We are hiring!
Interested in sharing your skills and passion as a teacher with our nationally accredited program?
Children’s Village is hiring a Lead Teacher for our Toddler Program.
Find the Job Description, required information, and other details about the application process on our Careers page.
Sharing Our Pride: Teacher Noelle Woytko Wins National Award
Lead preschool teacher Noelle Woytko has been named a 2017 Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s TYLENOL® National Child Care Teacher Awards Recipient. Noelle was selected from a national pool of applicants both for her commitment to high-quality early learning and her classroom enhancement project, Yoga: A Tool for Preschoolers. The honor carries a financial award, which Noelle will use to integrate yoga into the curriculum.
“As an educator, I work to provide children with the tools they need to label their emotions and communicate with their peers about their feelings. Listening and following directions can be practiced through yoga. Yoga can help build readiness skills for elementary school and far beyond,” explains Noelle.Drawing upon positive personal experience with her yoga practice, Noelle had introduced her preschoolers to stretching, breathing, and sitting yoga poses. She observed that the children were calmer and more focused in the activities that followed. Promoting balance, core strength, and flexibility, yoga complements gross motor ‘big body play.’ While yoga provides such physical benefits, Noelle also aims to tap yoga’s power to enhance social and emotional development.
Treating children with respect, kindness, and great care guides Noelle’s teaching approach.
Noelle will use the grant to purchase yoga mats, music, and related books. Respecting that children learn in varying ways, supplemental materials help engage all students. Visual aids often are central to the learning process for young students, especially for Children’s Village large population of English language learners. Noelle envisions leading group yoga practice and encouraging yoga as an independent and small group activity. “I anticipate that students can serve as yoga instructors, too! This as an activity that can build confidence and leadership skills,” explains Noelle.
A Children’s Village teacher for 10 years, Noelle earned a Masters in Education and is certified in both Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. Noelle continues a tradition of exemplary teaching at Children’s Village; Noelle is one of several teachers recognized over the years as a Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s TYLENOL® National Child Care Teacher Awards Recipient.
“Through this wonderful award, the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation (TLLCCF) recognizes and rewards teachers nationwide for excellence and dedication. This public acknowledgement draws much-needed attention to the vital role of early education professionals like Noelle in preparing young children for lifelong success,” says Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village.
For information on the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation, visit www.tllccf.org
Thank you Holman Enterprises for your Meaningful Community Commitment
Representatives from Holman Enterprises (l ot r) Ashley Beideman, Jeneice Moward, Zach Knauss, and Erin Vincent, also a Children’s Village Board Member, enjoy a visit with preschoolers on our play deck before volunteering in our School-Age Program classrooms.
Reflecting a longstanding commitment to giving back to the community, Holman Enterprises is enhancing our work to ensure all children — including those who are low income and learning English– benefit from an environment that best fosters development and learning. Volunteers from Holman Enterprises “rolled up their sleeves” in our classrooms, providing one-on-one homework and reading help to students in our School-Age Program (K-7th grade.)
This volunteer service complements recent funding from Holman’s Community Grant program to the School-Age Program. The award is helping Children’s Village improve the reading, vocabulary, and writing skills of the 147 children enrolled in our School-Age Program. The School-Age Program responds to a pressing need for year round academic enrichment for at-risk children: 97% of the students are low-income; 90% are from non-English speaking families.
Children’s Village also benefits from the service of Holman employees in another way; we are honored that Erin Vincent, GPHR, Manager, Global HR Operations, is a member of our Board of Directors.
“We deeply appreciate Holman Enterprises’ wonderful commitment to the community and that company representatives recently took the time to volunteer. Fittingly, they assisted with homework and reading. Literacy is key to school success yet the window of opportunity is narrow. We know that children struggling to read by third grade fall behind and stay behind, often triggering devastating consequences. They are four times more likely to drop out of high school, and if they are poor, are 11 times more likely to drop out. What takes place in our classrooms can make a lifetime of difference and we thank Holman volunteers for stepping in to our classrooms to help in such a meaningful way,” say Mary Graham, Executive Director.
Learn more about corporate responsibility at Holman, please visit Holman Community.
Scroll for photos of volunteers in action!
Children’s Village Welcomes Congressman Dwight Evans
A group of preschoolers shares a model of an airplane with Congressman Evans.
Children’s Village was honored to host Congressman Dwight Evans (2nd District, PA) on a tour of our nationally accredited early care and education program. The Congressman and his Chief of Staff, Kimberly Turner, spent the morning with Children’s Village Executive Director, Mary Graham, and Board member and Children’s Village founder, Jim Martin. They toured toddler and preschool classrooms, the PNC Grow Up Great Library, and on-site commercial kitchen.
The visit reflects the Congressman’s commitment to witnessing high-quality early learning in action and promoting access for all children. Mary Graham provided details on the funding challenges of operating a high-quality program and the financial, cultural, and language barriers many Philadelphia families often face in seeking quality early care and education. Mary also shared stories of our program’s positive impact on students, families, and the community.
During the tour, Congressman Evans took the time to draw and play with preschoolers and meet some of our teachers.
A preschooler shows Congressman Evans the picture he was drawing of his family.
Children’s Village teachers are at the heart of our quality program. Teachers Miss Edith (l) and Miss Nikki flash smiles with the Congressman during his visit to their preschool classroom.
Children’s Village Sponsors High-Caliber Training to 100 of the Region’s Educators
Teachers are the heart of high-quality learning. Their expertise and capacity to nurture positive relationships with young children powerfully impact development and learning. Teacher training, therefore, is a Children’s Village priority. Through recent funding from The Boeing Company and the Southeast Regional Key (SERK), Children’s Village offered another high-level professional training not just for our teachers but for other educators from the region. More than 100 participanted in the full-day workshop.
Focusing on the theme Exploring Diversity and Acceptance, the February 20 training featured:
Valuing Diversity: Developing A Deeper Understanding of the Individual Needs of All Young Children, presenters: Barbara Kaiser, M. Ed., and Karen N. Nemeth; and
Diversity of Sex and Gender: Not Binary but Infinite, presenters: Planned Parenthood Educators.
Download the Diversity Training flyer.
Our teachers help set the stage for academic success.
“Children benefit most when teachers continue to enhance their skills to foster warm relationships, rich language experiences, and quality learning environments. Through training, teachers also gain insight on strengthening partnerships with children’s first teacher-their family. Teachers play an extraordinary role in the lives of young learners and we are committed to ensuring that they continue to pursue the highest professional standards,” says Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village.
“We are grateful that The Boeing Company and SERK share our commitment to professional development. An effective teacher is one of the most important components to quality early learning. All children deserve the best learning environment and that starts with the best teachers,” says Mary Graham.
During Circle Time, preschoolers and teachers share laughs.
A teacher lends a hand to a student during dramatic play. Children benefit from warm relationships and positive interactions with our teachers.
Governor Wolf Congratulates Children’s Village on our 40th Anniversary
Sharing Our Pride: Ben Cady, Early Childhood Coordinator, Featured in T.E.A.C.H. Annual National Program Report
Sometimes I still think of myself as that 22 year old substitute. But now with a Master’s Degree in ECE I have a confidence I didn’t have then. With a new position in my center as an Education Coordinator, I realize that some of the same constructs of teaching and learning apply both in a classroom with young children and in guiding adults. If you understand scaffolding with children, it’s not dissimilar with adults. You set the tone, build trust and facilitate learning.–Ben Cady, Children’s Village Early Childhood Coordinator
Ben Cady working with a preschooler on literacy skills.
We are proud to share the T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) success story of Ben Cady, who is featured in T.E.A.C.H. Annual National Program Report (page 6). Ben began his career as a substitute at Children’s Village 14 years ago with no formal early care and education training. A T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship recipient from 2007-2011, Ben pursued a Masters in Early Care and Education and PA Certification. His teaching earned accolades; Ben is a 2016 Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s TYLENOL® National Child Care Teacher Award winner. Today, Ben guides other Children’s Village teachers as Early Childhood Coordinator.
After six years of inactivity, Gov. Wolf recently restored T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Pennsylvania Scholarship Program and funding for 1,000 scholarships for early child care professionals in DHS-certified Keystone STARS programs. “In addition to Ben, numerous other Children’s Village educators have also advanced their professional credentials, achieving AA, BA and certification through the T.E.A.C.H. program. Why is this critical? When early childhood professionals have specialized training and education, children benefit,” says Mary Graham, Executive Director. To learn more about T.E.A.C.H, visit www.PACCA.org.
Thank you Lincoln Financial Foundation for Helping Children’s Village Set the Stage for Academic Success
Our literacy-rich environment includes time for independent reading. A student in our School-Age Program displays the book he selected from his classroom’s library.
