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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.

Zakiyyah Boone Named Wonderspring CEO

 

Narberth, PA—Wonderspring Early Education, a nonprofit provider of high-quality, safe, convenient, and affordable early childhood education throughout Greater Philadelphia, has named Zakiyyah Boone Chief Executive Officer.

According to Surge Ghosh, President of Wonderspring’s Board of Directors, Boone’s appointment culminated a thorough search for a strong leader to move the organization forward at a time when the child care sector faces unprecedented challenges. “Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate for the already fragile early childcare sector has become more precarious. Zakiyyah has the perfect mix of experience, innovation, leadership and passion to help Wonderspring not only weather this storm but empower the organization to thrive.”

Boone, who previously served as the organization’s Interim CEO and Chief Program Officer, has more than 20 years of experience as an early childhood and youth development professional. Prior to joining Wonderspring, she served as Vice President of Early Childhood at the Greater Philadelphia YMCA where she managed a budget of $20M, identified growth and partnership opportunities and ensured the appropriateness of facilities to deliver high-quality programs. She has cut the ribbon on 10 child care centers and launched multiple evidence-based youth development programs across the Greater Philadelphia region. She holds a BS in Elementary Education from Millersville University and an MBA from Kaplan University.

Since taking on the role of Interim CEO in April, Boone has successfully managed the safe reopening of the organization’s four early childcare centers and its school-age camps in Philadelphia and Montgomery County. She has also been instrumental in the development of Wonderspring’s newly constructed center in the neighborhood transformation project known as  New Market West. While acknowledging the challenges posed by the pandemic, she is optimistic about the future of Wonderspring.

“Child care is critical for the recovery of our economy,” she says. “We have forged strong relationships with the families we serve and they rely on us to provide high-quality care and education for their children. Everyone at Wonderspring, from our outstanding teachers and center directors to our highly agile central administration team, is dedicated to finding innovative and safe ways to meet the changing needs of our families throughout the pandemic and beyond. To that end, we are exploring a host of ideas including onsite school-age programming for children whose schools are not offering in-person instruction.”

“As a mother of three, I am keenly aware of the impact high-quality early education can have on children and families. I am committed to not only providing that level of care to the families we currently serve but to ensuring that all children have equitable access to the highest quality of education and care.”

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Wonderspring Early Education is a nonprofit organization working to develop, provide and advocate for high-quality early childhood education, school-age programs, and related services in support of all children. The organization provides direct service programs to over 1,000 children through its 10 locations within the Greater Philadelphia region.

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Wonderspring Names Zakiyyah Boone Interim CEO

 

Narberth, PA–Wonderspring Early Education, a nonprofit provider of high-quality, safe, convenient, and affordable early childhood education throughout Greater Philadelphia, has named Zakiyyah Boone Interim Chief Executive Officer.

Boone, who previously served as the organization’s Chief Program Officer, has more than 20 years of experience as an early childhood and youth development professional. Prior to joining Wonderspring, she served as Vice President of Early Childhood at the Greater Philadelphia YMCA where she managed a budget of $20M, identified growth and partnership opportunities and ensured the appropriateness of facilities to deliver high-quality programs. She has cut the ribbon on 10 child care centers and launched multiple evidence-based youth development programs across the Greater Philadelphia region.

Boone holds a BS in Elementary Education from Millersville University and an MBA from Kaplan University. As a mother of three, she personally understands the impact that high-quality early education can have on children and families, especially with a high-quality childcare provider such as Wonderspring.

“We are thrilled that Zakiyyah will be stepping into the role of Interim CEO,” said Surge Ghosh, President of Wonderspring’s Board of Directors. “She is an energetic, creative and passionate leader whose extensive experience and innovation will be an asset to Wonderspring moving forward.”

Boone replaces Ann O’Brien who has left the organization to pursue a new opportunity. “Ann has been a guiding force at Wonderspring for the last six years and has been instrumental in stabilizing the organization’s finances, expanding Wonderspring’s partnerships, advocating for the child care sector, and building a strong management team. We wish her the very best in her new endeavor,” said Ghosh.

While Wonderspring has been closed during the COVID-19 crisis, the organization continues to pay its teachers who are actively engaging students and families through phone, email, videos, and social media.  “The COVID-19 crisis has been difficult for all organizations and businesses. However, we believe that with our capable administrative team, amazing center directors and incredible teachers, we will weather this storm and emerge stronger than ever.” says Ghosh.

“Since arriving at Wonderspring, I have been so inspired by the commitment of our teachers and center directors to the children and families we serve,” says Boone. “I look forward to when we can welcome all of our students back to our classrooms and am excited about what the future holds.”

 

 

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Wonderspring to host open house events at New Market West

 

Wonderspring Early Education (formerly Montgomery Early Learning Centers) will open a brand-new center in New Market West in the Spring of 2020. Located at 59th and Market Streets in Philadelphia, directly adjacent to a public transportation hub, New Market West is a neighborhood transformation development that will also feature primary health care, support for previously homeless single-parent families, behavioral health services, and retail.

Community members are invited to tour the new facility at one of three open house events that will take place:

  • Tuesday, April 21, 10am-noon
  • Wednesday, April 22, noon-2pm
  • Thursday, April 23, 5pm-7pm

According to Wonderspring CEO, Ann O’Brien, the New Market West center will serve infants through school age children. Like all of Wonderspring’s early childhood centers, it will provide high-quality, evidence-based programming that meets the state’s Early Learning Standards by focusing on the intellectual, developmental, social, emotional, and relational aspects of the whole child.

The new site will also feature a beautiful outdoor learning space that will offer children many opportunities for exploration and connecting with nature. Through a generous grant from PNC Foundation, the outdoor space will be outfitted with playthings that spark imagination and promote open-ended play and learning.

The New Market West site will accept ELRC subsidy and Wonderspring anticipates partnering with a variety of other community supports to fund additional families as soon as the new center is eligible to apply for those resources.

For more information about the new center contact Steve Cotilus at scotilus@wonderspring.org.

 

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