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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Porter-Leath will soon welcome an additional 160 children under 4 years old, thanks to a recent federal grant.

The organization oversees Early Head Start programs, Head Start programs, and pre-kindergarten.

A federal grant will give Porter-Leath $1.8 million per year for five years, totaling about $9 million.

Ninety-four of the 160 additional children will be able to go to community partner classrooms in the area.

Porter-Leath’s Vice President for Development and New Business Mike Warr told WREG the organization contracted with Shelby County Schools in July to oversee Head Start programs for the district.

Warr said this expansion to Early Head Start will make for stronger students in classrooms in the future.

“Basically working with them on their motor skills, making sure they’re getting nutritious meals, bottles in that case,” Warr said.

The program targets children from at-risk or low-income homes from infancy. It focuses on children’s development and tailors therapy to children’s needs.

Porter-Leath will finalize contracts for the grant shortly after the new year.

Within 45 days of the contract’s completion, the newly-accepted children will begin in their classrooms.