NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB)- Hundreds of children in Niagara County will walk out of Head Start programs for the last time on Friday. Niagara County Head Start serves more than 400 children each year.
“He’s used to the teachers and other people he’s working with,” said Frank Houseman, who’s son attends the program. “Now, when he goes to the new school he’s going to have to start off with a whole new teacher.”
Houseman said Head Start discovered his son has a learning disability and gave him speech therapy. Now, he’s ahead of the curve. Houseman is worried changing schools will be a set-back for his son.
“It’s not going to be as personal as it was here,” he said. “I think that the people that worked here are not getting the credit they deserved.”
All 100 employees will lose their jobs when the entire program shuts down on June 30. News 4 has learned a new organization will take over the program on July 1 but the name of that group is not being released yet.
Head Start Fiscal Manager Ken Volz said they do not know if employees will be kept on by the new organization.
Officials have also not been able to tell News 4 how many students the new program will serve or if families will have to reapply with the new group.
People living near the school told us they’re concerned about what will happen to the building.
“What comes next?” asked Harry Hostler, who lives across the street. “Are we going to get the same thing as we have now or are we going to get something else the state is going to throw at us?”
Hostler said before Head Start moved into this building, they had problems with crime.
“It’s sad to see them go,” said Hostler. “We’d love to see them stay longer.”
School officials told us once students leave, they will get the building classroom-ready in case the new organization wants to use it.