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Tampa-Based LSF To Run Duval County Head Start

Lutheran Services Florida

Tampa-based Lutheran Services Florida, or LSF, has been awarded a $18 million grant to manage Duval County’s Head Start program.The organization expects to be fully operational June 1.

LSF is the largest provider of Head Start management in the state.

Over 1,400 Duval County children will be served under Head Start, and more than 300 will be in the early Head Start program.

LSF will also partner with Lutheran Social Services to expand the number of Head Start programs.

LSF President and CEO Sam Sipes said they will work closely with community members.

"We believe Head Start shouldn't be operated in a silo," he said. "It's not something that you do without a lot of participation and collaboration with other serving organizations in the community and we're really excited about the partnerships that we've been able to build with each of you."    

Eight daycare centers will serve as Head Start locations. Sipes said they will work with current interim Head Start management organization Community Development Institute to ensure a smooth transition. LSF will spend the next two months signing up students and their families.

The Jacksonville Urban League lost it's federal Head Start funding last August.

You can follow Kevin Meerschaert on Twitter @KMeerschaertJax.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.