Expansion is overall win

Published 12:29 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2017

We’re excited with the expansion and seven new jobs being brought to our community by Farmville-based STEPS Incorporated.

We hope the community shares our thankfulness of STEPS leadership team, management, staff and employees for wanting to invest more time and money in the former Wrights grocery store.

Jessica Lehman, STEPS Vice President Early Childhood Education, has an excitement about the project that is contagious.

“We are excited to be expanding our Head Start program in Victoria,” she said. “We will be operating two Head Start classrooms serving a total of 32 students ages 3-5, and one Early Head Start classroom serving four students ages 6 weeks to 36 months.”

More teachers and staff means more young minds being educated here in our community — something everyone should advocate for.

“As a part of our education pillar, STEPS is pleased to expand our quality Head Start services to Lunenburg County children and their families,” said STEPS CEO Sharon Harrup. “We believe that to positively impact poverty, we must begin with the child through a multi-generational approach.”

According to Lehman, the expansion into the former grocery store “will allow us to bring Early Head Start to Lunenburg County, which excites us greatly. We are building out the center with the hopes to continue expanding services over the next five years.”

According to Lehman, the move will create seven new jobs in Lunenburg to include a bus driver, bus monitor, kitchen aide and four new teaching positions.

“We are looking to open in August … pending completion of renovations and proper licensure,” she said.

According to Lehman, during the last school year, STEPS served 17 children in Lunenburg County. “We are very excited to be serving an additional 19 children for the 2017-18 program year.”

The STEPS expansion, which means more jobs, more education for our community’s youth and economic enhancement of a now-empty business place is an overall win for Victoria and Lunenburg County.