A grant from Lincoln Financial Foundation is helping Children’s Village set the stage for educational success for students enrolled our School-Age Program, a year round academic enrichment program for kindergarteners through 7th graders. These children often face formidable financial, language, and cultural barriers; 98 percent of the 168 students are low-income; 90 percent are from non-English (Chinese, Indonesian) speaking families.
“Children participating in quality afterschool programs develop strong social skills, are excited about learning, and achieve reading and math gains,” says Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village. “Low-income children, however, are much less likely than their more affluent peers to have access to such quality programs,” says Mary.
Quality out-of-school time programs can help close the achievement gap but the window of opportunity is narrow. Children who are not reading proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school, and if they are poor, 11 times more likely to drop out.
Adopting a ‘whole child’ approach, the School-Age Program provides intensive literacy support; builds math, science, social studies, and computer knowledge; promotes conflict resolution and social emotional development; fosters creative expression, and offers healthy meals and physical activity. In the past five years, enrollment in the School-Age Program has grown 48 percent.
“Our School-Age Program teachers are our greatest asset. Many are PA certified in Elementary Education with advanced degrees,” says Mary. To cost effectively enhance programming and learning, the School-Age Program partners with: The Free Library Foundation of Philadelphia’s Out-of-School-Time Literacy Initiative 100 Book Challenge and Read By 4th programs; Franklin Institute’s STEM3D: Integrating Science into Afterschool, Home, and Community; Novick Brothers Urban Family Farm; and After School Partnership’s Scrabble Club.
The Program also encourages learning through play. “For example, our older School-Age Program students embark on “Word Hunts” at local parks. Their teachers ask them to find an array of words, such as those beginning or ending with a certain letter or sound. The children enjoy seeking out the words on signs, billboards, and plaques and then jot them on a clip board. This is just one of the many ways our exceptional teachers engage and inspire the children,” says Mary.
“We are honored that Lincoln Financial Foundation is helping Children’s Village prepare young learners for school and life success. I cannot overstate just how important this Lincoln Financial Foundation award is to ensure that at-risk children in our community can achieve their potential,” says Mary.
Lincoln Financial Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Lincoln Financial Group, believes in empowering people to live greater lives, which advances culture and empowers greater positive change. Its grant is part of Lincoln Financial’s annual $10 million investment in its local communities’ youth education, economic and workforce development, human well-being and arts programs.
About Lincoln Financial Foundation The Lincoln Financial Foundation, established in 1962, is a nonprofit organization formed and supported by Lincoln Financial Group. Under the Foundation guidelines, grants are made in the areas of arts, education, human services and economic/workforce development. Learn more: www.LincolnFinancial.com
Scroll for more photos.
Teacher, Mr. Jake, assists a student with homework. Because many of our families do not speak English, they rely on our School-Age Program for homework help for their children.
Our School-Age Program also promotes science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning. A student mixes ingredients to create ‘slime’.
Our literacy-rich environment includes time for independent reading. A student in our School-Age Program displays the book he selected from his classroom’s library.
Today is #Giving Tuesday
In just a few moments, you can make a lasting impact for children: Tell legislators that you support early learning and urge them to prioritize education.
Visit Pre-K for PA to contact your legislators.
Read to toddlers and preschoolers. Share information about your profession with our school-age students (K-7th grades). Help them with homework. We value your time and talent; you will cherish volunteering.
Learn more about volunteering with us.
You can put paint brushes, blocks, prisms, puzzles, and other educational tools in the hands of children. Or encourage lifelong readers and learners with books for our classrooms and library. Or invest in our teachers through high-caliber professional development. Each gift of any amount makes a difference because together, we can brighten the future for children.
Please make your gift NOW.
On Giving Tuesday and everyday, thank you.
But you don’t have to wait for the letter to arrive in your mailbox, DONATE NOW.
Children’s Village United Way Donor Choice Number is 1182
Children’s Village United Way Donor Choice Number is 1182
Learn more about UWGPSNJ’s impact, visit www.unitedforimpact.org
Lights on Afterschool-Shining a Light on the Impact of Afterschool Enrichment
Students stretch the slime they created and then dyed.
Creating slime, constructing floating crafts, mixing liquids of various viscosities, and building and blasting tiny rockets—what do these activities have in common? They were among the array of hands-on science investigations students in our seven School-Age Program classrooms conducted to mark Lights on Afterschool. Lights on Afterschool, organized by the Afterschool Alliance , is a nationwide event shining a light on afterschool programs’ positive impact on children, families, and the community. The event also showcases the need for resources to keep the lights on and the doors open.
Using a dropper, a student places water on a coin. Studying surface tension, the students predicted the number of drops that different size coins would hold.
Research tells us that regular participation in quality afterschool enrichment like our School-Age Program can help improve standardized test scores and student work habits and reduce behavior problems among disadvantaged students,” says Mary Graham, Children’s Village’s Executive Director. “Families also go to work knowing that their children are in a safe, high-quality environment. Additionally, our teachers review school lessons, help children with homework assignments, and encourage good study habits—which are foundation for school success for children, especially those who speak a language other than English. I cannot overstate the powerful impact of academic enrichment—and the pressing need for funding to ensure more children have the opportunity to participate and benefit,” says Mary.
Serving 165 children in K-7th grade from our neighboring communities, our School-Age Program remains focused on excellence to achieve best outcomes for children. As a pilot site for The Franklin Institute‘s STEM 3D: Integrating Science into Afterschool, Home, and Community Program, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, we continue to strengthen our school-age STEM curriculum. This effort is helping us best present science, technology, engineering, and math concepts in age-appropriate and engaging ways. Such approaches are key to preparing students to fully participate in our highly scientific and technological society. STEM 3D inspired the science theme of our Lights on Afterschool event.
“We are highlighting the need to provide more children with high-quality afterschool activities. Inspiring children to learn, keeping them safe in the hours when juvenile crime peaks, and providing relief to working families are just a few of the many lasting benefits of afterschool enrichment programs,” says Mary Graham Executive Director, Children’s Village. Scroll for more photos:
Students used a variety of materials to build their boats.
A teacher lends a helping hand to a student as he works with straws.
Students work together to problem solve as they build thier bridge.
SEI-Thank You for Caring!
In her classroom’s Dramatic Play center, a preschooler pauses while playing with the new kitchen set, which was purchased with proceeds from an SEI employee raffle.
SEI continues to touch the lives of students at Children’s Village, enhancing our work to ensure all children – including those who are low income and learning English – have access to an environment that best fosters development and learning.
Most recently, SEI hosted a class of our school-age students for an exciting day touring and enjoying lunch at the SEI Corporate campus in Oaks, PA. Students viewed contemporary artwork from the renowned West Collection, participated in the production of a video, and tapped their creativity and problem-solving skills during a team building project to erect structures, using only uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows. The SEI field trip is among the students’ favorite summer enrichment activity.
SEI also contributed an array of much-needed school supplies to ensure children arrive ‘back to school’ with the tools needed for success via funds raised through an employee raffle. SEI’s raffle also benefited our preschoolers. Much to their delight, Children’s Village used the proceeds to purchase a dramatic play kitchen set for one our 11 preschool classrooms.
In recent years, SEI has also directed funds to Children’s Village through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program’s Pre-K Scholarship Organization Program and supported our play deck renovation through SEI’s Rush Hour Run.
SEI’s fundraising and volunteer activities are coordinated through SEI Cares, a grassroots, employee-run organization encouraging philanthropy. Children’s Village takes pride in our selection as a SEI Cares partner organization and appreciates the dedication of SEI’s Marla Carson, MS, Workforce Development. Children’s Village also benefits from the expertise and commitment of SEI’s employees’ in other important ways; we are honored that Karen A. Supinski, SHRM-CP, PHR, Workforce Development, serves as a member of our Board of Directors.
“SEI is an incredible, caring friend of Children’s Village. SEI’s financial contribution is only one aspect of its commitment. We appreciate SEI’s employees’ volunteer service and the extraordinary enrichment opportunity that SEI provides for our school-age students. In so many meaningful ways, SEI enhances the educational experience for children,” says Mary Graham, Children’s Village, Executive Director.
To learn more about SEI, visit www.SEIC.com.
To learn more about the Pre-k Tax Program, visit Pre-K Tax Credit Program.
Scroll for more photos.
Looking out their “restaurant window,” preschoolers lean over the sink, which was part of the new kitchen set funded by SEI raffle proceeds.
During a recent field trip to SEI, Children’s Village school-age students participated in a team building activity to construct a tower using uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows. After sketching their plans, a team begins work on their ‘tower.”
During construction, students work together to shore up their tower.
Students and teachers tour SEI Corporate campus.
Deadlines to register to vote in the November 8 general election are quickly approaching
“Children don’t vote but adults who do must stand up and vote for them.”
