Author Archive

Wonderspring Early Learning

At Wonderspring, our mission is to develop, provide and advocate for high quality early childhood education, school age programs, and related services in support of all children and families.

Wonderspring Welcomes New Board Members

       

Wonderspring Early Education, a non-profit organization providing high-quality early childhood education and care throughout Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties, is pleased to welcome Seanna Crosley and Josh Fiorenza to its Board of Directors.

Seanna is a development consultant with 17 years experience working with nonprofit organizations including The Michael J. Fox Foundation, The One Love Foundation, La Salle University, and The Wharton School.  Most recently she served as Vice President of Development for Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware, and Susquehanna Valley.

Seanna is a member of LEADERSHIP Philadelphia’s Core Class of 2022 and The Forum of Executive Women in Philadelphia. She serves as a member of the Development Committee for Women Against Abuse and the Community Engagement Committee for the Alzheimer’s Association, Delaware Valley Chapter.

Seanna holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Communication from LaSalle University.

Josh is Senior Director at Slalom, a  Fortune 100 global consulting firm focused on strategy, technology, and business transformation. He has more than 20 years of management consulting experience in business strategy, leading high-performance teams, and cultivating customer relationships.

Josh is actively engaged as a Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) Member, supports the Four Diamond Philanthropy, and volunteers as a coach for the Great Valley Community Organization (GVCO) and Great Valley Little League.

Josh holds a B.A. degree in Industrial Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and an executive degree from the University of Cambridge, Institute for Manufacturing.

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2021: A Year in Review

A message from our CEO Zakiyyah Boone

While operating as a nonprofit in 2021 presented it’s own set of challenges, when I reflect on all we accomplished, I feel a tremendous sense of pride and gratitude for the amazing staff, families, children and partners that make up the Wonderspring community. I wish each of you a wonderful holiday season and a happy and healthy New Year. Before we kick off 2022, I wanted to take a moment to share some of the highlights of the past year. I also want to remind you that it is not too late to make a tax deductible donation to support our work. Your gift ensures that we can continue to help children and families thrive.

 

We opened a gorgeous brand new center

After months of anticipation, Wonderspring opened the doors of New Market West–a gorgeous brand-new center in West Philadelphia. To celebrate the momentous occasion, Wonderspring joined with elected officials, early childhood stakeholders and community partners at a festive celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

We connected with the community

Despite the challenges of COVID we found numerous creative and safe ways to connect with the families and communities we serve. Big hits this year were the Narberth and Wynnewood Art shows that highlighted the incredible creativity of our children and our first annual Community Fun Day, which thanks to the collaboration of so many partners, was a giant hit with children and families alike.

We gave back

Wonderspring is committed to building empathy and caring in our children. We believe you are never to young to give back to the community and become a socially responsible citizen. In that spirit of giving, this year our Colonial school-age program collected a record 456 items including canned food, clothing, toys and books for the Colonial Neighborhood Council. Our Narberth program partnered with with the Pajama Program to provide pajamas for children in need.

     

We advocated for the needs of children and families

Working with local and national media outlets, Wonderspring took a lead role in helping our elected officials understand the the childcare staffing crisis, its effect on economic recovery, and the need to support a significant and sustained investment in early childhood education.

 

 

Thank you

We are so grateful for the generosity of our families and partners who supported us every step of the way this year. You help ensure we can continue to provide the highest-quality early education and care. If you would like to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the children and families we serve, it’s not too late to make a tax deductible donation! Just click the button below.

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Spotlight on Quality

Meet Wonderspring’s Quality Team

Monica Stanoch and Janine Massenburg

When it comes to our children, we all want the very best. That’s why Wonderspring is committed to providing the highest quality programming and invests heavily in continual quality improvement. As part of that investment, we have expanded our quality team to include two highly-experienced, full-time Quality Advisors, Monica Stanoch and Janine Massenburg. They will be working directly with each of our centers to identify quality improvement goals and develop and implement strategic plans and action steps to achieve those goals.
 
