On September 21, 2016, the Board of Directors of Community Services for Children (CSC) elected Paula J. Margraf as their fourth CEO/President since its founding in 1981.
Previous to her election as CEO, Mrs. Margraf served as Executive Vice President of CSC and Director of Head Start/Early Head Start for the organization. She oversaw all early education and family programs including Head Start, Early Head Start and Pre-K Counts.
Mrs. Margraf currently serves as President of the Pennsylvania Head Start Association and serves as a representative for Pennsylvania at the Region III Head Start Association Board. In 2008, she was chosen among nation-wide candidates to attend the Head Start Fellows training at UCLA /Anderson School of Management, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. This places Mrs. Margraf into an elite status among Head Start executives. In 2015, she was chosen as a Lehigh Valley Woman of Influence.
She earned her BSN from Georgetown University. Mrs. Margraf was first introduced to Head Start as a nursing student. She has worked on behalf of low income women, children and their families for over 35 years.
Mrs. Margraf began her employment with CSC in 1998. She established a highly successful Early Head Start program for children living in low income families, ages prenatal to age 3 and led the program through multiple expansions. She created the unique Early Head Start program that CSC calls SafeStart, providing intensive daily therapeutic nursery for infants and toddlers who have been abused and neglected. This is a national model for infant mental and physical health, the only program of its kind in Pennsylvania with a close working partnership with the Children & Youth departments of both Lehigh and Northampton County.
She has a history of addressing complex problems through the development of creative programs that offer solutions including fatherhood involvement in parenting, co-parenting, child abuse prevention, crossing the digital divide among low income families with the creation of a preschool Technology Lab and STEM focused preschool program, and enhancing early language and literacy development through home visitation. Paula is committed to community collaboration and under her leadership, Early Head Start, Head Start and Pre K Counts programs have expanded to 10 local school districts, and partnered with numerous Universities to conduct early childhood research. Under her direction, 95% or more of Head Start children are fully ready for kindergarten.
Head Start/Early Head Start of the Lehigh Valley earned its top 10 quality rating from the National Head Start Association in 2015 for its outstanding outcomes and innovative practices. It is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and Middle States, the gold standard among preschools.
CSC is the region’s largest provider of early education services and programs, affecting the lives of 35,000 children in 16 counties of northeast Pennsylvania. In addition to Head Start and Early Head Start, CSC provides the quality improvement initiative Keystone STARS, subsidies for access to childcare called Child Care Information Services of Lehigh County, and Pre-K Counts.
Bevin October 10th, 2016
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