Released 11 June 2014
Educating and Earning Stars
The Salvation Army Philadelphia Citadel Corps Community Center Day Care has reason to be proud: it's just been recognized with the Pennsylvania Keystone STARS "STAR 2" certification, reserved for child care organizations that have demonstrated efforts towards continuing education for staff members, providing a higher standard of educational opportunities for children, and meeting city criteria for educational topics.
Keystone STARS is an initiative of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to improve, support and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania. Located in the Lawncrest section of Philadelphia, The Salvation Army program offers both before and after school care for school-aged children, including early mornings from 6:00 - 8:00 a.m. and evenings from 2:45 - 6:30 p.m. The center offers homework help, experiential learning, and project-based learning for children in grades K-9. In the summer months when school is out of session, the day care offers full-time care for approximately 160 children.
Monica Menten, director of youth services for the center, notes that it's a rarity for part-time day cares in the city of Philadelphia to earn the STARS 2 level of accreditation.
"We are thrilled to receive this recognition, which will have a huge impact on our services especially during the summer months when we offer full-time care," Menten said. "This has amazing implications for us. So much of education is going online, from online tutoring to virtual tours. There's a great digital divide; it's very hard for the working class to have access to technology. Before, we were worried about meeting the basic welfare of our students. Now, we'll be able to offer more cutting edge programming to more students, as this makes our services more affordable for families."
The Salvation Army Philadelphia Citadel Corps Community Center goes above and beyond, providing tutoring, re-enhancement of basic lessons taught in public schools, extracurricular enrichment, and emergent literacy. And the staff benefits from professional development through classes and workshops mandated by the state of Pennsylvania.
"We're proud to say that our facility has one of the best retention rates in the city," Menten said. "We are very family oriented. We also now have the ability to implement programming that's both effective and meaningful, to the point where my students have returned as staff members years later."