Engaged communities where every child thrives and every family succeeds!
An update from Paula Margraf, CEO
Now that spring has arrived, we emerge hopeful as we return to hybrid and later full, in-person operations! Though it has been a challenging time, CSC continues to meet the needs of children and families now more than ever!
Community Services for Children is bustling with activity as young children return to classrooms, and we prepare for summer programming. Head Start and Early Head Start programs are enrolling children and the Kindergarten Jumpstart team is registering students for kindergarten in the Allentown School District. Our Early Learning Resource Centers have been assisting childcare providers with personal protective equipment so these programs can operate safely and at full capacity.
As we reflect on the past year, we recognize the struggles that impoverished families have endured and continue to offer much-needed family support and hope to those families. We offered 14,000 meals and “at home learning kits” monthly to participating families in Head Start, Early Head Start and Pre-K Counts. Each of our programs, the Early Learning Resource Centers, Safe Start at Home, and Kindergarten Jumpstart found new and creative ways to reach out to families, and providers of care, to ensure that our connections were strong. We have transformed into a more agile, more innovative and more technically savvy agency. With the help of federal and state Covid-19 funding, we have been able to make virtual learning possible for low-income families, by providing technology (tablets, hot spots, and educational software). We upgraded our facilities to make virtual meetings and instruction efficient and viable. If there is a silver lining, we are better as a result of the struggles associated with the pandemic.
Our staff continues to learn and grow as we participate in agency-wide equity and diversity training to ensure all staff demonstrates our values as an antiracist, inclusive community. CSC leaders were selected by UCLA Trauma Informed Care Institute, Anderson School of Management to participate in “Strategies to Promote Resilience and Wellness for Head Start Staff through a Trauma Informed Lens”, a yearlong project that will strengthen our understanding of the impact of adverse childhood experiences on both children and staff.
As we move forward, our community must consider the incredible impact of the pandemic that continues even today. All children, but especially those whose parents are struggling to make it – need us now more than ever, yet many families are scared, protective, stressed and consequently are missing out on critical health appointments and early learning. CSC is working hard to reach those families, using multiple platforms including television, radio, social media and digital outreach, to reengage families in early education and access to high-quality care.
As we get the world back on track, we can take a step towards getting our children back on track by encouraging parents with young children to enroll in a high-quality early learning, and kindergarten today. If we all put children first, we will reach our vision of an engaged community where every child thrives and every family succeeds.