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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.

It’s been an amazing year!

Dear Families and Friends of Wonderspring,

As the 2023-24 school year draws to a close, we wanted to not only wish all our families a wonderful summer but also take a moment to review some of our many accomplishments this year and the ways we are meeting our four primary strategic goals:

  • Preparing more children for lifelong success;
  • Engaging families and communities;
  • Recruiting and retaining more qualified teachers; and
  • Embracing a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment in which all children, staff and families belong.

You can help support the work we do by making a donation HERE today.

 

Preparing More Children For Lifelong Success

As part of it’s mission to increase access to high-quality early education, in September 2023, Wonderspring acquired a new early childhood center in Havertown. The center, known as Wonderspring Havertown, is located in the former St. Faith Pre School and Kindergarten at 1208 Allston Road in the Brookline section of Havertown.As part of it’s mission to increase access to high-quality early education, in September 2023, Wonderspring acquired a new early childhood center in Havertown. The center, known as Wonderspring Havertown, is located in the former St. Faith Pre School and Kindergarten at 1208 Allston Road in the Brookline section of Havertown.

 

During the 2023-24 school year, the site, which had been licensed by the PA Department of Education, provided preschool for children ages 3-5. Recently, the center obtained a Certification of Compliance from the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). As a result, beginning in Jun, 2024, Wonderspring Havertown will offer summer programming and full-day care. In September, the center will also offer Kindergarten enrichment for children enrolled in half-day Kindergarten in the  School District of Haverford Township.

Promoting Physical Activity

Physical activity is an important part of the social/emotional and physical development of young children. When children are active they reap a myriad of health benefits including reduced risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes, and sleep apnea. They also improve their motor skills including coordination, balance, and agility and are able to initiate social interactions, practice self-management, decision-making, and responsibility. This year, thanks to the generosity of numerous donors including PNC Foundation, Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, McLean Contributionship, Spark Therapeutics, PHLpreK, PreK Counts the McCausland Foundation, and the Ayers Foundation, Wonderspring has significantly enhanced the opportunities for the children we serve to participate in engaging physical activities. As described below, these improvements to our facilities and programs have helped Wonderspring to achieve its strategic goals of preparing more children for lifelong success and increasing engagement with families and communities.

 

At our Powelton Village center, we completed a renovation of the outdoor play space which included removing old, unsafe equipment, installing new turf and purchasing new play equipment.

At our Pottstown center, we were able to partner with Yoga at Play and Music Play Patrol to provide Yoga and Music enrichment for our students as well as several family engagement events.

At our Narberth center we were  to partner with KidoKinetics to provide weekly physical education programming.

Engaging Communities and Families

More than 50% of the children served by Wonderspring’s early childhood programs live in low-income households. To help our staff and partner organizations better understand and address the needs of families with limited resources, Wonderspring hosted a Poverty Simulation attended by approximately 60 representatives of organizations serving children and families. During this eye-opening event, funded by PNC, participants role-played the lives of low-income families trying to obtain basic necessities and shelter during the course of four “15-minute weeks.” In so doing, they interacted with human service agencies, grocers, pawnbrokers, bill collectors, job interviewers, police officers and others.

 

According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, 22 percent of Philadelphians live under the federal poverty rate and nearly 35% of all Philadelphia households bring in less than $35,000. “These are hard-working members of our community who are trying to survive and deserve equitable access to the same opportunities for their children everyone wants,” says Zakiyyah Boone, CEO of Wonderspring. “It’s critical that those of us who serve these families understand the challenges they face on a daily basis so we can not only be more patient and empathetic but also more effectively meet their needs.”

As a follow up to the event, Wonderspring is working with the Enterprise Hub to develop a web-based directory, to help connect families to services and resources they need. Wonderspring is also working to bring resources directly to families.

 
 
 

New Market West Coat Giveaway

This winter, our New Market West Center partnered with West Philadelphia YMCA to provide beautiful, brand new winter coats to our children.

