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$4.2M Grant to Aid Children in Poor Area of St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Two zip codes in north St. Louis are getting $4.2 million in federal grant money for early childhood programs, for kids from birth to 8 years old.

Mayor Francis Slay says the city was chosen, in part, because of success and results with efforts to reduce lead poisoning in children.

“Every child is important to us. Every child not only impacts our future, but they impact what’s happening in our city right now,” said Slay.

The Project LAUNCH grant announced Tuesday will seek to address the social and emotional needs of children living in zip codes, 63106 and 63107.

“This is where we have the highest concentration of children, particularly the highest concentration of children living in poverty in areas with high-crime rate. So these are really at-risk youth,” said Slay

The grant was awarded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Former Parents as Teachers International director Sue Stepleton sponsored the grant application and will lead a child wellness council to oversee implementation of the program. The money will provide for screening of kids for health, developmental and behavioral issues. Families will be offered services and home visits.

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