– Marian Wright Edelman
Deadlines to register to vote in the November 8 General Election are quickly approaching.
PENNSYLVANIA’s deadline to register is Tuesday, Oct. 11.
Find your PA voter registration status here
Register online to vote here
For more information on registering, deadlines, and other FAQ, visit VotesPA.com
NEW JERSEY’s deadline to register is Tuesday, Oct.18.
Find your NJ voter registration status here
For more information on NJ voting, visit NJ Division of Elections here
Find voter registration info. via Children’s Defense Fund here.
Thank you Philly Tools for Schools!
Children in our School-Age Program proudly display their new backpacks, chock-full of school suppiles, thanks to Philly Tools for Schools.
Thanks to the commitment of Philly Tools for Schools, many of our School-Age Program (k-7th) students started the year with a new backpack bursting with school supplies! Philly Tools for Schools, a public charity, 501(c) (3), is chaired by Barbara Fishbein. Learn more at www.fashionsforgood.org/about/
40 for 40 Book Drive–An incredible success!
The 40 for 40 Book Drive added 122 new books and raised $1,330 for even more books for our lending library.
What a wonderful way to say Happy 40th Birthday Children’s Village–and we thank you.
Love to read, love to learn.
Children’s Village Partners with The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger to Host Esteemed Panel on Ending Child Hunger
Ending Child Hunger panelists included (l to r) Ted Dallas, PA Secretary of Human Services; Dorothy McAuliffe, First Lady of Virginia; Anne Holton, Former Sec. of Education Virginia; Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village, and Laura Wall, Executive Director, Coalition Against Hunger. Bobby Scott, Representing the 3rd District of Virginia (not pictured) later joined panelists to visit students in the classroom.
“Children cannot be hungry for knowledge if they are hungry,” said Dorothy McAuliffe, First Lady of Virginia, during her remarks at today’s Ending Child Hunger discussion hosted at Children’s Village and moderated by Ted Dallas, PA Secretary of Human Services. Mrs. McAuliffe highlighted that children’s nutrition is key for educational success and building healthy communities. Echoing her message was another esteemed panelist, Anne Holton, Former Secretary of Education, Virginia. “Education is the ticket to opportunity,” said Ms. Holton. She stressed the importance of children learning to eat well at an early age and engaging families to establish the foundation of lifelong health and academic achievement. She underscored that every child can be successful through education and encouraged agencies to work together, adapt as needed, and be bold.
“At Children’s Village, we serve the whole child, within the context of their family. We can teach math, literacy, and social emotional skills, but we must also help families teach children to eat well. When we opened 40 years ago, we served meals because we knew just how critical nutrition was to children’s development and learning. Today, we prepare 260,000 healthy meals and snacks each year for 450 toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children. Our commitment to exceptional standards requires resources. We make the investment because we know the rewards for children are both immediate and long term,” said Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village.
Laura Wall, Executive Director, Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, which strives to build a community where all people have the food they need to lead healthy lives, applauded the collaborative work of agencies combating hunger. The Coalition Against Hunger organized the event and selected Children’s Village, a nationally accredited STAR 4 program, as host given our dedication to ensuring children have the tools they need to succeed. After the discussion, panelists joined the children in the classroom during lunchtime. Scroll for more photos.
Learn more about Children’s Village commitment to healthy bodies and healthy minds.
(l to r) Dorothy McAuliffe and Anne Holton join students in the School-Age Program (K-7th) during lunch.
Dorothy McAuliffe and Congressman Bobby Scott visit a School-Age Program (k-7th graders) classroom.(l to r) Dorothy McAuliffe and Anne Holton join students in the School-Age Program (K-7th) during lunch.
A couple of school-age students, including one who wants to be president, speak with Dorothy McAuliffe about thier interests and ideas on education.
(l to r) Dorothy McAuliffe, Mary Graham, and Anne Holton at the event.
(back row, l to r)Dorothy McAuliffe, Mary Graham, and Ted Dallas wrap up the special afternoon by visiting teachers Miss Jamila and Miss Janette and school-age students.
Ted Dallas takes a moment to thank members of Children’s Village Nutrition team (l to r): Damian Campbell, Dawn Crawford, Tyrel Crawford, and Matthew Ferry (not pictured Stephanie Chisholm and David Wong) for their important roles in ensuring children’s healthy growth and development. Adhering to rigorous nutiritonal standards, the Nutrition Program staff prepare 260,000 healthy meals and snacks each year,
Always Choose the Side of our Children
Learn more, visit prekforpa.org
Thank you Vynamic for welcoming our students!
A Vynamic team member works with a student to cover a book during the afternoon’s service project.
Reflecting its commitment to give back to the community, Vynamic opened the doors of its Philadelphia office to welcome our school-age students on July 22. To the delight of the children, Vynamic employees hosted tours of the modern office space. A special service project capped the afternoon; Vynamic volunteers rolled up their sleeves to assist students with a book-covering project. Together with teachers Miss Kim and Miss Crystal, the 4th and 5th graders and members of the Vynamic team covered 60 books, which are earmarked for several preschool classrooms at Children’s Village. When the school-agers returned to their classroom, they created thank you cards highlighting their favorite aspect of the afternoon.
Children’s Village Board member and Vynamic employee, Jess Bryson Smith, organized the field trip through Vynamic’s spotlight program, Choose Your Own Community Adventure (CYOCA), which supports team members’ individual passions to engage with the Philadelphia and Boston communities.
Learn more about Vynamic, Health Care industry Management Consultants, at www.vynamic.com
Scroll for more photos.
Student view Vynamics “ web”, which depicts how team members initially connected to Vynamic.
(above and below) Students focused on the task at hand and covered 60 preschool books!
Vynamic CYOCA volunteers and classroom 404 wrap up the afternoon with a group picture, flashing smiles and ‘V’ for Vynamic.
(above and below) When they returned to their classroom, students created thank you cards.
Mayor Kenney wants to hear from your children!
For more ideas on helping your child read at grade level by fourth grade, visit YourReader.org
YOUR CHILD’S LOVE OF READING BEGINS WITH YOU.
Early Childhood Director Zaina Keenan Celebrated as a Great Educator by President Obama at the White House
Zaina poses at the White House during Teacher Appreciation Day with Secretary of Education Dr. John King, Jr., and fellow NAEYC honoree Cody Summerville.
In their daily lives, the men and women who teach our children fulfill the promise of a nation that’s always looking forward, that believes each generation has a responsibility to help the next in building this great country of ours and making the world a better place. — President Obama, during his May 3 White House remarks honoring great educators.
Selected by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to attend the event, Zaina serves on NAEYC’s Young Professional Advisory Council and the Membership Engagement Committee. A former Children’s Village preschool teacher, Zaina now leads our Toddler and Preschool Programs. Central to her approach is coaching teachers. She spends time in the classroom modeling strategies to best respond to children’s and educators’ needs.
“We are proud that Zaina is recognized for her contributions and that President Obama is honoring great educators from across the country. During Teacher Appreciation Week, at Children’s Village, at early learning programs and schools everywhere, we say to teachers publicly what needs to be stated every day-thank you. Teachers play an extraordinary role in ensuring children, families, and communities thrive. Truly, we cannot thank them enough for their service and dedication,” says Mary Graham, Executive Director.
Yesterday at the White House, during Teacher Appreciation Day, President Obama honored great educators, including Zaina Keenan, Children’s Village Early Childhood Director.
40 for 40! Book Drive Celebrating our 40th Birthday
We aim to add 40 new books to our library. But we need your help.
Contribute to our
Book Drive Celebrating our 40th Birthday
To thank you, we will include a book plate in a new book honoring your support.
1) Purchase books via our Amazon Wish List
In the field “Type a person’s name or email address” enter: Children’s Village Philadelphia
2016 Library Book Drive will appear
Scroll to select book/s and purchase!
Republic Bank: Celebrates National Teach Children to Save Day
With teacher Miss Norma looking on, kindergarteners listen to A Penny Pot read by Republic Bank’s Noel Baynes.
“Milk, clothes, food, jewelry” responded the kindergarteners when Republic Bank’s Scott Harvey asked “What are things we save for?” Republic Bank’s Noel Baynes gave a lesson on saving and spending. Mr. Baynes read aloud A Penny Pot by Stuart J. Murphy. The interactive, educational story about money helps children learn to count and recognize different denominations of coins. The story also teaches about making wise choices with money. The visit was a celebration of National Teach Children to Save Day.
“Through Republic Bank’s meaningful volunteer service and previous Pre-K Tax Credit participation, Republic Bank helps set the stage for a successful future for many children in need. On behalf of all of children and families who benefit, thank you,” says Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village.
Scroll for more photos.
