ALLENTOWN, PA (April 4, 2018) – Casa Guadalupe Center has partnered with Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers (LVCC), a leading provider in high quality early education and child care services, to open a new dual-language preschool program in Allentown. LVCC at Casa is located in the lower level of Casa Guadalupe Center at 218 North 2nd Street in Allentown. The two organizations celebrated the new program with a ribbon cutting ceremony today.
LVCC and Casa Guadalupe partnered to provide free, high-quality preschool education for children (ages three to five) and families in need, particularly those evacuated from Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Six months after the hurricane hit the island, families are still struggling without basic needs and continuing to migrate to the Lehigh Valley. Over 420 evacuees have enrolled into Allentown School District, not including the younger children entering kindergarten in the upcoming 2018-19 school year.
“Some of the children in our care have been through a traumatic experience,” commented Charles Dinofrio, VP of early education and child care programs at Lehigh Valley Children's Centers. “Our fully bilingual and culturally diverse preschool supports the children’s native language and culture while they build English language skills. The safe and welcoming environment eases the transition into the children’s new community and eventually kindergarten.”
Charitable support through the LVCC Scholarship Fund makes it possible for LVCC to provide a positive early learning experience for the children attending LVCC at Casa at no cost to families. Carol Obando-Derstine, PPL’s regional affairs director, spoke in support of the new preschool program. An Educational Improvement Tax Credit contribution from PPL Electric Utilities is helping to provide scholarships for children attending LVCC at Casa.
"It is important that we provide the means for upward mobility to future generations raised in this community and the key is starting education as early as possible," said Lucy DeLabar, executive director of Casa Guadalupe Center. "LVCC understood our huge need to prepare the younger children for kindergarten, the impact to our community, and specifically helping these displaced families integrate into the Lehigh Valley."
During the ceremony, Debra Lamb, VP of Development for Lehigh Valley Children's Centers and Lucy DeLabar, Executive Director for Casa Guadalupe Center, introduced the following special guest speakers:
Jennifer Ramos, Executive Director of Elementary Education for Allentown School District and Board Chair for Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers
Thomas E. Parker, Superintendent for Allentown School District
Ellen Kern, Chief of Staff for State Senator Pat Browne
Proclamations were then read by the following legislators:
Elizabeth Martinez, Legislative Assistant for State Representative Peter Schweyer and Board Director for Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers
Marta Gabriel, Lehigh Valley Regional Manager for U.S. Senator Pat Toomey
Genesis Ortega, Constituent Affairs Representative for U.S. Congressman Charlie Dent
LVCC at Casa offers a curriculum aligned with Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards to meet the physical, educational, and social/emotional needs of each child. The classroom operates 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Features include:
A bilingual teacher and assistant teacher
Classroom size of 15 children for more individualized attention
Gross motor area for physical activity• Nutritious lunch and snack at no additional fee
For enrollment information, families should contact Lauren Becker at [email protected] or 610-820-5333, ext. 212.
About Casa Guadalupe Center
Casa Guadalupe Center is a non-profit, community based organization established in 1969 to meet the needs of primarily the Latino residents of the Lehigh Valley. It offers services for children, youth, adults, and elderly residents in the areas of health, education, and social services.To learn more, visit www.casa-lv.org.
About Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers, Inc.
Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers (LVCC) is a not-for-profit corporation with 27 locations in Lehigh and Northampton Counties. Founded in 1970, LVCC provides high-quality early education and child care services for more than 1,100 children. LVCC promotes healthy child development, meets the needs of families, and encourages children to discover the joy of learning. For more information, visit www.LVCConline.org.
Contact: Shawn Deiter, Marketing & Communications Manager
Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers, Inc. 610-820-5333 x 205,