LATINO VOICES
07/22/2013 09:57 am ET

Sequestration Hits Hispanic Families Hard

AP

YONKERS, N.Y. — The only ones left in Room 5 at the Whitney Young Head Start Center are the two turtles thrashing around in a small aquarium. The reading nook is empty. The CD player is silent.

After more than a dozen years, this federally funded center serving mostly Latino families closed its doors for good on Friday, a victim of the federal budget cuts known as sequestration.

For Spanish-speaking families, the center, in the basement of a sooty housing project, has taught their children English, fed them, provided them medical care and prepared them to be ready for kindergarten without the academic deficits common among poor students.

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