To celebrate National Teach Children to Save Day, Republic Bank also distributed pens and savings information to the children.
Teachers Miss Norma (l) and Miss Kristen join Scott Harvey and Noel Baynes from Republic Bank.
ADVOCACY UPDATE: Philadelphia Commission on Universal Pre-K Issues Final Recommendations
Reflecting the essential role of quality Pre-K in ensuring school–and life–success, Philadelphia’s Mayor Kenney continues to promote universal Pre-K. The city’s Commission on Universal Pre-K recently issued its final report to the Mayor and City Council, with recommendations on ways to expand Pre-K to three and four-year-old children.
Recommendations include: a mixed delivery system, including community based as well as school district programs; priority given to children in neighborhoods with the highest risk for poor academic and life outcomes; funding only to high quality programs, with some assistance to programs trying to improve; and the release of funding contingent on providers paying their workers appropriate wages. The majority of the Commission recommends a sugary drink tax to bring in the $60 million a year that Mayor Kenney is asking for the program.
Read the Executive Summary-Philadelphia Commission on Universal Pre-K 4_15_16
SHARING OUR PRIDE! Preschool Teacher BEN CADY Earns Award for Exemplary Effort
Preschoolers join Lead Teacher Ben Cady in a song before morning Circle Time.
Lead preschool teacher Ben Cady has been named a 2016 Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s TYLENOL® National Child Care Teacher Awards Recipient. A top 10 finalist, Ben was selected from a national pool of applicants both for his commitment to high-quality early learning and for the classroom enhancement project he created.
Respecting that children learn through play, Ben created “A Music and Sound Center.” “I want children to be able to explore by themselves the sounds different instruments can make as well as rejoice in the noise you can make together in a large group,” says Ben. The project encourages children’s creative discovery by building upon the classroom’s existing instruments. The award allows Ben to add child-friendly guitars, keyboard, material for the preschoolers to create their own instruments, and a digital audio recorder. Recording the sounds helps the children to be more reflective and intentional about the sounds they make. Equally important, it is a wonderful way for the preschoolers to share their music with families.
A Children’s Village teacher for 14 years, Ben has a Masters in Early Childhood Education (ECE) and is ECE Certified. He continues a tradition of award winners at Children’s Village; Ben is one of several teachers recognized over the years as a Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s TYLENOL® National Child Care Teacher Awards Recipient.
“At the heart of our commitment to children is cultivating a professional team of passionate teachers. By publicly recognizing teaching excellence, TLLCCF draws much-needed attention to the vital role of early education teachers in preparing young children for lifelong success. We are proud that many of our teachers have been honored by TLLCCF. Through its grants, awards, and in countless other ways, TLLCCF enriches the lives of children, families, teachers, and our entire community,” says Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village.
For information on the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation, visit www.tllccf.
Encouraging creative expression is at the essence of our belief
in supporting the needs of the whole child.
As part of their Spoken Word and Art theme, school-age students in room 402 are studying the works of Klee, van Gogh, Monet, and Duchamp. Teachers Ms. Rose and Ms. Heidi conveyed to the class that these artists helped reshape the perception of art, most notably that art can be created by anyone and express emotions. Inspired by what they learned, the children then used oil pastels, water colors, and construction paper to create their artwork.
We are proud to present a few of their masterpieces. We hope they inspire you.
Want to see more? Visit our online Art Gallery.
Thanks to all those who contributed to our April 6 fundraiser at Prohibition Taproom
Prohibition Taproom donated a portion of the meal and bar tab to our play deck renovation. Prohibition Taproom.
MISSED THE FUN? You can still DONATE.
City seeks participants in parent engagement survey
Learning Starts Now (link is external), the City of Philadelphia’s campaign to raise parents’ awareness of the importance of quality early education, is currently surveying parents and caregivers of children under age five. The goal is to gain a better understanding of families’ child care needs and what is most important to them when choosing child care.
To participate in the survey, click on the appropriate link below:
All information collected through these surveys will be kept confidential and will only be used for research purposes. Parents who are eligible and who participate will receive a $5 gift card.
Special Thanks to the Healthy Out-of-School Time Initiative of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Children’s Village is pleased to participate in the Healthy Out-of-School Time Initiative of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. We have been working with The Alliance to help us implement positive changes in our School-Age Program environment to make it an even healthier place for children in grades K-7th.
“This partnership intensifies our commitment to promote healthy bodies and healthy minds. The Alliance has provided our teachers with access to resources, experts, and support to enhance our work to safeguard children’s health through nutrition, physical activity, and education. We are excited to be part of the local and national efforts to combat childhood obesity,” says Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village.
In addition to enriching teacher training relating to nutrition education, The Alliance provided critical funding to defray costs for enhancement programming, including Novick Brothers Family Urban Farm, Free Library of Philadelphia’s new Culinary Literacy Kitchen, and various other hands-on School-Age Program nutrition education activities.
To learn more about the Healthy Out-of-School Time Initiative, please visit: https://www.healthiergeneration.org/take_action/out-of-school_time/
Scroll to view pictures!
Teacher Miss Heidi and members of the International Cuisine Club prepare vegetables for a vegetarian spaghetti dish. Some of the produce came from our students’ garden at Novick Brothers Family Urban Farm. The students then created a cookbook of their recipes!
Participants in the International Cuisine Club work together on their cookbook. Funding from The Alliance is ensuring that all children and their families enrolled in the School-Age Program receive a free copy of this special cook book.
During the summer at Novick Brothers Family Urban Farm, school-age children sowed seeds, tended raised beds, and prepared meals from freshly harvested produce. During the 8-week program, classroom lessons came to life. The Alliance helped to cover transportation costs for this in-depth learning experience that can also impact children’s health. Research shows that children who garden eat more fruits and vegetables and are willing to try a wider variety of vegetables.
The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Culinary Literacy Kitchen taught the children more than cooking-they benefited from math and reading lessons and experimented with new foods, tools, and ideas. In addition to this exciting programming, students in the School-Age Program also enjoyed the bus ride!
Preschoolers Thank BB&T for “Opening its Piggy Bank!”
Preschoolers and teachers, (left) Sarah Keenan, and (right) Nancy Gerena Aponte, join Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village, to welcome BB&T’s John Sanabor to Children’s Village.
“Piggy bank!” exclaimed a preschooler when Mary Graham, Children’s Village’s Executive Director, asked the children if they knew what a bank is. “And what do you do with a bank?” Mary then asked. “A student raised his hand and said, “Put coins in it!” “Yes, and our friends at BB&T opened their piggy bank to share with you and many other preschoolers at Children’s Village!” The children in classroom 201 then shouted, ‘Thank you!”
Preschoolers and their teachers, Sarah Keenan and Nancy Gerena Aponte, welcomed BB&T’s John Sanabor, Market Leader III, to their classroom for Circle Time. BB&T contributed to Children’s Village’s nationally accredited Preschool Program through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC), also called the Pre-Kindergarten Tax Credit Program.
“Children’s village is honored that BB&T is supporting our Preschool Program through the Pre-Kindergarten Tax Credit Program. Today, 218 preschoolers are enrolled, most are low-income and learning English as a second language, circumstances that can undercut school success. We are grateful that BB&T respects that what takes place in our 11 preschool classrooms can transform children’s lives. We appreciate that BB&T is investing in our work─and that of other high-quality early education programs─to set the stage for children’s lifelong success,” says Mary.
Learn more about the Pre-Kindergarten Tax Credit Program.
Learn more about BB&T at BBT.com
Beaming with Pride! Teachers Noelle Woyko and Kevin McClellan Jr. featured in NAEYC’s publication, Teaching Young Children
Assistant Preschool Teacher Kevin McClellan Jr. and Lead Preschool Teacher Noelle Woytko work together as a teaching team at Children’s Village.
Children’s Village aspires to excellence. At the heart of this commitment is cultivating a professional team of passionate staff and teachers. We are immensely proud that teachers Noelle Woytko and Kevin McClellan Jr. are featured in NAEYC’s publication, Teaching Young Children (Vol. 9 No. 3 February/March 2016).
Read the article, which underscores their commitment as early care and education professionals. Noelle and Kevin share insight into their teaching team success, offering details on each’s teaching style and ways their respective approach complements their work together coteaching.
Special thanks to NAEYC, Children’s Village’s accrediting body and the benchmark of early learning excellence, for honoring our teachers and recognizing the vital and inspiring work these professionals do every day to assure that children thrive.
We are Hiring!
The Early Childhood Coordinator Job Description, required information, and other details about the application process are on our Careers page.
The Philadelphia Inquirer features our dedication to early learning excellence
As Mayor Kenny pushes for pre-K for all, The Philadelphia Inquirer (Sunday, January 31, 2016) highlights the financial challenges ahead and showcases Children’s Village’s 40-year commitment to educational excellence for all young children.
