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State Launches New Program To Help Vulnerable Kids

The Agency of Human Services announced Friday that seven Vermont communities will be part of a new, two-year program to help vulnerable children.

The “Promise Communities” will get guidance from  Promise Community coaches to develop a plan that will unite education, social services, health care and the private sector “to create an all-of-the-above, comprehensive approach to transforming communities to better support children with high needs,” according to a news release.

The communities are:

  • Barre City and Barre Town
  • Bellows Falls
  • Green Street to Canal Street in Brattleboro
  • Franklin County Early Childhood Programs region (includes the schools of Franklin Central and Franklin Northwest Supervisory Unions)
  • Rutland City
  • St. Johnsbury
  • Winooski

The communities were chosen by a selection committee that evaluated economic, education and child care data for communities across the state, the release said. The program is being lead by Julianne Nickerson of the Agency of Human Services. Nickerson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
Each selected community will receive grants of up to $200,000 once they’ve developed a plan with their coaches. The money comes from a $36.9 million federal grant “to help build a high-quality and accessible early childhood system in the state,” the release said.

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