Around the Nation

Texas Couple Props Up Head Start While Government Is Closed

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Laura and John Arnold of Houston have pledged up to $10 million to keep the Head Start program running in six states. The preschool program for children from low-income families abruptly closed in some areas last Friday because of a lack of funding.


And a similar offer of money has propped up some Head Start programs. Laura and John Arnold of Houston, Texas, pledged up to $10 million to keep the program running in six states.


Head Start is a preschool program for kids from low-income families. And on Friday, it closed down in many places when the government partially stopped. This is how the parent of a Head Start child, Laura Bastion, heard the news.

LAURA BASTION: Like, oh, you know, hey, thanks for picking your kid up on time. But you can't bring her back after Monday because we're not going to be here.

GREENE: Laura Bastion lives in Tallahassee, Fla., with her three daughters. Her 3-year-old is enrolled in Head Start.

INSKEEP: Now, Ms. Bastion's mom took care of her daughter while Head Start was shut down. But it wasn't a long-term option. So it was a relief when Bastion heard Head Start was coming back.

BASTION: It was kind of a "thank God" moment, like OK, my child can go back to school. So that just takes all this weight off of me, of worrying and stressing being a single mom. I'm already stressed enough.


BASTION: You know, the couple that donated this money, they were a godsend.

GREENE: That's parent Laura Bastion from Tallahassee, Fla.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from