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Pictured (Left to Right):  Kristy Frantz – Finance Director, Child Development, Inc.; John Gleisner, General Manager – Perishable Distribution Center, Pottsville; and Mary Ann Devlin – Executive Director, Child Development, Inc.

Child Development, Inc. is extremely grateful and excited to share some good news!  Dollar General Pottsville Fresh Facility Team Members in Schuylkill County, recently selected us for their “Thankful for You” Award (AKA:  Employee’s Choice Award) and gave us a donation of $7,500.00!   Dollar General employees voted on one of the 3 organizations that were nominated and Child Development was overwhelmingly supported by the employee votes!

Dollar General’s Thankful for You Award kicked off around Thanksgiving.  Criteria for organization selection are:

  • a nonprofit, public school or public library and
  • aligned with Dollar General’s focus areas of Mind, Body and Planet as defined below:
    • Mind: supporting literacy and education programs (schools, libraries, literacy organizations)
    • Body: hunger relief organizations (food banks)
    • Planet: advancing environmental efforts (planting trees, river clean-up, etc.)

You can learn about Dollar General by visiting their web page or their Facebook page.

We will use these funds for our Ready to Read, Home + School Connection Project and our children’s dental program.

Our Ready to Read, Home + School Connection Project supports children learning at home, helping them to nurture a love of reading, while building social and emotional competence.  We value parents as their child’s first and most important teacher and strongly emphasize family engagement and supportive services to our families and the community to ensure that each child enters kindergarten healthy and ready to learn and succeed

 The majority of the 600+ preschool age children enrolled in our program come from economically challenged families. Every day, working families struggle to make ends meet and without support; our families could lose sight of their goals. Many of our children also have chronic health conditions; receive early intervention services; and are provided support for behavioral health challenges.

With investment such as this high-quality, early childhood comprehensive programs are able to focus on school readiness.  School readiness includes: approaches to learning, social and emotional competence, early literacy and language, mathematical and scientific thinking, and physical development, as well as preventative health services for each child.  The dental kits we distribute twice a year include: a toothbrush, tooth paste, dental floss, and timer, but they are only one part of the dental health preventative services we provide.  In addition, other health services include nutrition, developmental, and mental health and wellness for the children.

“Thank you so much, Dollar General and Dollar General Team Members
for valuing the work that we do!”

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Child Development, Inc. is FULL of Thanks
for The Rite Aid Foundation

The Rite Aid Foundation has generously gifted Child Development, Inc. with a $10,000 grant as part of its annual Giving Tuesday grant award. Our Leadership Team has decided to use this grant to promote mental wellness and oral health for our children and families.

Child Development, Inc. is one of nearly 500 partner charities across the country receiving a grant from The Rite Aid Foundation. The grants are funded through Rite Aid’s KidCents customer round-up program. The Foundation donated a total of $4.8 million on Giving Tuesday this year.

Child Development, Inc. shares The Rite Aid Foundation’s caring commitment to creating healthier and more equitable neighborhoods,” said Matthew DeCamara, executive director of The Rite Aid Foundation, a public charity established by Rite Aid in 2001. “All of our Giving Tuesday grant recipients address the profound realities of racial inequities and health disparities through their own ways and strategies – and have done it during an unprecedented public-health crisis that has significantly interrupted normal programming, fundraising events and daily operations. We’re grateful to support their important work and uplift our neighborhoods together.”

About Child Development Inc.

Child Development Inc. is a private, non-profit corporation (501c3) in good standing with the Department of State since 1982. 2021 marks 56 years that Child Development has been operating in Schuylkill County.

We have a successful history of securing federal, state, and local funding to improve access to high-quality programs and better outcomes for children and their families in Schuylkill County.  Our total operating budget is $7,445,388.  We employ 100 full-time and 50 part-time team members.

Our mission is to work with families and the community to provide a high quality, comprehensive early childhood education for enrolled children with an emphasis on family engagement and supportive services that prepares each child for success in school and a lifetime of learning.

