Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning Announces Third Early Childhood Resource Center
Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning (CHS) has announced that it plans to build its third Early Childhood Resource Center in Middletown, Pennsylvania, near the intersection of Oberlin and Fulling Mill Roads. The cost-free Center will serve 150 children from birth to age 5 from economically disadvantaged and at-risk backgrounds.
The planned Center, which will include an innovation studio and a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) garden, is part of a $350 million initiative to initially develop six cost-free ECRCs as subsidiaries of Milton Hershey School.
“This marks an important step in expanding our early childhood education initiative and honoring the Hersheys’ legacy by serving even more Pennsylvania children. The Middletown location is another opportunity for us to address the critical and growing need for accessible, high-quality early learning programming,” said Milton Hershey School and Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning President Pete Gurt.
All CHS Centers, including this Middletown location, will offer a non-residential, year-round core learning program with curriculum designed to enhance children’s educational, social, and emotional development. It also will provide children with nutritious meals, transportation, and other needed supplies, along with integrated support services to families of enrolled children through a dedicated family resource center.
“Middletown is a prime location for our program and holistic approach to early education. We look forward to serving children and families at this broadly accessible location, addressing the kindergarten readiness gap between low-income and higher-income children from surrounding urban and rural communities,” explained CHS Executive Director Senate Alexander.
The Middletown Center is expected to have up to 80 employees and volunteers and be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays when the Center opens in 2025. The first Center, located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is currently under construction and scheduled to open next year. The second Center, CHS Harrisburg, is expected to open in 2024. The School’s Board of Managers will determine future locations based on further research and community analysis.