It's back to school time....

And we've spent the summer getting ready!

How astonishing that summer’s end is right around the corner, surpassing the half-way point of 2023! As autumn approaches, we are setting our sights on the return to school. In my house, one child is excited to see his school friends, and the other would like summer break to last forever! 

At CSC, we have been planning for the new school year. Head Start & Pre-K Counts staff have been busy enrolling families and preparing classrooms for a new group of preschool children. Bus drivers are diligently learning new routes and revisiting safety protocols. Early Head Start home-based, a year-round program, continues to visit children and families in their homes weekly, partnering with families, ensuring excellent outcomes for infants and toddlers. Early Head Start center-based (SafeStart), also year-round, has provided daily therapeutic care for infants and toddlers throughout the summer. 

Staff at five of Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs), operated by Community Services for Children, spent the last few weeks celebrating their 5th anniversary! The Early Learning Resource Centers were created to serve as a one-stop-hub of information and support for families, childcare providers and the community. The ELRC staff support families seeking childcare services as well as childcare providers in improving the quality of services they offer to children. We applaud the ELRC staff for their continued effort to connect families to vital resources in the community. 

CSC’s Community Initiative & Advancement team has been out in full force! Throughout the summer they have been at local parks, pools, and community events sharing information with families about our services. In June, CSC held our annual CSC Golf Tournament and we are excitedly looking ahead to our Gala in October.  Many thanks to those who sponsor and participate in CSC fundraising events. We could not provide excellent services to children and families without the generosity of our community!

We are so thrilled to share that CSC – Downtown will make its debut opening in September! Our newest campus is located in the heart of downtown Allentown with expanded space allowing us to serve 400 Head Start children and more than 4000 families through ELRC services. Formerly known as the Learning Hub; CSC Downtown is a demonstrable commitment to the children and families living in Allentown and beyond. We are grateful to City Center Corporation and the many other public and private donors who have helped to make this dream a reality. Stay tuned for information about our open house event in October – we hope to see you there!



CSC is thrilled to announce that four new board members have joined our team of dedicated, impressive individuals who continuously contribute to the betterment of CSC. We are excited to welcome: Julia Jurkiewicz, Administrator of Population Health at Valley Health Partners; Noah Simmons, Chief Financial Officer at Agape Human Services and Director of Operations at Greater Shiloh Church in Easton; Elizabeth Strong - master stylist, artist, and owner of the Elizabeth Anthony's Salon in Allentown; and Sophia Estrella, a career and business coach and consultant/owner of Kingdom Business Ownership, and a crisis worker at St. Luke’s Hospital Network. Together, the board is tasked with guiding CSC into a prosperous future, supporting decisions big and small. There is no doubt that CSC will be stronger and wiser with the expertise, leadership and skill from our newest members. We look forward to serving together as we prepare young children and their families to succeed in learning and life. Please join us to welcome our newest members! 

Julie Jurkiewicz

Elizabeth Strong

Sophia Estrella

Noah Simmons

The Early Learning Resource Centers at CSC celebrated their 5th anniversary in July 2023. Five years after the inception of the ELRC model, CSC has served more than 100,000 children through the Child Care Works program for subsidized child care. Additionally, 16,000 families were connected to additional resources in their communities. As the ELRC has worked to improve the quality of early childhood care and education, staff have supported 574 early childhood providers in increasing their STAR quality rating. Currently we are gearing up for the transition back to school year care, and looking forward to seeing childcare providers at our annual “Kickoff” meetings, scheduled for September and October in each of our five regions.  

Head Start is the National provider of developmental and educational services to pregnant women, infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families. Head Start/Early Head Start promotes the school readiness of children from low-income families, serving two generations, providing early education within a comprehensive service framework that is committed to the engagement of families in the development of their child. 

Summer is a busy time for the program. Our Early Head Start program took full advantage of the beautiful summer weather and engaged in learning and fun with children and their families outdoors, at playgrounds and local community parks. The Head Start program was in full swing gearing up for the 2023-2024 school year. Staff participated in many outreach activities across the Lehigh Valley to recruit and enroll new children and families.

In addition, Pre-service is an exciting event for all Head Start/Early Head Start staff during the month of August. During Pre-service, staff set-up classrooms; conduct initial home visits to begin building trusting relationships with children and families and to support a successful first day of school for both, the child and parent; join many professional development opportunities; and to connect with one another.

Head Start/Early Head Start is ready for the new school year which officially kicks off August 28th. Our theme Together Towards Tomorrow will be carried out throughout as we are making a difference in the lives of children and families in our community. 

Parks & Pools

In collaboration with the Allentown Summer Playground Program, we had a great time with our Parks & Pools outreach series. What a success! We ventured to Sheridan School Park, Jackson School Park, Union Terrace Park, Steven’s Park, Valania Park, Jordan Park, Cedar Beach Pool, and Bucky Boyle Spray Park! We connected with 120 families and were able to give resources for Head Start/Early Head Start and Early Learning Resource Centers! Through our social media efforts, we reached over 5,500 people! We are excited to continue this work next year!

We've been working excitedly behind the scenes for our next big event: our Annual Gala and Donley Awards! We certainly hope you can join us on Saturday, October 7th at The Aster Event Center at the Hyatt. With raffles, a whiskey & spirits pull, and flamenco dancers it promises to be a fantastic evening! Tickets are now available and the link is live on our website: Register Here! or by clicking the Donate button in the upper right of our main page. 

Purchase tickets or become a sponsor!

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For more information or to suggest an idea for our next newsletter, be in touch! Gillian Smith Sharkey at or 610-437-6000 ext 2303