City Center Investment Corporation and Community Services for Children continue to grow and expand their successful partnership! Beginning in 2018, City Center, with the leadership of JB Reilly, President and CEO, made possible the first of its kind “Learning Hub” to allow Head Start of the Lehigh Valley to expand its programming, and serve 110 economically disadvantaged children and families at 6th and Linden Streets, right in their own neighborhood. City Center invested $1.3 M in the beautiful renovation of the space, to create six state-of-the-art enhanced classrooms in STEM, Arts and Literacy, Innovation/Technology Laboratory, and Training and Chat rooms for parents and a thrilling indoor exercise center. Our shared vision was to create a vibrant learning center for children and their parents, to ensure that every child was ready for success in school and in life, fully engaging families in the vision. Only through City Center’s ongoing generosity, totaling over $750,000 in-kind annually, have we been able to deliver on our promise. The City Center and CSC partnership has brought the arts, human service, education, and additional corporate partners to the program. Due to collaboration with Allentown School District, we have been able to successfully integrate preschool-aged children and families into their neighborhood school and support their successful transition. Corporate support through PPL, PNC, Air Products, United Way, and PBS has made possible enhanced educational opportunities for both children and families throughout the year. Due to City Center’s leadership and redirection of funds, The Allentown Art Museum, Baum School of Art, and the Allentown Symphony were able to provide cultural arts experiences that were previously not affordable. By working together, we have created something unique, and impactful.
Results of child educational assessments demonstrate that children served in Head Start at The Learning Hub outperformed their peers in other settings on every area of learning, especially in science and literacy. Results of family participation data demonstrates that families connected to The Learning Hub were 50 percent more engaged than families of enrolled children at other sites. Serving families right in their neighborhood, in a beautiful environment, with partnerships embracing and enhancing each service has proven to be a successful community model of innovation and a true demonstration of caring.
Because of our success, we reached out to City Center once again, and they responded, allowing us to expand and create a Neighborhood Resource Center at The Learning Hub. This center will provide families with answers to their needs – one-stop shopping – by co-locating the Early Learning Resource Center, Head Start/Early Head Start enrollment services, Kindergarten Jump Start school transition services, and Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital health services. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the renovation and opening of our new program has been delayed but we are excited to open August 3, 2020!
We are proud to be part of the revitalization of Allentown, ensuring that all families are included in community growth. We thank City Center for its tremendous support, and for sharing in CSC’s vision of Putting Children First.