The Burlington County Community Action Partnership was awarded $1.9 million for a four-month extension grant by the federal government, Rep. Andy Kim announced last week. 

The grant will go towards funding Head Start and early education projects in New Jersey. 

The Burlington County Community Action Partnership has been around since 1966 and aims to address the needs of vulnerable and under-served communities in the county. The Action Partnership has three separate centers in Burlington, focusing on civic engagement, early education and social services.

“The continued support for our elected officials is critical to maintaining these federal dollars within Burlington County in order to ensure our county’s most vulnerable citizens receive ‘quality’ early education services, starting as young as six week old within our Early Head Start program,” said Dr. Ruben Johnson, who serves as Executive Director of the BCCAP, in a statement.

Head Start programs promote school readiness for infants and children up to age five who come from low-income families. It began as an eight-week summer program provided by the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1965, and was designed to offer children emotional, social, nutritional and psychological  support. Today, Head Start programs can be found in every state, administered by more than 1,000 different agencies. According to the Office of Head Start, their programs reach over a million children each year. 

“When we invest in Burlington County’s young people, we invest in our own future. I look forward to continuing the fight to bring new resources back home to help keep New Jersey a great place to live and raise a family,” Kim said in a statement. 

According to his office, this year Kim has been working to allocate more funding for Head Start programs in his district. In a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Kim noted that the additional resources would allow Burlington County residents to have high quality educational services and to improve learning and health outcomes in their communities.