Tester Secures Millions for Helena Kids

Senator Announces $2 Million for Helena-Area Head Start Programs

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today secured $2.2 million for Helena’s Head Start program to ensure every child has the chance to succeed.

“Head Start gives Helena’s kids the opportunity to reach their highest potential,” Tester said. “Public education is the backbone of our democracy and by strengthening early education we give our kids and grandkids the resources they need to succeed. This funding is a big win for Helena families and big investment in Montana’s future.”

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a grant to the Rocky Mountain Development Council, Inc. Head Start focuses on providing educational enrichment to low-income children between three years-old and Kindergarten.

“We are proud to be able to continue providing quality early childhood educational and family services to Lewis and Clark, Broadwater and Jefferson counties for our 52nd year,” said Ashley Pena-Larsen, Head Start Director at the Rocky Mountain Development Council. “Our Head Start funding allows us to serve 236 children and their families in five communities throughout the three counties. Children and families are provided with a friendly, stable environment where they have support to meet housing, educational, and occupational goals. Thank you to Head Start for allowing Rocky Mountain Development Council, Inc. to help grow strong families and successful children.”

Tester, a former elementary school teacher and school board member, has been a longtime champion for early education in Montana.

In a major win for early childhood education, Tester worked with Republicans and Democrats to secure $9.8 billion for Head Start initiatives across the country this year.

Tester has also secured similar grants for Butte, Anaconda, Great Falls, Vaughn, Conrad, Shelby, Cut Bank and CSKT Head Start initiatives in the last year.