Wonderspring is excited to announce that it is among the first recipients of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) Partnership Grant Program. Grantees were selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants across a nine-county footprint and each received a grant of $50,000.The Partnership Grant Program, part of a comprehensive strategy to end poverty and expand opportunity, is a departure from United Way’s past grant programs.
The program’s application process focused on what United Way can learn from organizations, not strictly on the organization’s demonstration of outcomes. By design, small organizations with deep roots in their communities or expertise in an emerging topic were selected alongside larger nonprofits.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with United Way to end the cycle of poverty that plagues our region by ensuring that children have access to high-quality early education that prepares them for success in school and beyond,” said Wonderspring CEO Zakiyyah Boone.
The mission of the Partnership Grant Program is to further high-trust relationships, productive knowledge sharing, and diverse perspectives. To support this, the decision process prioritized diversity of the group as a whole, including fields of practice, geographies served, size and age of organizations, and leadership diversity. The process was designed to prioritize learning and foster relationships, and to support grantees in their poverty fighting efforts.
To learn more about the Partnership grant go HERE
Wonderspring CEO, Zakiyyah Boone was admitted to the Forum of Executive Women. The Forum brings together and leverages the influence of professional women to expand the impact and power of women in the workplace and beyond. Its vision is for women to achieve equitable representation in leadership influence and power in the workplace.
The Forum works to:
- Make the voices of women leaders he
- Provide a venue for the exchange of views and information
- Advance parity in the corporate world
- Support members for leadership roles
- Further diversity, equity and inclusion
- Promote the contributions, skills and visibility of Forum members
- Mentor junior women as they advance in their careers
- Serve as a source of influential contact, business referrals and remarkable friendships
The Forum advocates for pay equity and recently released a Pay Equity Playbook and report that provides leaders and organizations with a valuable resource for advancing the conversation on achieving full participation and compensation parity for women, people of color and underrepresented groups.
“The childcare workforce is largely comprised of women who are vastly underpaid,” says Zakiyyah. “It is my hope that as a Forum will provide both the resources and platform for me to be a more effective advocate for pay equity in our workforce.”
In May, a large group of volunteers from PNC bank came to Wonderspring’s Powelton Village center to clean our outdoor play area and plant flower and vegetable gardens. It was an amazing day and through the hard work of the PNC volunteers, the play area was transformed.
Since that time the staff and students at the Powelton Village center have been faithfully watering and caring for the gardens. The students have loved watching the plants grow and predicting which plants will bloom first. This week they literally saw the fruits of their labor. They were able to harvest radishes, cilantro and spinach, which was then shared with our families. Soon they will be able to harvest the snap peas and lettuce to share as well.
The children have learned so many wonderful lessons about plants and how food is grown in this process all while having fun outside. Thanks to PNC for making these gardens possible.
Check out the pictures below to see the transformation of the gardens.
At our next Family Virtual Workshop we’ll be discussing How to Hold it All Together. Our presenter is Learning (SEL) Specialist Helen Ober who has worked with thousands of parents and teachers. Her mission is to equip them with the skills that support a child’s emotional health, encourage them to simply love and let go of perfection, and to empower them to be the confident leader children need.
7:00 – 8:00 pm
8:00 – 8:30 Q & A
The comfort of your own home…
Wonderspring is thrilled to announce that CEO Zakiyyah Boone has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Child Care Association (PACCA)
. PACCA is a statewide non-profit membership organization that exists to be strong and effective advocates for high-quality early care and education programs.
For more than 40 years, PACCA has served as a resource and clearinghouse of information for practitioners, agencies, press, legislators and the general public. Founded in 1973, PACCA has helped to inform, update and represent child care providers on existing and changing laws, regulations, policies and developmental research relating to early education and child care.
PACCA’s members operate nearly 2,400 center, group and family child care programs employing over 20,000 staff and caring for over 140,000 children aged birth through school-age. Its membership also includes agencies that provide county-wide child care resources and referral services.
“I’m honored to serve on the PACCA Board of Directors alongside other leaders who are unapologetically and relentlessly passionate about access to quality education for all children,” says Boone. “I wholeheartedly believe education is the best way to eradicate poverty and it is my life’s mission to support quality education.”
She notes there are three primary issues she hopes to work to address: the need for increased funding for early education, developing a workforce of quality staff, and building professional respect for the field.
“Eighty percent of a child’s brain development occurs before the age of 5,” says Boone. “That’s why affordable, high-quality early education is so critical to a child’s success in school and beyond. It is my hope that my passion and energy for this field will inspire others to advocate on behalf of Pennsylvania’s children and families.”