We serve 353 pre-school age (3 to 5-year-old) children and their families through our federal and state funded Head Start Program and 271 children and their families through our state funded PA PreK Counts program in eight, STAR 4 designation (highest designation) facilities – 3 of which are licensed/certified for child care.

About The Rite Aid Foundation

The Rite Aid Foundation is a charitable, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charity established by Rite Aid  in 2001. Its mission is to raise funds to support charitable activities in the various communities that Rite Aid serves, with a sharpened focus on addressing racial inequities and health disparities while driving meaningful progress and sustainable change on these key issues.  For more information, https://foundation.riteaid.com/

About The Rite Aid Foundation

As the trusted, everyday care connector,  Rite Aid drives lower health care costs through better coordination, stronger engagement, and personalized services that help you achieve whole health for life. We provide an array of whole being health products and services for the entire family through over 2,500 retail pharmacy locations across 17 states. Through Elixir, we provide pharmacy benefits and services to millions of members nationwide. For more information, www.riteaid.com.

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CHILD DEVELOPMENT, INC. RECIEPENT OF GRANT FROM PPL FOUNDATION – COVER TO COVER FOR READY TO READ, HOME + SCHOOL CONNECTION PROGRAM

Child Development, Inc. is pleased to announce that we are again a recipient of a $5,000 grant from The PPL Foundation’s Cover to Cover program, which helps to improve children’s literacy.  These funds will support our Ready to Read, Home + School Connection Program.

With this grant, we will be able to purchase one book per quarter (4 books per year in total) that will be given to each of the 600 children enrolled in our eight centers throughout Schuylkill County.  In addition, one book will also be added to each of our 34 classroom libraries.

These books will be distributed during parent/teacher home visits or conferences and will also be introduced in the classrooms.  Parents will be instructed on the best methods to encourage skill development and will be provided with activities to do with their 3-5-year-old child that relates to the book, for an interactive learning experience to support family literacy.  These books will be instrumental in providing each child with the foundation to begin reading and will give them a head start as they prepare for school readiness.

The COVID 19 pandemic has impacted everyone in different ways and our priority has been the mental wellness of our children, families, and team members and through their financial help we have been able to purchase books which support the social and emotional well-being of our children and their families.

Thank you, PPL, your continued financial support indicates to us that you believe in our work with young children and families in Schuylkill County.

The PPL Foundation awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process. Research confirms that the first 5 years of a child’s life are critical for the healthy development of the child’s brain. Early experiences provide the base for the brain’s organizational development and functioning throughout life.  These early experiences have a direct impact on how children develop learning skills as well as social and emotional abilities. Literacy skills are a critical component of a child’s development and are a high priority for Child Development Inc. Parents are their child’s first and most important teacher. Parents reading to their child is one of the best methods to increase the child and parent literacy skills. Without strong literacy fundamentals, students quickly fall behind in all other educational areas. Developing literacy skills as a family, helps parents develop the skills necessary to engage and guide their children through their education and career.

Through strategic partnerships, the PPL Foundation supports organizations working to create vibrant, sustainable communities; promote diversity, equity and inclusion; and empower each citizen to fulfill her or his potential. The PPL Foundation contributes more than $3 million annually to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. 

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CHILD DEVELOPMENT, INC. – A RITE AID KIDCENTS CHARITY RECEIVES $5,000 GRANT

Child Development is pleased and grateful to announce that the Rite Aid Foundation, through their KidCents Charity Program has awarded us with and additional $5,000 grant which we will use to continue to promote and improve good oral hygiene to the children and families, not only in our program but throughout Schuylkill County.

This is the third year that Child Development has been selected to participate in and to be the recipient of a $5,000 grant from Rite Aid’s KidCents Charity Program, which annually supports a select group of nonprofits, kid-focused organizations committed to improving the health and well-being of children living in the communities Rite Aid serves.

