Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning has announced that it plans to build its second Early Childhood Resource Center in the Midtown neighborhood of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at the intersection of North 6th and Muench Streets. The cost-free Center will serve 150 students from birth to age 5 from economically disadvantaged and at-risk backgrounds.
The planned 45,000-square-foot Center, which will include an innovation lab and experiential learning garden, is part of a $350 million initiative to fund the initial development of up to six cost-free ECRCs across Pennsylvania as subsidiaries of Milton Hershey School. This Harrisburg location, as well as all CHS centers, will provide a core early learning program with a curriculum designed to enhance students’ educational, social, emotional, and cognitive development. It also will provide students with nutritious meals, transportation and other needed supplies, and will offer integrated support services to families of enrolled children with a dedicated family resource center.
“We are thrilled to expand our early childhood education initiative to Harrisburg to serve more children and families in need,” said Senate Alexander, Executive Director of Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning. “We look forward to partnering with the Harrisburg community to support the critical and growing need for early childhood education in the area and narrow the kindergarten-readiness gap between low-income and higher-income students.”
This Harrisburg ECRC is expected to have 80 employees and volunteers and provide services from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays when the Center opens in 2024.
The first Center, which will be located on the Milton Hershey School campus on the southwest corner of Governor and Homestead Roads in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is scheduled to be completed in 2023. The locations of other Centers will be determined by the School’s Board of Managers based on further research and community input.