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Early Childhood Education is the Key to Life-Long Success

By Pete Gurt ’85, MHS and CHS President

Nelson Mandela once said that “education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” In leading this change, Milton Hershey School and Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning are just getting started.

In September 2023, MHS and CHS held a grand opening celebration for our very first Early Childhood Education Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. And just a few weeks later, we opened our doors to serve 150 children and their families for the very first time.

When we think of early childhood education, we don’t often consider the lasting impact it has on a child’s life. For nearly 114 years, MHS has provided a whole child approach to thousands of students starting at age five. Our curriculum has been the key to unlocking their potential.

Through CHS, we intend to offer these wraparound supports at an even earlier age. Our hope is that by partnering with families when their children are six weeks old to age five, the impact of our programming on their lives will be even greater.

As an MHS graduate, I know firsthand the importance of continuing the legacy of our founders, Milton and Catherine Hershey. At MHS and CHS, we are lucky. Our founders did more than just establish a mission. They designed a funding stream so that what they started would only grow into the future.

Mr. Hershey once said, “There is not a person alive who should not plant a tree. Not for the shade you will enjoy, but for those who are coming after.”

Each CHS lobby will have a rendering of a tree to remind us of Mr. Hershey’s words, actions, and generosity. These trees also represent the opportunity that exists within the walls of our Centers, because from little seeds grow mighty trees.

It has been proven by researchers and educators that students will succeed at higher levels after engaging in an early childhood education program. We are excited to be a part of the success of 150 children who are currently enrolled at CHS Hershey and the many more children to come at future Centers.

We are just getting started.

Learn More about CHS

In late September 2023, CHS opened its first Early Childhood Education Center in Hershey, Pa. The facility will serve 150 local children from 6 weeks to age 5.

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