Bright Horizons Celebrates 25th Anniversary by Creating Early Education Spaces in Hunts Point, NY
“Over our 25 years, we have grown from one child care center in Massachusetts to an organization of 19,000 employees worldwide who provide a range of programs to support working families and employers,” said Bright Horizons CEO David Lissy. “But at the core of this growth has always been our desire to help families and to provide the best early education for children. We knew our 25th anniversary celebration had to have a community service component, and we were thrilled that we were able to find in Hunts Point two projects that are so aligned with our organization’s mission and goals to improve the lives of children and families.”
Through an application process, Bright Horizons selected 25 employees from across the U.S. and Europe to participate in the project, which transformed two community spaces in Hunts Point. These spaces will serve the more than 2,000 children who live in the neighborhood. For the project, Bright Horizons partnered with the Hunts Point Alliance for Children (HPAC) and Jumpstart, two organizations that will use the spaces for much- needed improved early educational services.
“Thanks to the generosity and spirit of Bright Horizons’ mission and volunteers, a promise to the children of Hunts Point to improve early childhood education services has been kept, and the gift will continue to inspire our community’s parents and children,” said HPAC Managing Director Mary Ann Hedaa.
The Bright Horizons employees created a space on Irvine Street in Hunts Point, which will be called the HPAC Children’s Community Classroom and will serve as a literacy center and Bright Space where children in the community can receive critical social and educational services. The space will be a drop-in center, where children and their families can have a safe haven to learn and play. Jumpstart will use the space to provide children in the community with language and literacy programming. Their high quality early education curriculum, which is offered to preschool children in low-income neighborhoods, helps children develop the skills they need to be ready to start school, setting them on a path for lifelong success and helping to close the achievement gap before it is too late.
“We are eager to kick off the Jumpstart program at the HPAC Children’s Community Classroom, bringing student volunteers from Lehman College together with Hunts Point preschoolers to read, play and grow,” said Myung Lee, Executive Director of Jumpstart NYC. “Thank you to Bright Horizons for making our new home a bright space of joy and learning.”
At La Peninsula Head Start preschool, the Bright Horizons volunteers created a new parent resource room, transforming the space into a homey and inviting place where the parents of the children who participate in La Peninsula’s programs can learn more about services and be involved in their children’s educational development.
The anniversary project also marks the 250th Bright Space for the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children. Bright Spaces®, which are the signature program of the Foundation, are warm, enriching places in homeless shelters and community agencies that give children and families in crisis a place to play, learn and have fun. Bright Spaces are created in partnership with Bright Horizons employees, Bright Horizons employer clients, and others.
To learn more about the Hunts Point Alliance for Children visit www.hpac10474.org, to learn more about Jumpstart visit www.jstart.org and to learn more about the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children visit www.brighthorizonsfoundation.org.