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Jefferson Ready Start Network Receives Donation from Jefferson Parish Council for the Second Year in a Row

(L to R) Councilmember District 2 Deano Bonano, Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng, Councilmember District 1 Marion F. Edwards, Councilmember District 3 Byron Lee, Councilmember At-Large Scott Walker, JRSN Advisory Council Member and Owner/Director Beary Cherry Tree Paula Polito, JRSN Executive Director Dr. Sarintha Stricklin, Carlie Care Kid’s Academy Owner/Director Monique Rouege, Carousel Preschool Owner/Director Arielle Hughes, Councilmember District 5 Jennifer Van Vrancken, Councilmember At-Large Ricky J. Templet, Councilmember District 4 Dominick Impastato.

METAIRIE Jefferson Ready Start Network (JRSN), a coalition of individuals committed to creating and implementing a bold local vision for early childhood services, announced today the approval of a $275,000 donation from the Jefferson Parish Council that will increase access to early care and education programs for children age birth to 4 in Jefferson Parish.

Spearheaded by Councilmember At-Large Scott Walker, the $275,000 donation is an increase from the council’s contribution in 2021, and these contributions are eligible for state matching funds to double the impact of the donation. Combined, the council’s contributions and matching funds are a $1 million investment in high-quality early learning services.

“Increasing access to early care and education is an area we are committed to supporting now and for years to come,” Walker said. “There is still a lot of work to do as we try to identify a permanent funding source, but this is a great start. If we are going to have serious conversations about the future of Jefferson Parish, we have to address the future now.”

This donation will not only help fund an additional 53 seats at early learning centers in Jefferson Parish, it will also help with professional development opportunities for educators and additional resources for child care centers.

“The support from the Jefferson Parish Council really impacted our efforts to both raise awareness and funds in 2021,” says JRSN Executive Director Sarintha Stricklin, Ph.D. “Our children need high-quality early education to succeed in kindergarten and beyond, and the need to increase publicly-funded seats is great. The council’s continued support helps us ensure all children will have access.”

To learn more about JRSN, visit


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