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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jul. 1, 202011:44 AM EST

FIS awards $100,000 for Head Start programs

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The grant will help Lutheran Services Florida serve at-risk children and their families.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Fidelity National Information Systems awarded a $100,000 grant to Lutheran Services Florida to update technology for the Head Start and Early Head Start Child Care Partnership programs in Duval County.

The FIS Foundation made the grant. In 2019, the foundation provided nearly $1.2 million in annual donations to charitable organizations aligned with the company’s giving priorities, according to a news release.

Because of COVID-19, Lutheran Services Florida Head Start and Early Head Start began offering virtual learning to children in March. It also offered weekly distribution of food, diapers and other essential needs to families. 

The pandemic intensified a technology problem affecting families being served by virtual education.

Computers and smartphones allowed Duval County Head Start and Early Head Start to engage with more than 1,100 families to close out the 2019-20 school year. However, about 200 families lacked the technology to access virtual education.

The grant will help Lutheran Services Florida update technology for those families who do not have devices at home and also support center-based classroom instruction and child development assessments.

Lutheran Services Florida Head Start provides early childhood education to children in Duval, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Palm Beach counties. In Duval County, it serves more than 1,400 low-income, at-risk children and their families.

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