Monica, a 12-year veteran of Wonderspring who previously served as a part-time Quality Advisor, has a wealth of expertise in early childhood education. In addition to serving as an internal quality coach, she has provided on-site technical assistance, professional development and coaching for Keystone STARS programs throughout the Southeast region. She was also instrumental in the implementation of Wonderspring’s Creative Curriculum, Teaching Strategies Gold and Second Step Social/Emotional Curriculum. Additionally, she played a critical role in developing Wonderspring’s COVID-19 Health and Safety policies and procedures. Before joining Wonderspring, Monica was a Professional Development Manager at Southeast Regional Key, which manages Keystone STARS, Pennsylvania’s Quality Rating and Improvement System. 
 
Janine has worked with Wonderspring for 14 years, most recently as a Project Associate for Technical Assistance. In this grant-funded role, she worked with other Early Childhood Centers providing the coaching and technical assistance they needed to improve quality and raise their Keystone STAR level. Prior to joining Wonderspring, she was director of education at LifeSPAN School and Day Care.
 
“What I love about Wonderspring is that the organization values the benefits of a play-based, child-centered curriculum. We meet each child where they are while preparing them for their next developmental milestone, a strategy based on early childhood brain research and rooted in best practices,” says Monica. “Another thing that makes Wonderspring special is its commitment to the social and emotional development of children and it has been gratifying to help lead the implementation of a social/emotional curriculum and positive behavior supports at our centers.”
 
Monica and Janine are excited for the opportunity to work closely with the staff at each of our centers as well as our community partners to help Wonderspring provide the highest quality programming and learning environments to the children and families we serve.
 

PNC Grant Supports Professional Development

 
In another exciting development advancing Wonderspring’s quality improvement efforts, we are thrilled to announce that Wonderspring has been awarded a grant from the PNC Foundation to support the professional development of our center staff. The grant will provide two full days of comprehensive targeted trainings on The Creative Curriculum and the Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment tool. The Creative Curriculum is a nationally recognized, research-based, collection of knowledge-building resources enables teachers to to support every type of learner and address all the important areas of learning. Teaching Strategies GOLD is assessment system that blends ongoing observational assessment for all areas of development and learning with performance tasks for selected predictors of school success in the areas of literacy and numeracy. 
 
Staff will attend skill-building workshops specific to their their level of knowledge and experience as well as the age age group with which they work. The grant will also enable Wonderspring to purchase additional online training that can be accessed throughout the year for more intensive instruction on specific topics or as an introduction to new teachers.
 
We’re grateful to PNC Foundation for their ongoing support of Wonderspring’s commitment to quality!
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Wonderspring welcomes two new Board members

 

Narberth PA—Wonderspring Early Education, a nonprofit provider of high-quality, safe, convenient, and affordable early childhood education throughout Greater Philadelphia, is pleased to welcome Jennifer Ghazzouli and Daniela Keller to its Board of Directors.

Jen has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources working in a variety of industries including financial services, retail, and healthcare. She currently serves as the Vice President/Managing Director of Talent Acquisition for OneMain Financial, the nation’s largest personal installment loan provider. She is responsible for leading and developing OneMain’s talent acquisition strategies and delivering programs including talent attraction, selection, talent pipelines as well as supporting strategic initiatives to drive organizational growth. Prior to joining OneMain Financial, Jen led Global Talent Acquisition for QVC, Inc.  Jen holds a Master of Science in Human Resource Development from Villanova University as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Chemistry/Biochemistry from LaSalle University.  She is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management and holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification.  

Daniela has over 20 years of experience working in Human Resources partnering with leadership to achieve organizational vision, attract key talent, foster an innovative and collaborative culture. As an influential change agent, she seeks opportunities for continuous improvement while driving inclusion and employee experience. She is currently a Senior People Operations Partner at La Colombe Coffee Roasters. Previously, she served as Wawa’s first People Team Business Partner and spent 10 years as a Sr HR Business Partner at QVC. Daniela holds a Master of Science in Human Resources from Weider University and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Temple University. As a working mother, Daniela says she understands the importance of high-quality childcare and is looking forward to supporting Wonderspring in its efforts to help children and families thrive.

