Franklin, Courtland, IOW Head Starts reportedly closed

Published 3:57 pm Monday, February 28, 2011

NORFOLK—The Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project in Norfolk announced Monday it would no longer serve 31 Head Start centers in Hampton Roads.

The agency operates the Head Starts in Franklin, Courtland and Isle of Wight. No one answered the phone at any of the Head Starts in Western Tidewater on Monday.

Parents reportedly learned the news from letters posted at the closed centers. Head Start is a federally funded program for 3- to 5-year-olds from low-income families. The letters reportedly indicated the program would be turned over to an interim agency with hopes of reopening the centers on Monday, March 14.

The board of directors for STOP on Thursday voted to close the centers effective March 1.

No one from STOP could be reached for additional comment .

The closure will not affect the Early Head Start program at the Children’s Center in Franklin, said Community Relations Coordinator Jeff Ziegler. The program is not operated by STOP.

The Children’s Center is funded for 256 children, from newborn through age 3, and their parents, Ziegler said.