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.
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.
Click the image below to read our fall newsletter.
Elected officials, community partners and education advocates joined Wonderspring at a festive ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of New Market West, its brand-new early childhood education center in West Philadelphia.
Serving up to 123 children and creating 30 jobs
According to Wonderspring CEO, Zakiyyah Boone, Wonderspring New Market West will serve up to 123 infants through school-age children and will create 30 jobs. The new center 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.
“This center has been a long time in the making, but we have poured so much love and passion into this project and we couldn’t be more thrilled to open our doors to the children and families of West Philadelphia,” said Boone.
Bringing resources to families
The new center is located in the New Market West neighborhood transformation development, which is bringing high-quality early childhood education, primary health care, support for previously homeless single-parent families, behavioral health services, and community-serving retail to a transit-accessible location together with affordable rental housing to the Cobbs Creek neighborhood of West Philadelphia.
“We recognize the importance of ensuring that families have the resources they need to thrive. The fact that New Market West is a neighborhood transformation initiative aimed at improving the quality of life for the community was a key driver in our decision to open a center here,” said Boone.
Philadelphia City Councilman, Curtis Jones, noted that “New Market West represents the transformation of land that was once an abandoned gas station to a high-quality education center for our children. But this is even more than an educational center,” he said. “It is an economic development project, because without reliable childcare, parents cannot return to work.”
Sean Perkins, Chief of Early Childhood Education for the City of Philadelphia spoke to the importance of high-quality childcare. “This is where deductive reasoning, executive function, negotiation skills, literacy and empathy begins,” he said.
Wonderspring is currently enrolling children at the new center. Click the button below to complete an application.
Wonderspring Early Education, a nationally recognized nonprofit provider of high-quality, safe, convenient, and affordable early childhood education throughout Greater Philadelphia, is pre-enrolling at its newest high-quality early childhood education center at 59th and Market Streets in the Cobbs Creek neighborhood of West Philadelphia. What’s more, we’re offering discounts to all families who pre-enroll.
The center is located in the neighborhood transformation development called New Market West, which also features primary health care, support for previously homeless single-parent families, behavioral health services, and retail.
Serving infants through school-age children, the new center 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. Among the highlights of the new center is a beautiful outdoor learning space outfitted with playthings that ignite imagination and promote open-ended play and learning.
“Wonderspring is committed to increasing access to high-quality care for all children and we’re thrilled to be opening a gorgeous, brand new, high-quality center in this neighborhood,” says Wonderspring CEO, Zakiyyah Boone. “Our focus is on sparking the creativity and wonder in children and Wonderspring New Market West offers the perfect environment for children to tap into their natural curiosity and develop a lifelong love of learning.”
Want to learn more? Call our fabulous center director Cherrelle Shaw at 215-798-9961 and schedule a safe, socially distant tour or request more information here.
Just imagine… you have just become a parent. Just six weeks ago,equivalent to the time that it typically takes to process a passport, you didn’t have that title of parent. Of guardian, of a person that must watch over and care for another human’s life. In the length of time that it takes for you to receive your passport you must say goodbye to your child, your infant. For six weeks the only sustenance your child needed came from you and now… you are standing in a line, six feet behind the family in front of you. Waiting for a stranger, with their body covered in a mask, shield, gloves, and smock, to take your child’s temperature in order to determine if your child has been infected…. The staff member greets you as warmly as one can while under all the PPE and directs you through processes of drop-off. Such a foreign concept to a new family. The PPE person assures you that your child is in good hands and then. That’s it. Your baby is gone. You don’t know how many steps it will take for the person to arrive at your child’s classroom. You don’t know how the teachers greet your child or even if they do. You don’t see how your child reacts to a new environment, people, children, food or surroundings. There is limited opportunity to build a connection with the people beyond the front doors of a center that cares for your child. Connections are lost. Communication is, virtual, remote. Touch is forbidden. Participation and family engagement is a potential hazard. We are providing care and education for your child. However, we cannot properly care for the guardian who turns their back every day to a person in PPE to wipe tears from their eyes. We cannot slow the heartbeat of a guardian who fears for their child’s safety and wellbeing. They must do this now on their own. They are their own support.
As providers we cope in many different ways to stave off the fear that comes when we awake in the morning. To push away the question “Is today the day I get infected”? We cry, but cannot embrace our fellow employees as we hear of another death, another in the hospital, another loved one in quarantine.
But, when we enter the classroom we are not only your child’s teacher. We are the loving touch a mother would give to a concerned child. We are the silly songs to distract from a difficult guardian departure. We are the person that pretends to call Mommy for the 30th time to make sure she’s coming back to pick up at 3:30pm. We are the photographers for missed birthday celebrations, missed milestones, and ‘you did it’ moments. We continue to serve as we said we would. To list A challenge during a pandemic is impossible. As childcare providers we challenge ourselves to tackle everything that comes our way, each and every day.
Our challenges are all of those missed connections.