In 2014, Child Development Inc. (CDI) refocused its efforts to improve the dental health of children and families in Schuylkill County. As part of the Head Start and PA PreK Counts enrollment process, families, children and their classroom teacher watch “Schuylkill SMILES” a CDI video promoting dental health and discuss activities to promote dental health (which can be viewed at: https://childdevelop.org/ask-the-dentist/). Families are provided an at-home dental kit for the enrolled child and any younger siblings that includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, timer, and information emphasizing good preventative practices. Since 2016, CDI has distributed over 3,000 at-home dental kits.  The Rite Aid Foundation welcomed a total of 481 nonprofits to its 2020 KidCents class   its largest class ever.

The number of KidCents charities has more than doubled since the program’s inception in 2014, when 204 nonprofits comprised the inaugural class. Over seven years, The Rite Aid Foundation has contributed a total of more than $34 million to KidCents charities across the country, thanks to members of Rite Aid’s loyalty program, wellness+ rewards, rounding up their in-store or online purchases to donate to KidCents.

“More than 3 million Rite Aid customers actively choose to make meaningful contributions to help children in their communities through KidCents. The program’s growth is a testament to their generosity and commitment to building safer, stronger and more supportive communities for youth across the country,” said Jessica Kazmaier, president of The Rite Aid Foundation and Rite Aid chief human resources officer. “The 2020 KidCents class has the opportunity to prove that change adds up exponentially, and we look forward to helping them achieve their goal of giving kids better lives and brighter futures.”

For a full list of KidCents Charities and to learn more about how Rite Aid’s wellness+ rewards members can support charities in their own communities, please visit www.kidcents.com.

About CHILD DEVELOPMENT, INC.
Since the summer of 1965, Child Development, Inc., has operated high quality Head Start and child care programs. Child Development works with families and the community to provide high quality, comprehensive preschool education. We emphasize family involvement and supportive services to prepare each child for success in school and a lifetime of learning. For more information, visit https://www.childdevelop.org/

About The Rite Aid Foundation
Since its inception in 2001, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded more than $68 million to nonprofit organizations. Additionally, Rite Aid, through the efforts of its customers, supplier partners and associates, has also raised more than $92 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country since 1994.

About the KidCents Program
Through the KidCents program, which is The Rite Aid Foundation’s charitable giving program dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of children living in the communities Rite Aid services, members of Rite Aid’s loyalty program, wellness+ rewards, can round up their in-store or online purchases to the nearest dollar and donate their change to KidCents. Members can also choose to direct their change to a specific KidCents Charity by visiting www.kidcents.com. For more information, visit www.kidcents.com.

About Rite Aid Corporation
Rite Aid Corporation is on the front lines of delivering health care services and retail products to over 1.6 million Americans daily. Our pharmacists are uniquely positioned to engage with customers and improve their health outcomes. We provide an array of whole being health products and services for the entire family through over 2,400 retail pharmacy locations across 18 states. Through EnvisionRxOptions, we also deliver pharmacy benefit management to approximately 1,900 clients and 3.4 million members. For more information, visit www.riteaid.com.

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2019 THE RITE AID FOUNDATION GRANT
“FULL OF THANKS” HOLIDAY PROGRAM

Child Development, Inc. is FULL of Thanks to The Rite Aid Foundation for generously gifting us with a $5,000 grant through the Full of Thanks holiday program. This grant will enable us to promote our efforts on the importance of good dental health for the children and their families enrolled in our program. We are proud to have a partner like The Rite Aid Foundation that will help us to continue this important work in our community.

About The Rite Aid Foundation
Since its inception in 2001, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded more than $66 million to nonprofit organizations. Additionally, Rite Aid, through the efforts of its customers, supplier partners and associates, has also raised more than $92 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country since 1994.

About the KidCents Program 
Through the KidCents program, which is The Rite Aid Foundation’s charitable giving program dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of children living in the communities Rite Aid services, members of Rite Aid’s loyalty program, wellness+ rewards, can round up their in-store or online purchases to the nearest dollar and donate their change to KidCents. Members can also choose to direct their change to a specific KidCents charity by visiting www.kidcents.com. For more information, visit www.kidcents.com.