Read the articles:
A quality pre-K program dedicated to its mission
Kenny’s push for pre-K for all: How to pay for it? It’s seen as a wise investment, but price tag is high.
Want to help?
Pre-K for PA aims to expand access to high-quality pre-K for PA’s children. Take action. Visit Pre-K for PA .
Research affirms that program quality is embodied in the expertise and skills of teachers. Ongoing professional training and education are key–and often costly. The now-defunct state program, T.E.A.C.H., had provided tuition reimbursement and support services, including paid release time for classes, books, and transportion. The Pennsylvania Child Care Association (PACCA) is working to restore this vital, comprehensive tuition assistance program. Learn more at PACCA.org
Donate Celebrating our 40th birthday this year, we only can continue to set the standard of early learning excellence with the support of friends like you.
HAPPY NEWS! Children’s Village Wins GSK IMPACT AWARD
In recognition of our outstanding contributions to a healthier Philadelphia region, Children’s Village is a 2015 GSK IMPACT Award Winner, one of only ten local nonprofits selected for the honor. Presented in partnership with United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ), the GSK IMPACT Award carries a $40,000 prize.
“I can think of no finer way to celebrate Children’s Village’s 40th year than with this incredible honor,” says Mary Graham, Executive Director. “We are relentless in our work to provide the best environment to foster development and learning and to support families as children’s primary teachers. Why? Because what takes place in our classrooms impacts children for life.
“The GSK IMPACT Award shines a light on our history and inspires us as we look ahead and continue to advocate for the best in education for all children. We know that when children thrive, families, communities, businesses, and the nation thrive.
“This honor is testament to the commitment of many individuals who have supported us over the years as: volunteers, donors, families, staff, and early learning advocates. Equally significant, our contributors–including foundations, corporations, businesses, and public agencies–should also share our pride in this accomplishment because we could not continue to do our work without you. It may sound cliche but truly, it takes a village to raise a child, and we are an extraordinary village,” says Mary.
Learn more about GSK IMPACT Awards
#GSKImpact, @GSKUS, @PhillySJUnited
Follow us @ChildrensVPhila
Scroll for more images of the ways we make an impact on the lives of children.
Thank you for Supporting Ten Thousand Villages’ Fundraiser
Children’s Village is grateful to to Ten Thousand Villages and those who participated
in the recent Community Shopping Event
The store was bustling and we are still tallying the total raised!
A non-profit, Ten Thousand Villages is a fair trade retailer
offering exceptional handmade gifts, jewelry, home décor,
and other crafts from artisans from several developing countries.
Learn more: Ten Thousand Villages
You can still Donate!
READ: Children’s Village High-Quality Preschool Program Featured in THE NOTEBOOK
Children’s Village is committed to excellence and we are proud to serve as a model for toddler, preschool, and school-age care and education. Our nationally accredited Preschool Program was recently featured in an article in The Notebook:
For quality pre-K, look for more than the ABCs
Children get a literacy boost from centers with a structured curriculum, well-trained staff, and good communications between teachers and families.
By Dan Hardy on Oct 6, 2015 04:17 PM
Learn more about Children’s Village’s High-Quality Education
Lola The Therapy Dog Visits Children’s Village
After hearing a story about Lola The Therapy Dog, toddlers take turns giving Lola a treat!
Lola, a tiny terrier, made a big impact at Children’s Village. Toddlers and preschoolers welcomed Lola The Therapy Dog for story time with guest reader, Marcia Goldman, author and Lola’s owner.
Before author Marcia Goldman reads her book at story time, she introduces Lola The Therapy Dog to the class.
Marcia read three of her books featuring little Lola’s exploits. In Lola Goes to Work: A Nine-to-Five Therapy Dog, children learned about Lola’s struggles going to school, passing tests, and finally achieving her Big Dog dream to serve as a Therapy Dog. Lola Goes to the Doctor shares Lola’s experience waiting to be called into the doctor’s office and then her bravery getting a shot. Lola and Tattletale Zeke describes Lola’s little brother Zeke and his tattletale behavior. After story time, Marcia invited children to pet or give Lola a treat.
“We are delighted that Lola and Marcia spent time with our students. Story time is a wonderful opportunity for children to hear different reading voices and styles and to encourage children’s interest and enjoyment in a variety of books. The children also learn how to focus in a small group setting. The children can identify with Lola’s experiences and it was such a special opportunity to meet the books’ main character—Lola!” says Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village.
Marcia Goldman has a Masters Degree in Special Education and extensive experience providing therapeutic-based programs for children with autism and their families. When Lola is not in the classroom, Lola visits elder care centers and bookstores.
Learn more about Children’s Village’s commitment to a literacy-rich learning environment and early learning excellence.
Learn more about Lola at https://www.facebook.com/LolaTheTherapyDog
Scroll for more photographs capturing Lola’s visit during story time.
Happy Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children’s Month
Children’s Village is committed to ensuring all children have access to high-quality early care and education. But we cannot do so without you! Learn more about serving as an early learning advocate and about Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children.
A CLoser Look: School-Age Program’s Clubs
“Let’s place the science laboratory here!” says the student, pointing to a spot on a 5-foot long outline of a space station model design. Pencils in hand, the young scientists work together to draft their plan, which is based upon space stations that they have been studying in Science Club. They’ll then build the model using cardboard and other recyclable materials.
Science Club members draft plans for an international space station model.
Hands-on discovery, creative expression, and cooperation are the essence of the School-Age Program’s Summer Curriculum. Summer learning at Children’s Village includes field trips and other academic enrichment activities, such as special interest Clubs: Science, Martial Arts, International Cuisine, Garden, Stitch, Sports, Cup Stacking, Games, Multicultural Arts, and Musical Theater.
The Club sessions are held over multi-week sessions and complement the curriculum theme. “The Clubs’ in-depth approach builds skills, fosters new friendships, and deepens student-teacher relationships. The clubs also offer a special opportunity for children of various ages to work together and learn from different teachers,” says Mary Graham, Executive Director.
The School-Age Program continues to respond to a growing need for year-round academic enrichment for children ages 5-12. Today, 179 children are enrolled in the program’s seven classrooms.
Scroll for more photos of Summer Club activity:
Garden Club members tend to plants in their raised bed at Novick Brothers Family Urban Farm, where classroom lessons come to life.
Teacher Miss Heidi and students prepare vegetables during International Cuisine Club. Some of the produce came from our students’ garden at Novick Brothers Urban Farm.
Musical Theater Club members rehearse one of their songs.
Following the instruction of their teacher, Miss Brandy, Martial Arts students perform their warm-up movements.
A Stitch Club student focuses on finishing a seam of a pillow case, which was then donated to young hospital patients. Teacher Miss Sarah coordinated this special contribution from her Stitch Club.
In Multicultural Crafts Club, students learned about the art of the Huichol Indian
and ‘painted’ with yarn.
In Cup Stacking Club, students honed their skill, speed, and creativity.
With teacher Miss Kim’s guidance, Science Club members put the finishing touches on their space station model.
Learn more about our commitment to high-quality learning.
Students Enjoy a Day at the Beach!
Surf, sand, and sun contributed to a wonderful day at Island Beach State Park, New Jersey, for students from School-Age Program classrooms 403 and 404. The trip is among several enrichment activities offered to the students throughout the summer months. For several children, the day-long outing was their first experience at the ocean.
“Children’s Village is thrilled to offer this very special trip to the older children in our School-Age Program. There was just so much joy, with the children playing in the surf, digging and building in the sand, and discovering hermit crabs. While several children started off the day saying there was ‘no way’ they were going in the water, they soon changed their minds. They also had a lot of fun playing tag with the ice from our coolers! On the bus ride home, we treated the children to ice cream cones. It’s easy to understand why this is among the children’s and teachers’ favorite trips,” says Mary Graham, Children’s Village, Executive Director.
Children’s Village School-Age Program provides year round academic enrichment to 177 children (k-6th). Community need for this high-quality program continues; enrollment is at capacity. Children’s Village is poised to open an 8th classroom in September 2015, utilizing space from existing part-time preschool classroom.
(l) Lead School-Age Teacher Miss Nikki and Assistant School-Age Teacher Miss Ha celebrate with a student on her first visit to the ocean.
Scroll down to view more photographs from the trip!
Thank you Lincoln Financial Foundation for Promoting Academic Success for All Children
Children who are not ready for kindergarten are half as likely to read proficiently by third grade. The window of opportunity to close the achievement gap is narrow; children struggling to read by third grade may never catch up. A recent grant from Lincoln Financial Foundation is helping Children’s Village build a foundation for academic achievement for all children, including those whose circumstances — such as living in poverty and learning English as a second language — can undercut school success. Today, nearly three of every four of Children’s Village’s 451 students are second language (Chinese, Indonesian) learners and 87 percent are from low-income families.
