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Head Start to move to DeWitt Clinton

Head Start in Lockport will move from its current location in Grace Episcopal Church to the DeWitt Clinton Elementary School building, Superintendent Terry Ann Carbone announced.

Moving to DeWitt Clinton will allow the program to expand in Lockport, something it hasn't been able to easily do at the Genesee Street church, said Shawn Licht, executive director of the Niagara County Head Start.

The program has been in Lockport for more than 20 years.

"We've seen historically that we've had a waiting list of children we were unable to service," Licht said. "There are more children out there we can serve by expanding."

Niagara County Head Start contacted the Lockport City School District when talk began about closing two elementary schools in the city because of budget problems and a 10 percent reduction in state aid to the district.

DeWitt Clinton and John Pound Elementary were chosen to close because of declining aid and falling enrollment.

Licht hopes to have the Head Start program up and running at DeWitt in September, following day-care inspections of the building.

"The last thing we wanted to do was shut one of our elementary buildings," Carbone said.

Carbone said the move would benefit the community, and in the future could lead to the district selling the building to Head Start or another organization, through a proposition and vote by district residents.

e-mail: niagaranews@buffnews.com

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