounds, has announced a $4.5 million fundraising campaign to complete facility renovations that will create a Home for Head Start at 1843 K Street.
More than $2 million has already been received or pledged for the two-phase renovation of the facility which formerly Lincoln School of Commerce, and most recently a branch of Purdue University. The project will transform the space located at the intersection of K Street and Antelope Valley Parkway from one used for adult education to one for early childhood education. At Community Action’s K Street center, 197 children and their families participate in Head Start programming.
Community Action has been providing early childhood education services through its Head Start programming since the 1960s and serves 493 children and families across its service area. The Home for Head Start campaign seeks to raise $4.5 million to transform the K Street facility into one designed specifically to serve young children. Renovations will include building new classrooms with easily accessible restrooms and handwashing sinks, indoor and outdoor play areas, and spaces for support services offered to Head Start participants and other neighbors. Former Lincoln City Council Member Carl Eskridge is chairing the volunteer fundraising effort.
“Access to quality early childhood education for all is a Lincoln priority,” said Eskridge. “And this project is about just that: ensuring children with the greatest barriers to success get everything they need in a learning environment to be ready for kindergarten and to reach their fullest potential.”
Eskridge is one of over a dozen volunteers dedicated to raising funds for this project, which supports strengthening access to resources in Lincoln’s South of Downtown neighborhood. The facility is located at the intersection of three of Lincoln’s highest poverty neighborhoods, including a community facing a 58 percent poverty rate – the highest anywhere in Lincoln. For Community Action, the building’s proximity combined with the space to bring other programs that support families in achieving their goals was a key selling point for the project.
“Head Start partners with parents because we know the success of a child depends on the success of their family. When parents and caregivers have access to job training, literacy classes, financial coaching, and more, children and families have greater opportunities for success and long-term economic stability,” said Jill Bomberger, Community Action Early Head Start and Head Start Director. “The renovation of this new Home for Head Start will ensure our community’s youngest residents and their families can access the supports they need to thrive for generations to come.”
Community Action completed the first phase of improvements on the lower east portion of the facility in April. Plans call for a second phase of improvements on the west and upper east portions of the facility to begin in early 2023.
“The most important investment we can make is in our children, and every child deserves access to the supports they need to succeed,” said Eskridge. “I invite my fellow community members to join me in contributing to this project today for a stronger Lincoln tomorrow.”
To learn more about Community Action’s Home for Head Start, or to give to support the campaign, visit www.communityactionatwork.org.