Wonderspring operates in ten locations throughout the Philadelphia region. In addition to its early education centers, Wonderspring offers school-age programs to ensure children receive educational experiences and care before and after the school day. The organization’s summer camp for children entering Kindergarten through 6th grade offers weekly themed sessions that provide opportunities for fun, exploration and learning throughout the summer. For more information, visit wonderspring.org.

 

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Promotions and New Hires at Wonderspring

Promotions

As you may be aware, the early childhood sector is experiencing an unprecedented staffing crisis. At Wonderspring, we are working hard to ensure that we are an employer of choice and that we retain our talented and dedicated staff. One important way we do this is by providing pathways to career growth to our employees. To that end we are proud to highlight Wonderspring staff who have recently been promoted.

Elissha Mattheis is Wonderspring’s new Talent Development Manager. Elissha, who previously served as the Director of our Powelton Village center, Elissha has more than ten years of experience working with young children in various roles both in the United States and Abroad. Prior to joining Wonderspring she  worked in roles that include Intensive In-Home Specialist, Teacher, and Assistant Director. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Social Relations, Elissha is devoted to ensuring that Wonderspring continues to hire quality employees that will serve Wonderspring’s children and families. She is excited about recruiting talented and enthusiastic people to join our team. 
   
Monica Williams has been promoted to Director of our Powelton Village center. Monica has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Eastern University and 17 years of experience working with children and families. She most recently served as Assistant Director at our Narberth Center. Monica is passionate about fostering child development through positive engagement and play-based learning and is excited to bring her skills to her new role at Powelton!
   
Angela Giuliani has been promoted to the role of Assistant Director at our Narberth center. Angela has been a Pre-K teacher for over 15 years, with the last three at Wonderspring. She has a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from Penn State and a dual Master’s from Neumann University in elementary and special education. This year she was also one of only 50 teachers nationally to receive the 2021 Terri Lynne Lokoff Teacher Award, which acknowledges the critical role of child care teachers in providing quality early care and education.
   

New Hires

Bob Harker is Wonderspring’s new Director of Facilities Operations. Bob has 15 years of building and trades experience. He has an associates degree in Facilities Management from the Community College of Philadelphia and is pursuing a degree in Business Administration. When he’s not working he enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, playing games, watching movies and listening to music. He’s also a a huge Philly sports fan, Bob is excited to bring his knowledge and experience to Wonderspring to ensure it is safest and most desirable location for children and families.
   
Leah Booker is the new Director at our New Market West center. Leah received her Bachelor’s degree in in Kinesiology from West Chester University and her Masters in Early Childhood Education from University of Phoenix. Working with children and being a youth advocate has been Leah’s life’s work. She has served in various capacities for the School District of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia YMCA and most recently, Storefront Academy Charter Schools. Leah is looking forward to leading the awesome New Market West team, creating dynamic relationships with families, and impacting every child beyond expectations!
   
Alicia Vaux is the new Assistant Director of our Wynnewood center. Alicia previously served as a Pre-K Counts teacher for the Berks County Intermediate Unit. She has also taught Head Start and worked at a private childcare center. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education Pre-K through 4th grade from Shippensburg University and Master’s in Reading Education from Holy Family University. Alicia has a passion for child development and leadership and is excited to support the children and staff at Wynnewood. 
   
Rasheeda McLean is the new Assistant Director at our Powelton Village center. Rashida has a wealth of experience working with young children. Prior to joining Wonderspring, she taught Pre-K and Kindergarten students for 6 years before founding a pre-school in Philadelphia. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Special Education from Rosemont College and received her Pennsylvania Director Certification in childcare from Arcadia University.
   
   
 

We’re still hiring!

Do you know someone who wants a career making a difference in the lives of children and families? Wonderspring is still working to fill numerous teacher and assistant teacher positions at its centers. We’re even offering signing bonuses of up to $2000! What’s more, if you refer someone who is hired, you will receive a $200 gift card.
You can learn more about what makes Wonderspring such a wonderful place to work and view all our open positions HERE.

 

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