Children learn through play. After their teacher reads a story aloud about a dentist visit, preschoolers enjoy dramatic play depicting a visit to the dentist’s office. Children’s Village is deeply grateful to the Lincoln Financial Foundation for supporting our work to foster literacy and learning.
“Through its support of our nationally accredited early care and education program and high-quality year-round academic enrichment program, Lincoln Financial Foundation is helping to prevent a downward academic spiral for many vulnerable children,” says Mary Graham, Executive Director.
The timing of the funding is especially opportune. Children’s Village is serving more children than ever in our 40-year history and is poised to open an eighth classroom in our School-Age Program in September.
“While we continue to respond to the community’s need and welcome more students, we remain focused on excellence to achieve best outcomes for each student. Effectiveness is linked to quality —and we set exceptional standards. Children’s Village’s success is a result of committed community partners, including Lincoln Financial Foundation. Only working together, can Children’s Village offer the best environment to support the whole child and their best teacher—their family. By investing in education, Lincoln Financial Foundation is playing an important role in ensuring children, families, and communities thrive,” says Mary.
Lincoln Financial Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Lincoln Financial Group, believes in empowering people to live greater lives, which advances culture and empowers greater positive change. Its grant is part of Lincoln Financial’s annual $10 million investment in its local communities’ youth education, economic and workforce development, human well-being and arts programs. For more information, please visit www.lfg.com
About Lincoln Financial Foundation
The Lincoln Financial Foundation, established in 1962, is a nonprofit organization formed and supported by Lincoln Financial Group. Under the Foundation guidelines, grants are made in the areas of arts, education, human services and economic/workforce development.
Children’s Village credentials, dedicated teachers are our greatest asset. Lincoln Financial Foundation strengthens our ability to attract and retain a professional team of staff and teachers.
A student in our School-Age program explores different textures at the classroom’s sand table.
OFFICIALLY AMAZING: PNC Thanks Teachers
PNC sponsored a luncheon for Children’s Village’s teachers as a special thank you for their role in the ‘Largest Vocabulary Lesson’ event for the Guinness World Records. The event also recognized the teachers for the June 2015 exemplary scores earned on the Keystone STARS Environmental Rating Scale, an instrument used to assess quality in early childhood care and education programs. Children’s Village was awarded an overall facility score of 6.31 of 7.
At the event, Hugh McStravick, Assistant Vice President, Client and Community Relations, PNC, presented Tonja Whitehead, Education Director, Children’s Village, with a plaque commemorating the Guinness World Record, which read:
Guinness World Records
The largest vocabulary lesson
involved 2,845 participants,
organized by PNC Grow Up Great (USA)
with the help of Children’s Village
and other early education partners
at multiple locations
across the United States
on 30 October 2014
Learn more about PNC’s extraordinary commitment to young children and their families through the Grow Up Great Program at www.pnc.com/grow-up-great
ART Night-A Wonderful Expression of Support for Children’s Village
The spectacular Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) Historic Landmark Building set the backdrop for an extraordinary evening on June 10 for ART NIGHT. More than 100 guests gathered to celebrate Children’s Village and raise funds for our national accredited early care and education program and year-round academic enrichment program.
Surrounded by masterpieces, guests enjoyed wonderful food, WhistlePig Whiskeys’ tastings, and lively entertainment from DJ Lorne Pearl. With guidance from PAFA artists, attendees created colorful tissue-paper wearable flowers, which enhanced the festive atmosphere. A silent auction offered an array of enticing items—from bed and breakfast weekend getaways to vintage-inspired Phillies sports attire.
Children’s Village extends a very special thank you to Board member and parent, Jen Lai, for orchestrating ART NIGHT, and parent, Gayle Isa, for coordinating the incredible silent auction. Beth Wassel and parent Brandon Krakowsky, and Board member and parent Teri Gerbec also played key roles. Children’s Village benefited from in-kind support from many businesses and individuals. (See list below.)
“ART NIGHT was a terrific evening in a beautiful setting. But even more so, this wonderful event reflected the dedication to high quality early learning from our entire Children’s Village community. The generosity of Board members, parents, staff, early learning professionals and advocates, and local businesses contributed to the event’s success. Only working together can Children’s Village respond to the needs of children and families,” says Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village.
Scroll down for photographs of the event.
Jen Lai (right), who coordinated ART NIGHT, pauses with parent, Hannah Kim.
Mary Graham (center) and raffle winners Board member Mat Huffman and his wife, Adrienne, who donated their raffle proceeds to Children’s Village!
Judy Spielman and Moon Krapugthong display the tissue-paper flowers they created.
Michael and Samantha Xander were among the several Children’s Village parents attending the event.
Guests included longtime friends of Children’s Village (l to r) Jerry Kaplan, John Ashenbrenner, Barbara Kaplan and Carol Curcio.
Board members (l) Mat Huffman and Abigail McMahon, with her husband Ed.
Board members Meredith Jermann and Marge Dailey.
Teresa Lei and her husband, Michael Wong, pose in front of a masterpiece!
Latifah McMullin creating her wearable paper-tissue flower.
Jen Cohan with Tom Hazlett, Board president.
Children’s Village gratefully recognizes the following for their in-kind contributions to ART NIGHT:
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA)
DJ Lorne Pearl
Fine Garden Restaurant
Golden Lake Restaurant
Kirra’s Cakes & Beyond
|Macaroons by Joyce Lim
May Flower Bakery
Panda Garden Restaurant
Whole Foods Market Callowhill
|Silent Auction Donors
2nd Story Brewing Co
Academy of Natural Sciences
African American Museum in Philadelphia
All Around This World Music
Arden Theatre Company
Asian Arts Initiative
Cafe Fulya (The Daffodil)
Clay Studio EgoPo Classic Theater
Fabric Workshop and Museum
Franklin Square Park
Garden State Discovery Museum
Helium Comedy Club
Interact Theatre Company
Lantern Theater Company
Mitchell & Ness
Mural Arts Program
National Museum of American Jewish History
Painted Bride Art Center
|PAPAYA (PA Performing Arts for Young Audiences)
People’s Light and Theatre Company
Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
Philadelphia Center for Architecture
Philadelphia Rock Gyms
Philadelphia School of Circus Arts
Philadelphia Theatre Company
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Philly in Movement
Pileggi on the Square
Reading Terminal Market
Sang Kee Elkins Park
Sheraton Society Hill
Shofuso: Japanese House and Garden
Soccer Shots Philadelphia
Spasso Italian Grill
Speedwell Forge B & B
Swift Guitar Lessons
Terme di Aroma
University Pinball Family Fun Center
Whole Foods Callowhill
Woodmere Art Museum
REMINDER: We are CLOSED July 3
Children’s Village is CLOSED
Friday, July 3, 2015
in observance of Independence Day.
Fees will be collected via deposit box all day Thursday, 7/2/15, and in person on Thursday, 7/2, 2:00 – 6:00 pm.
NOTE: In the end of the summer, Children’s Village will be closed for in-service days on Wednesday, 9/2. Thurs. 9/3, Friday, 9/4 and we will be closed for Labor Day on Monday, 9/7/15.
Children’s Village Hosts Mayor’s Launch of Early Childhood Learning Plan
Mayor Michael A. Nutter announces A Running Start Philadelphia. Also pictured are: (l to r) Eva Gladstein, Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity; Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village; and First District Councilman Mark Squilla.
“High-quality early learning is a proven way to help people overcome poverty, which is why we need to make it part of every child’s birthright as Philadelphians, as Pennsylvanians, and as Americans,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter as he, City, and early-education leaders announced the launch of the City’s new plan, A Running Start Philadelphia: For Every Child, Birth to Five. The plan’s goal is to provide high-quality early learning for all Philadelphia children from birth to age five.
A Running Start is designed to ensure the early learning services that currently exist in child care centers and in private homes are of the highest quality-and to expand opportunities so Philadelphia’s families with young children can benefit. Respecting Children’s Village’s commitment to early learning excellence, the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, selected Children’s Village to host today’s event.
“Children’s Village’s success as a nationally accredited center is a result of committed partners- -including board members, families, donors, foundations, and businesses along with city, state, and federal resources. Only working together can we offer the best environment to support the whole child and their best teacher–their family, said Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village.
“Learning starts at birth and we must ensure that public funding opens the door to high-quality early learning environments for all children. We can either pay now or pay later. High-quality early education is one of the most effective ways to help children develop the tools they need to succeed in school, secure good jobs, and raise healthy families themselves,” said Mary.