About Rite Aid Corporation
Rite Aid Corporation, which generated fiscal 2019 annual revenue of $21.6 billion, is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with 2,464 stores in 18 states and pharmacy benefit management (PBM) capabilities through EnvisionRxOptions and its affiliates. At Rite Aid, we have a personal interest in our customers’ health and wellness and deliver the products and services they need to lead healthier lives. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at www.riteaid.com.

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PPL AWARDS $25,000 GRANT FOR

HEAD START WITH HAWK MOUNTAIN

Thanks to a $25,000 major grant from the PPL Foundation, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is sharing outdoor education programming with more than 600 preschool-aged children enrolled in our Head Start and PA PreK Counts classrooms. The outdoor education program expands upon lessons learned through the Sanctuary’s popular “Wee Ones” series by creating toolkits that can be used time and time again in the Child Development 34 classrooms.

Funds from the grant allowed Hawk Mountain to develop nature programs, create a toolkit of resources and hands-on materials. Next, the education team presented a teacher workshop at no cost open to all Child Development educators on how to use the materials, and for the Sanctuary’s professional educators to model one program for each classroom in all eight (8) of Child Development centers located throughout Schuylkill County.

“We’re grateful for the long-time support from PPL,” says Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Director of Development, Mary Linkevich. The project helps us to introduce nature education to hundreds of children who live near the Sanctuary but may be financially unable to visit,” she adds.

Child Development Inc. works with families and the community throughout Schuylkill County to provide a high quality, comprehensive early childhood education with an emphasis on family involvement and supportive services that prepares each child for school and a lifetime of learning. Through the grant, Hawk Mountain was able to reach Child Development’s eight centers: Tamaqua; Pottsville (2 locations); Mahanoy City; Ashland; Shenandoah; Schuylkill Haven and Saint Clair that serve more than 600 children and their families and nearly 70 professional teachers and teaching assistants.

“Our partnership with Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and the financial support from PPL for this project is amazing,” said Mary Ann Devlin, Executive Director of Child Development Inc.

“The training our teachers received was outstanding and our teachers are so grateful for the toolkits of quality resources and hands-on materials to use in their classrooms. Having the Education Team from Hawk Mountain present programs at each of our locations was a wonderful learning opportunity for both our children and teaching teams. With this funding and partnership, we opened the door for so many of our children and staff to experience nature and all that our county has to offer,” she added.

“Thank you”, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association and PPL Electric Utilities!

“We at PPL understand that decisions we make today can shape our future for generations to come,” said Carol Obando-Derstine, Regional Affairs Director for PPL Electric Utilities.

“We are proud to support Hawk Mountain for helping to introduce the topic of conservation and appreciation of wildlife to children starting at a very early age.”

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About the PPL Foundation:
Through strategic partnerships, the PPL Foundation will support organizations that are working to create vibrant, sustainable communities and empowering each citizen to fulfill her or his potential. The PPL Foundation contributes more than $3 million annually to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit http://www.pplcares.com.

About Hawk Mountain Sanctuary:
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary was founded in 1934 by Rosalie Edge, a conservationist who saw the impact of overzealous raptor hunting on the Kittatinny Ridge. It occupies 2,600 acres and hosts over 60,000 visitors per year. With the help of more than 9,000 members the Sanctuary’s mission is kept alive.

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is… a scientific research center and an international conservation training site. It is also a learning facility for all ages; a wildlife sanctuary and eco-tourism destination open to the public year-round. It is also the world’s largest member-supported raptor conservation organization and one of the best places in northeastern North America to view the annual autumn hawk migration. For more information, visit https://www.hawkmountain.org/.