 

Powelton Village Swap and Share Resource Fair

In the spring, our Powelton Village center held a Swap and Share Resource Fair where families could donate and obtain items such as clothing, books, toys, diapers, and personal care items they could also meet with organizations such as One Day at a Time, Kutest Kids’ Parents as Teacher’s Program, HopePHL, the Early Learning Resource Center and PNC Bank. 

Retaining More Qualified Teachers

 
 

Wonderspring is committed to retaining qualified teachers and ensuring they have the resources and support they need to be effective and confident in their roles. One way we do this is through continuous professional development and training. This year, a featured part of our Spring In-service was a training on self-care to help our educators better cope with stress and care for their mental health. Other workshops focused on infant and toddler development and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics).

Embracing Diversity

In January, as part of Wonderspring’s ongoing effort to embrace a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment in which all children, staff and families belong, our leadership team completed the year-long Racial Equity Learning Community. This cross-county, multi-sector initiative, brought together a host of nonprofit in Bucks and Montgomery Counties to learn, build relationships, and take action that deepens organizational and collective capacity to advance racial equity and justice. To further that work, we also held an Equitable Governance Workshop for Board Members and staff leadership, which focused on creating a workplace that affirms difference and is relevant to marginalized communities and changing community demographics. Led, by Lucria Ortiz, a longtime advocate for marginalized communities, the workshop covered a range of topics including: anti-racism, challenging the status quo, culture, belonging, achievement, and relationships. 

This is just a snapshot of the work Wonderspring does every day to help children, families and communities thrive. Please consider supporting our work by making a donation today. Donate HERE.

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Wonderspring Havertown receives DHS license

Wonderspring Havertown is excited to announce it is now licensed by the Department of Human Services in addition to the Department of Education. Starting this summer, the center will be offering  several new programs including:

  • Summer programs
  • Full-day Care (from 7am-5pm in the summer and from 7am-6pm during the 2024-25 school year)
  • Older Toddler Care
  • Kindergarten Enrichment

For more information contact Beth at edougherty@wonderspring.org or call 610-446-0880.

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New Year, New Swag

New Year, New Swag. What better way to ring in 2024 than with some cool Wonderspring swag? Our Wonderspring shop has something for everyone in the family. Not only will you look cool but you’ll be supporting our work as a nonprofit providing the highest quality early education and care.

Don’t miss out. Click HERE to get your swag while it is still available.

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A holiday message from our CEO

This holiday help ensure all children
have the support they need to succeed.

Dear Wonderspring Families and Friends,

When I think about what makes Wonderspring such a special place, it is stories like Cyrstal’s that spring to mind Wonderspring such a special place, it is stories like Cyrstal’s that spring to mind.

After COVID, we noticed that my daughter, who was previously a leader in her class, became very quiet and was reluctant to speak up to express her needs. When we returned to Wonderspring her teachers worked closely with her to bring her out of her shell. They made her a classroom helper and encouraged her to take on small responsibilities. When she moved up to the next class, her new teachers jumped right into the plan and continued building her confidence. Every step of the way, her teachers were there to help me understand what was going on, provide feedback, and answer my questions. I really appreciate the extra attention and support they gave her. It was tremendously helpful in her transition to kindergarten.

-Crystal Bradley, Narberth Parent

At Wonderspring we know that social-emotional development is essential to a young child’s sense of well-being and we pride ourselves on being one of the few early childhood organizations in the region that prioritizes social-emotional learning. Our programs utilize an evidenced-based social-emotional curriculum and Crystal’s story is just one of many examples of how our efforts are helping children overcome challenges and develop into confident and successful individuals.

However, as you may be aware, the stress and disruption in the lives of children and families during the pandemic have had ongoing repercussions. Consequently, post-pandemic, Wonderspring has seen an urgent need for even more social-emotional support for children. That might mean adding specialized coaches or equipment to help our children better manage their emotions, cope with stressful situations, make appropriate decisions or find their voice.

This holiday season, we’re asking you to please make a donation to help Wonderspring enhance the social-emotional programming and supports we provide in our classrooms. Your tax deductible gift will help ensure that all the children we serve have the resources they need to succeed.

I wish each of you a joyous holiday season and I look forward to a spectacular new year for all our children and families.

Sincerely,

Zakiyyah Boone

CEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

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