The grant, from the state Children, Youth and Families Department, will allow the local Healthy Start program to continue despite the loss of federal funding last year.
The program is part of a state initiative to serve areas with high teen pregnancy rates, high single-mother birth rates, low median family incomes and high unemployment. Luna County qualifies on every front.
County Staffer Rheganne Vaughn said Luna County Healthy Start is transitioning to an evidence-based model of service delivery, utilizing the national Parents as Teachers program.
The local program was accepted as a national Parents as Teachers affiliate in January, and the staff members recently were certified to administer the curriculum.
The program includes home-visiting services and support groups to help achieve the goals of healthy babies… children who are nurtured by parents and caregivers… children who are physically and mentally ready for school… children and families who are safe… and families who are connected to formal and informal support systems in the community.
Luna County Healthy Start is located in the county annex at 321 West Spruce Street.