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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Councilman Igliozzi Announces New Program for Providence Children & Families

New Head Start Program Slated for Ralph Street

City Councilman John J. Igliozzi (Ward 7) announced that the City Council unanimously approved a 20-year lease with Children’s Friend & Service, which will run the city’s Head Start program at the site of the old Ralph Street School at 77 Ralph Street, located in Ward 7.

Children’s Friend & Service will invest $3 million in the renovation and remodeling of the building, which is located at the intersection of Ralph and Plainfield Streets. Igliozzi stated that, “The project will benefit the neighborhood I represent, and provide much-needed services to children and families within the immediate community, as well as throughout Providence and surrounding communities.” The Head Start center will serve Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls residents, with programming offered for children from three to five years old. 

The prior Head Start program, also located at the Ralph Street address, lost federal funding due to poor management, and was forced to shut its doors in 2007. Children’s Friend and Service was subsequently selected to run the program by the Administration for Children and Families of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Igliozzi explained that in order to ensure the longevity and success of the Head Start program, the City of Providence negotiated a 20-year lease with Children’s Friend and Service. 

Work on the building is scheduled to begin next year. Also planned is a new playground. 

“The project will revitalize a prime area in the seventh ward, and at the same time, the Children’s Friend & Service-McMichael Center will provide critical services to neighborhood families,” Igliozzi said.