Black Belt Community Foundation unveils new Head Start facility

Published 3:53 pm Sunday, March 18, 2018

By Adam Dodson | The Selma Times-Journal

Selma’s brand-new Black Belt Community Foundation Head Start facility hosted its first ever open house Thursday, as they introduced themselves as the city’s newest place of learning.

The newly-furnished nine classroom building is located on Citizens Parkway behind the West Central Alabama Rehabilitation Center with five classrooms planned for BBCF Head Start students and the other four classrooms for Early Head Start students. The building used to serve as a location for Easter Seals.

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According to Black Belt Community Foundation president, Felecia Lucky, the Head Start students will be students originally assigned for Edgewood Elementary.

The open house served as an opportunity to thank all parties involved in making the inception of the new Head Start possible, from those responsible for securing the 2017 Head Start grant to those who got the building up to code.

One of main facilitators behind the entire process is Lucky, who was thrilled to unveil Selma’s newest educational facility.

“There is a sense of pride to be here at this new facility. The parents have always been on board for this. It provides kids with a high-quality education from birth. It provides a clean facility,” Lucky said. “I believe it can provide stability to our region.”

Securing the funds for the building and coming up with a solid plan have been in the making since Summer of 2017, with Lucky and other concerned individuals understanding that there are children in the Dallas County area not receiving the education or attention they deserve.

Although thrilled to receive the money for Head Start, they knew that there was still work to be done, with even the smallest of details needing to be worked out.

While the BBCF may have received funds for the facility, this does not mean everything was taken care of, including man-power needed to get everything ready.

However, they found a way to make it work, and are now able to show off Selma’s new pride and joy to the community. According to Lucky, there are a vast number of people to thank for making their dreams a reality.

This includes Kaplan, Inc., an organization committed to the proper education of students nationwide, who completely furnished the Head Start building for the BBCF.

Alabama representative for Kaplan, Arthur Nelson, says that it was a pleasure for them to be involved in the well-being of kids in the Black Belt area, and that the rewards will follow.

“We gave them what is known as ‘the white glove treatment.’ We shipped all the furniture from our corporate location in Lewisville, North Carolina, unboxed it for them and set it up,” Nelson said.

“We are a family-oriented organization, and I get excitement from helping out children. If we help them out, they will reciprocate.”

In addition to their charitable contributions to BBCF Head Start, Nelson says that everything provided by Kaplan has a lifetime warranty.

The Head Start program will serve children ages 3-5, while Early Head Start will be for children ages 0-3. Head Start began class operations the first day of March, while Early Head Start will begin operations shortly.

The 11,000-square foot building will also host a culinary center and a new playground.