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Family Resource Center in Pittsburg to Cut Programming, Result o - KOAM TV 7

Family Resource Center in Pittsburg to Cut Programming, Result of Funding Cuts

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

State funding cuts made as a result of the Kansas legislature failing to balance the budget will have a lasting impact on a local facility. The Family Resource Center in Pittsburg has no choice but to cut programs, affecting hundreds of at-risk children.

Walking down the colorful halls of The Family Resource Center, a bulletin board says it best, “oh the places you’ll go.” It’s a hope the center has for each child that walks through the doors. The facility provides education and care and has become a second home for 4 year old Stella since she was just 3 months old.

“She has support here that couldn't be found anywhere else,” says Stella’s mom, Frontenac resident Lindsay Restivo.

But due to funding cuts Stella’s future at the center is somewhat uncertain.

“I have not been told yet whether or not her classroom will be cut but that would be a huge blow to my daughter and to me. I mean as parents I think we all want our children to grow up and be successful and being ready is part of that and that’s what the pre-k programs here do,” says Restivo.

The center will see a 14 percent reduction in a grant through the Children's Initiative Fund. Executive Director Ann Elliott says there's no choice but to cut into programming.

“It’s a huge economic development piece for the community because if you don't have anywhere to take your children then you can’t go to work and if you can’t go to work then you’re going to get fired. So it’s a huge thing economically for Crawford County and we serve lots of kids from Crawford County here,” says Elliott.

The Early Childhood Block Grant allows the Family Resource Center to serve 950 kids spread over 4 counties. But starting July 1, that 14 percent or more than $160 thousand cut will mean 240 can't get services.

“These are the kids that are most vulnerable, they're our at risk children that really need the support that we give them and their families,” says Elliott.

“It would be a tragic loss for those kids as far as I’m concerned and for the families this place provides a lot of support,” says Restivo.

While the future is still up in the air, the center is dedicated to continuing to provide children with the care they need.

The center provide free and low cost services and Elliott says she's looking into other grants so they can keep classrooms open without raising rates.

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