Eva Gladstein, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, and Donna Cooper, Executive Director, Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY), Co-Chairs, Mayor’s Early Learning Advisory Council (MELAC), highlighted the plan’s key elements. Learn more at www.SharedProsperityPhila.org. They underscored the need to ensure local government, including the next mayor and Philadelphia City Council, remain dedicated to A Running Start Philadelphia. Jim Kenney, Democratic nominee for mayor, also spoke at the event and stressed the need for adequate financial resources for pre-K and early childhood learning, and Philadelphia Councilman Mark Squilla attended and toured Children’s Village.
Several Children’s Village Board members attended the event, including (leff) Teri Gerbec and (right) Jim Martin, pictured with Mary Graham, Ex. Dir., Children’s Village, and Mayor Nutter.
Jim Cawley, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey joins Mary Graham, Ex. Dir., Children’s Village, at the launch.
A Running Start Philadelphia is the latest initiative to grow out of Shared Prosperity Philadelphia, the plan introduced by the City two years ago to address persistent poverty in the city. Shared Prosperity works to coordinate, expand and track efforts in five areas: jobs, public benefits, housing, economic security, and early learning. Learn more at www.SharedProsperityPhila.org
Councilman Mark Squilla (right) toured Children’s Village with Children’s Village Board member and founder, Jim Martin.
Learn more about serving as an early learning advocate.
Thank you for Supporting ART NIGHT
Thank you to those who supported
Children’s Village’s fundraiser and celebration…
Held at the extraordinary venue:
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)
118 North Broad Street, Philadelphia 19102
The wonderful event featured music, snacks,
an art demonstration by PAFA’s artists in residence,
and silent auction!
Preschoolers Participate in A Very Special Book Launch
Preschooler Haiqal gently presses the edamame seed into the soil of his pot. His classmates and their families soon join in this gardening activity with seeds of their own. This connection to the earth is a theme of a new picture book, Haiqal’s Garden, featuring and authored by preschooler Haiqal and his father, Syarif Syaifulloh.
Written in both English and Indonesian, Haiqal’s Garden shares the story of a father and son prepping, planting, tending, and harvesting a vegetable garden in their backyard in South Philadelphia. The book’s publisher Morning Circle Media (MCM) selected Children’s Village as the primary site to launch Haiqal’s Garden. Through the support of Steven and Suzana Lucas of Edward Jones, MCM donated 40 copies of Haiqal’s Garden to Haiqal’s classmates and Children’s Village.
The book helps teach children how to grow their own food, how to eat well, and how to be good stewards of the earth by using natural, pesticide-free gardening techniques. Haiqal’s Garden aims to inspire urban gardening in cities around the world, as well as an interest in bilingual – specifically, Indonesian/English – literacy.
“Children’s Village was honored and delighted to host the very special launch of Haiqal’s Garden. In many ways, this story complements our mission. Children’s Village is taking the lead in the early learning community to promote healthy minds and healthy bodies through proper nutrition. Equally important, we are committed to responding to the needs of our community and are proud to welcome a growing number of Indonesian families. We are grateful that Morning Circle Media donated copies of the book to Children’s Village, enhancing our literacy-rich environment. And, truly, it just such a thrill for us and our preschoolers to see a student featured in and helping to write a book!” says Mary E. Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village.
Morning Circle Media (MCM) is a for-profit publishing company that promotes bilingual literacy and cultural understanding. MCM was founded in 2011, and has published seven bilingual (English/Spanish) children’s picture books to date. For more information, visit their website at www.morningcirclemedia.com, or call MCM President Cynthia Kreilick at 215-572-9375.
1) Students display copies of the book with preschool teachers (left) Mr. Kevin and (third from left) Ms. Noelle, Morning Circle Media President Cynthia Kreilick, and Syarif Syaifulloh.
2) During the read aloud, author Syarif Syailfulloh, mimed aspects of the story to further engage the children.
3) Haiqal and his mom, Hani White, display Haiqal’s Garden.
4) Thanks to Steven and Suzana Lucas of Edward Jones, Children received a free copy of Haiqal’s Garden to take home and share with their families.
5) Families and children worked together to plant seeds.
PNC: Thank you for Ensuring Young Children “Grow Up Great”
PNC and its employees continue to enhance Children’s Village’s nationally accredited Preschool Program through PNC’s extraordinary GROW UP GREAT early childhood education and school readiness program. Most recently, the PNC Foundation awarded Children’s Village a grant through PNC Grow Up Great “Grants for Great Hours” Program. This grant recognized PNC’s PREP, a young professional group that volunteered 100+ hours at Children’s Village.
PNC also has generously contributed to Children’s Village through Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC.) PNC’s continued Pre-K Tax Credit support is critical; the majority of preschool children enrolled are low income and learning English as a second language, placing them at risk of school failure.
PNC took the lead to help build Children’s Village’s on-site lending library in 2007. Today, our PNC GROW UP GREAT LIBRARY is home to more than 3,000 titles, many in multiple languages to promote children and families reading together. Additionally, hundreds of books lining the library’s shelves came from PNC employee-led collection drives. PNC also is promoting financial literacy through workshops for our families.
PNC’s financial support is only one aspect of PNC’s investment in early childhood education. PNC encourages employees to volunteer. Denise Di Simone, Senior Vice President, PNC Corporate Finance, is a former Children’s Village board president, and Robin Arriola, Senior Vice President, Regional Portfolio Manager, recently served as a Board member and Meredith Jermann, Vice President, Credit Underwriting, was recently appointed. PNC Celebrity Readers spend part of their mornings leading story time for our preschoolers. College students serving their internship with PNC have helped children explore science and photography through our School-Age Program’s special interest clubs.
” PNC’s volunteer involvement enriches our learning environment for young children and we are honored that PNC has selected Children’s Village as a Grow Up Great partner,” says Mary Graham, Children’s Village’s Executive Director. “PNC’s support and volunteer service are vital to Children’s Village and to other high-quality early learning programs. But PNC’s impact goes well beyond the classroom. PNC’s advocacy work has raised awareness, especially among the business community, of the essential role of early learning in assuring a productive future for children, families, and the community.”
PNC Grow Up Great is a $350 million, multi-year, bilingual initiative that began in 2004 to help prepare children from birth to age five for success in school and life. To learn more, visit www. PNC Grow Up Great
1) PNC representatives, including former members of Children’s Village Board of Directors, Denise DiSimone, (second from left) and Robin Arriola, (third from right) pose for a photograph with preschool classroom 303 and their teachers.
2) In Children’s Village PNC Grow Up Great Library are (l to r) Krystal Nunn, Denise DiSimone, Stephanie Verbanets, Robin Arriola, Brea Govan, and Julianna Landolt.
3) Krystal Nunn, Officer, Treasury Management, PNC Financial Services, displays a thank you card created by Children’s Village preschoolers.
We are so proud! Executive Director Mary Graham wins 2015 PennAEYC Voice for Children Award
“Our role as educators is to empower children and families by providing them with the skills and confidence to raise their collective voices.”
–Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village
PennAEYC’s VOICE for Children Award is the only statewide award in Pennsylvania recognizing the grassroots leaders whose work impacts the quality of care for young children in diverse settings. Now in it’s fifth year, the awards celebrate not only individual award recipients, but also the early childhood profession.
An unrelenting advocate, Mary seizes every opportunity to raise awareness of the lasting returns of early learning investments. She is tapped locally, regionally, and nationally to share her expertise, 30 years of experience, and perspective as a practitioner.
Mary and the other VOICE winners will be honored at an April 17 celebration in Harrisburg. Learn more about attending.
Mary inspires us to advocate for the best in education for all children–when children thrive, families, businesses, communities, and the nation thrive.
Raise YOUR voice as an early learning advocate.
Thank you MIGHTY ENGINE
With a tap of your fingertip or swipe of your mobile screen, you can see Children’s Village through the eyes of children. Thanks to the extraordinary talent and generosity of Mighty Engine, our website is now responsive to mobile and other devices and offers new features.
This refreshed website still boasts an array of beautiful images of children sharing, playing, learning, and exploring. It also includes an expanded Art Gallery. Fostering creative expression is at the essence of our belief in responding to the needs of the whole child. We hope you’ll visit the gallery often to marvel at the artwork on exhibit.
Our new site also includes a password-protected portal For Enrolled Families. Currently enrolled families can readily access important dates and documents—it is a virtual reception desk, saving paper and time.
We think the site is amazing—and we think that Mighty Engine is too. In fact, this isn’t the first time we’ve benefited from Mighty Engine’s talent and generosity. In 2011, Mighty Engine donated their services to launch our new website and rebranded look. We are especially grateful to Mighty Engine President/CEO, Heseung Song, Ed.D., former board president, for her commitment to Children’s Village. Heseung and her exceptional team are ensuring that Children’s Village continues to share our wonder every day.
