first_img The Colorado-based Community Development Institute, hired to operate the 26 Head Start Schools until a permanent replacement for the Latin American Civic Association can be found, said federal officials told them not to speak to the press. Head Start teachers, parents and their kids were thrilled to see Dolores Huerta Center open for instruction, from teeth-cleaning to writing one’s name. “I’m glad my kid’s in school – he’s pretty smart,” said Victor Pichardo, 36, of Sylmar, holding the hand of Eduardo, 2. “I was worried. I didn’t know why it closed down.” “Thank God,” added Leonarda Lopez, 23, of Sylmar, whose 4-year-old son, Jose, attends the school. “Jose likes school. He likes coming here.” During the closure, she said, “I told him, ‘Not today, it’s a holiday.’ I took him to the library.” Dana Bartholomew, (818) 713-3730 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN FERNANDO – Three-year-old Diana Benkovic had waited two days to rejoin her friends at her Head Start preschool, one of 26 in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys closed down earlier this week by a bureaucratic glitch. On Thursday, she got her wish. “It’s real sad,” said Steve Benkovic, 73, who dropped his smiling granddaughter off at Dolores Huerta Center in San Fernando. “She was speaking about going to school every day: ‘Why no school? Why no school?’ “She missed it.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Pressured by angry Los Angeles politicians, the doors of 20 San Fernando and Santa Clarita valley Head Start preschools were slated to reopen Thursday after being closed Tuesday by the U.S. Administration for Children, Youth and Families, which funds Head Start. Administration officials did not return phone calls Thursday to say how many of the schools opened or when all 26 centers serving some 1,400 students would be back in business. Earlier this week, federal officials said the six remaining schools – once run by the Latin American Civic Association of San Fernando – would reopen “soon.” For a month, the same federal officials had vowed there would be no interruption in Head Start classes. But the Head Start schools, which provide day-care and preschool services for needy children, were closed Tuesday after the federal agency and the civic association fumbled the handover of 26 campuses to another provider. The administration had denied $10 million in funding to the association for failing to prove that it could provide adequate services. last_img

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