John and Laura Arnold (Courtesy: The Arnold Foundation)
ATLANTA (WXIA) -- Philanthropists Laura and John Arnold have donated $10 million in emergency funding to the National Head Start Association.
This donation makes it possible for "more than 7,000 at-risk children" to return to their Head Start programs.
"For nearly fifty years, Head State has been the window of opportunity got more than 27 million of our nation's poorest children as they embark on their journey to achieve the American Dream," said Yasmina Vinci, Exec. Director of the National Head Start Association.
Head Start programs in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Mississippi all closed on Friday. And if the shutdown continues through the end of October about 86,000 children around the U.S. are in danger of losing access to Head Start funds.
The Arnold's donation will be used to reopen closed programs and keep all other programs open.
According to a release, "If after the government shutdown, the government provides Head Start programs funding sufficient to fund their operations for a fifty-two week period, Head Start programs will repay the funds made available by the National Head Start Association at no interest through the generosity of Laura and John Arnold."