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TOO MUCH SCREEN TIME LINKED TO

LOWER BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

“Screen time use by infants, toddlers and preschoolers has exploded over the last decade, concerning experts about the impact of television, tablets and smartphones on these critical years of rapid brain development,” writes Sandee La Motte on the cnn.com website.

She explains, “Now a new study scanned the brains of children 3 to 5 years old and found those who used screens more than the recommended one hour a day without parental involvement had lower levels of development in the brain’s white matter — an area key to the development of language, literacy and cognitive skills.”

In the book Literacy: A Beginnings Workshop Book, Leah Curry-Rood reminds us all of the importance of cultivating children’s love of reading from an early age, one way to balance the draw of screen time. She offers a number of tips for early educators and families to help aid children’s healthy literacy development. Here are just a few:

• “Read stories aloud every day, any time, any place…

• Travel with books… [This one is especially for families, as she recommends keeping a box of books in the car and letting children bring a book to look at while standing in line at grocery stores, banks etc. Early childhood educators could use this tip, also, for those (hopefully) few times when children are waiting a little bit.]

• Set up a library learning center… [This one is more for early childhood programs… she suggests actually calling it a library.]

• Encourage children to share favorite books…” [This could be with other children in an early childhood program and/or with other family members.]
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Source: “MRIs show screen time linked to lower brain development in preschoolers,” (https://www.cnn.com/…/screen-time-lower-brain-de…/index.html) by Sandee La Motte, cnn.com, November 4, 2019

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Child Development Children to Benefit from

PPL Electric Utilities Grants

We are happy to announce that Child Development, Inc. recently received two grant awards from PPL Electric Utilities:

Of the grant applications received, Child Development was one of nearly 200 applications requesting funding, and one of the 13 organizations selected during their highly competitive grant cycle, totaling $450,000 in grants to support more than 70 organizations working to empower the communities they serve, with a focus on education, workforce development or community revitalization.

Because of this grant, the 600+ children enrolled in Child Development will each receive the book: “Knuffle Bunny” by Mo Willems, during parent/teacher home visits or conferences in February.  In addition, each of our 34 classrooms will receive the same book which will be added to their classroom library. Parents reading to their child is one of the best methods to increase the child literacy skills.  Federal/state funding does not allow grantees to purchase materials that are used at home.  CDI’s goals is to provide 1 book per quarter to each child in our program.  The selected book is provided at teacher home visits and introduced in the classroom.  Parents are instructed on best methods to encourage skill development and provided activities to do with the child that relates to the book for an interactive learning experience (parent/child read together). Our goal is to increase daily reading in the homes of our children.  Primary benefits of reading to preschoolers is a higher aptitude for learning in general.  Reading aloud to young children builds their speech, language and logical thinking skills by teaching them to grasp abstract concepts, apply logic in various scenarios, recognize cause/effect, and utilize good judgment. Children learn that reading is fun and gives each child a head start as they prepare for school.

Because of the generosity PPL Electric Utilities, more area children will have a chance to attend
high-quality early childhood education centers operated by Child Development Inc
.

For the sixth consecutive year, PPL Electric Utilities, utilizing the Pennsylvania Education Tax Credit (EITC) Program, has selected Child Development Inc.’s Pre-K Scholarship Program. This $15,000 grant will be used for children who attend our early childhood preschool education program get Ready for School and a Lifetime of Learning, while allowing their income-eligible parent(s) to work or continue their education.

The EITC program provides tax credits to eligible businesses that contribute to an approved scholarship organization, an Educational Improvement Organization or a pre-kindergarten scholarship organization.  Child Development Inc. is approved by the state Department of Community and Economic Development as a pre-k scholarship organization.

About PPL Electric Utilities

PPL Electric Utilities provides electric delivery service to more than 1.4 million homes and businesses in Pennsylvania and ranks among the best utility companies in the country for customer service and reliability. PPL Electric Utilities is a major employer in the communities it serves. It is a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL). For more information, visit www.pplelectric.com.

“Thank you, PPL!  Through your commitment, you are making our area a better place!”

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