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Local Head Start program in running for excellence designation

Area Head Start programs have been recognized for their effectiveness. Cooperative Educational Services Agency #11 (CESA #11) was one of three Head Start Programs in Wisconsin to be nominated by Gov. Jim Doyle to compete for the designation as a Head Start Center of Excellence in Early Childhood at the national level.

Doyle said he made the nomination based on the CESA 11 Head Start Program's exemplary model of implementing innovative and targeted approaches to enhancing services for young learners.

Doyle noted that the area program produced positive, measurable outcomes for children's school readiness and sucess by supporting families and by increasing staff skills.

The Centers of Excellence program was established in 2007. The program allows the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Head Start to select and fund 10 Centers of Excellence.

As a result of CESA 11's nomination, the area program is eligible to compete for one of the 10 federal designations. If chosen, CESA 11 Head Start would be awarded $200,000 a year for five years to enhance its services.

CESA 11 Head Start/Early Head Start programs currently provide comprehensive early childhood education and services to 764 children ages birth to 5 and their families throughout a seven-county area in northwest Wisconsin (St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, Pepin, Dunn, Barron and Chippewa counties).

Centers are located in New Richmond, Hager City, Dallas, Balsam Lake, Menomonie, Boyd, Rice Lake, Chippewa Falls, Colfax and Cornell.

The Head Start programs are currently enrolling students for the 2010-11 school year.