Learn More About: Tea Time for Grandparents
Reflecting our commitment to respond to the needs of children and families, Children’s Village hosts educational sessions geared to grandparents. Called Tea Time, the informal gatherings offer support and guidance to grandparents serving as caregivers.
Children’s Village respects that families are key to children’s learning success. Our comprehensive approach to engaging families includes twice annual parent/teacher conferences and ongoing workshops on child development and learning. Children’s Village’s Family Services staff recognized that many grandparents have not participated in these opportunities, despite serving as primary caregivers to children while parents work. All of these grandparents speak a language (Fujianese, Mandarin, and Cantonese) other than English at home.
To reach out, Family Services’ staff created Tea Time. Launched last year, the small, welcoming get togethers allow grandparents to meet and share native foods, while discussing concerns about their grandchildren. Dr. Barbara Wolf, Children’s Village’s Special Needs/Language Coordinator, provides guidance and members of the Family Services’ staff interpret and facilitate.
Children’s Village recently held two Tea Time sessions. Parent Xiaoying volunteered as the Fujianese interpreter. At the first event in January, grandparents identified issues, including ways to limit screen time. They also sought approaches to encouraging quiet and calm at home. Due to work schedules, many parents need to sleep when children are awake. Dr. Wolf then suggested solutions.
Last week, Children’s Village hosted the second, follow-up Tea Time. Grandparents shared their successes and challenges in applying the approaches discussed at the initial session.
Dr. Wolf also demonstrated how to enjoy books with children without reading words. Grandparents then created their own books to take home. To wrap up the special session, participants sang Chinese songs and English songs together.
“Children’s Village serves the ‘whole’ child, always within the context of the family. Children’s learning and development are integrally connected to their families and many grandparents play critical roles as primary caregivers. We must address their special circumstances. Thanks to our Family Services staff, the Tea Time format has been very well received. The events have been a wonderful way for grandparents to find solutions to their caregiving concerns and, equally important, to meet others confronting similar issues. Children’s Village continues to creatively and cost-effectively engage families. To best prepare children to flourish throughout school and life, we must do all we can to involve families in their children’s educational growth,” says Mary E. Graham, Executive Director.
Learn more about Families & Teachers: Educating Children Together.
1) Grandparents enjoy tea, snacks, and each other at the February gathering.
2) Grandparents identified areas of concern. Family Service staff members listed the concerns and then grandparents voted on the list to prioritize the discussion topics.
3) (Left) Parent Xiaoying volunteered as the Fujianese interpreter.
4) Ruby Wu, Family Partnership Coordinator, (right) is poised to enjoy the grandparents in song.
5) Grandparents ‘roll up their sleeves’ to create books to take home.
LISTEN to Executive Director Mary Graham on WHYY Radio Times
LISTEN to the interview on WHYY Radio Times
January 28, 2015
Guests: Mary Graham and Joya Misra
Last week, in his State of the Union address, President Obama focused the nation’s attention on the high cost of quality child care calling affordable options a “must-have” for working families. This news came as no surprise for many parents around the country for whom child care can be as expensive as a public college tuition. Complicating the issue is low wages for workers, what some call the “motherhood penalty” for women who drop out of the workforce because they simply cannot afford child care, and a lack of safe, quality programs. Today on Radio Times we’ll talk about the dilemma many families face when it comes to caring for their children while they work and the policies that might be implemented by the government and employers to address the issue. Our guests are MARY GRAHAM, executive director at Children’s Village Child Care Center in Philadelphia and JOYA MISRA, professor of sociology and public policy at the University of Massachusetts.
– See more at: http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/2015/01/28/the-high-cost-of-affordable-quality-child-care/#sthash.YWIjQ95H.dpuf
School-Age Program: Fun & Games Workshops: February dates scheduled.
This program is open to families of currently enrolled children. Please sign up at the 2nd floor reception desk.
Learn more about the Affordable Care Act
Please note that this workshop is for currently enrolled families.
Please sign up at the second floor reception desk.
Today is Giving Tuesday
This local effort is encouraging a national day of giving.
Children’s Village Reminds You That There are Many Ways to Give:
Make an impact today: The Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the main source of child care support for low-income working families across the country, recently was reauthorized. That is good news. But our work isn’t done. We must thank legislators for their support and urge them to significantly increase funding. Please go to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) website to TAKE ACTION NOW.
Share information about your profession with our school-age students (k-6th). Help them with homework. Read to toddlers and preschoolers. We value your time and talent; you will cherish volunteering.
Your gift puts books, building blocks, board games, paint brushes, prisms, puzzles, and other learning tools in the hands of children. You enrich learning with trips to theaters, museums, and other sites. You invest in our greatest asset–our teachers. Above all, you brighten a child’s future.
PLEASE MAKE YOUR GIFT NOW
In fact, our Annual Appeal is underway. This fundraising effort provides essential dollars for day-to-day operations.
On Giving Tuesday and every day, THANK YOU!
THANK YOU Commercial Finance Association (CFA) Philadelphia Chapter
Children’s Village promotes healthy bodies and healthy minds–and a recent gift from Commercial Finance Association (CFA) Philadelphia Chapter is enhancing our efforts. CFA’s donation is supporting improvements to our outdoor second floor play deck, specifically to install an upgraded, larger fabric awning and frame. Children’s Village recently completed the initial phase of the play deck renovation by replacing our well-loved climbing wall with a new one.
Reflecting our belief in supporting the needs of the whole child, Children’s Village offers each child the best possible nutrition and daily opportunities for physical activity. All of our students, including toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children (K-6th grades), enjoy our play deck.
“We are honored that CFA Philadelphia Chapter selected Children’s Village to benefit from this donation; it is a wonderful reflection of its community commitment,” says Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village. “CFA Philadelphia Chapter is helping us provide the best environment to foster development and learning. This investment in young children today will make a long-term impact in their academic and life success. We know that when children thrive, families, businesses, and communities thrive.”
Learn more about CFA Philadelphia Chapter; visit www.cfa.com
Thank you Lincoln Financial Foundation for Helping Children’s Village Set the Stage for Academic Success
A recent grant from Lincoln Financial Foundation is helping Children’s Village set the stage for academic achievement for all children, including those whose circumstances — such as living in poverty and learning English as a second language — can undercut school success. Today, 86 percent of our students are low-income and 74 percent speak a language other than English at home.
Through its continuing support, Lincoln Financial Foundation is helping Children’s Village continue to aspire to excellence and best prepare children to achieve their potential.
“Children’s Village is committed to approaches that respond to the diverse needs of our students,” says Mary Graham, Executive Director. “For example, we are building program partnerships to share expertise and resources. We recently served as a Signature Site for Philadelphia Out-of-School-Time Literacy Initiative (POSTLI), administered by The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation and funded by the Department of Human Services. Our aim is to narrow the literacy gap by boosting literacy skills,” says Mary.
In addition to strengthening students’ “reading muscle,” Children’s Village is promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning. The Franklin Institute selected Children’s Village to pilot its STEM 3D: Integrating Science into Afterschool, Home, and Community program, funded by National Science Foundation. Through hands-on electricity and engineering activities, students are predicting, planning, observing, troubleshooting, and testing ideas.
WATCH: Executive Director Mary Graham’s Congressional Testimony
“We build a beautiful mosaic among our funding sources to create a wonderful environment for children,”
said Mary Graham, Children’s Village’s Executive Director, in her recent testimony at a congressional
briefing on the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), held in Washington, D.C.
Mary noted that CCDBG today represents 39 percent of Children’s Village’s budget revenue. The
balance of the revenue comes from several sources, including: Head Start; state-funded Pre-K; Child and
Adult Care Food Program (CACFP); Educational Improvement Tax Program (ETIC); Out-of-School Time;
foundations, individual donors; and private tuition.
Mary highlighted the critical role of CCDBG in providing high-quality care and learning not just for toddlers
and preschoolers but also for school-age children. One third of Children’s Village’s students are enrolled in
our year-round academic enrichment program for K-6th graders.
Mary also responded to questions regarding CCDBG’s impact on parents’ economic mobility. “Many of
our families remain low-income, despite working hard and often holding down two jobs. But we see that
CCDBG has led to economic mobility for their children. Families see high-quality care and education as
as an economic issue. We know our families want something better for their children. Children’s Village
has high expectations for the children we serve and so do their families. Former Children’s Village students
come back to tell us of their success; they are attending college on scholarships. They are pursuing careers
as doctors, engineers, and teachers. CCDBG impacts children’s and families’ economic mobility and
ensures the next generation does better,” said Mary.
Watch Mary’s testimony:
Grow America Stronger with Quality Early Childhood Education hosted the briefing. Learn more at the First
Five Years Fund.