Berkshire County Head Start has launched Resources to Empower & Advocate for Children and Households (REACH), a community program developed to assist and empower Pittsfield families unable to access needed services due to long-standing and entrenched economic disparities, racial inequity and generational poverty.

Made possible by a $700,000 American Rescue Plan Act grant from the city of Pittsfield, REACH arose from a BCHS annual community needs assessment that identified needs for affordable child care, support for removing barriers to educational, economic and health/wellness goals, and better access to community resources.

REACH provides temporary assistance with the goal of creating longer-term resilience and independence. Pittsfield families who need full-day child care but do not meet state and federal eligibility requirements or do not have the needed documentation to access that funding can benefit from this program.

Qualified families in the Morningside, downtown and Westside communities will be given priority for enrollment in the REACH program, according to the city of Pittsfield’s ARPA grant.

Visit berkhs.org/reach for more information and eligibility details or contact program manager Carrie Dupuis at 413-499-0137, ext. 242, or cdupuis@berkhs.org.

Berkshire County Head Start’s partnerships and collaborations with other local community agencies are an important part of the REACH program’s success. BCHS has translation services for Spanish-speaking families who would like to connect with resource providers.

Jeannie Maschino can be reached at 413-496-6256 or jmaschino@berkshireeagle.com.

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.