Greater Bergen Community Action
GBCA Celebrates New Head Start Centers in Jersey City and Paterson
GBCA Head Start proudly unveiled two new additions to its existing Head Start/Early Head Start facilities in Jersey City and Paterson this week. Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting ceremonies were held at Lincoln Park Pre-School Education Center in Jersey City and Michael’s Energy Factory of GBCA in Paterson. Many esteemed guests were present for the ceremonies and both were followed by tours of the facilities.
The Lincoln Park Pre-School Education Center grand opening ceremony took place on September 21 in the lobby of the new school. Located at the newly constructed Gloria Robinson Court Homes on Duncan Avenue, Lincoln Park Pre-School brings 11 brand new early childhood education classrooms to Jersey City. Of these classrooms, seven are dedicated to infant/toddlers ages 0-3 and the other four are preschool classrooms for children ages 3-5.
State Senator Sandra Cunningham, who was on hand, emphasized the importance of early childhood education and how rewarding it is for the children and their future. “We have to give our kids a good start in life,” Senator Cunningham said. “There is nothing more wonderful than seeing children learn. When you show them something new, the joy that is on their face when they grasp and understand it, is absolutely priceless.”
The grand re-opening ceremony for Michael’s Energy Factory took place the following day at the school in Paterson. After Michael’s Energy Factory filed for bankruptcy, GBCA partnered up with the New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) to acquire the struggling school. After several months of renovating and upgrading the building, a new state-of-the-art facility emerged, saving 250 children from being displaced to other centers that may not have been as suitable. The new program merges the state-mandated “Abbott” program with GBCA’s Head Start program. The facility brings a brand new state of the art playground for the children and 17 new early childhood education classrooms to Paterson, including four that are dedicated to toddlers.
The City of Paterson’s Mayor, Joey Torres, attended the ceremony and praised GBCA and NJCDC for working together to keep the best interest of the children and their future as the focus. “The essence and catalyst of making anything great happen is unity,” Mayor Torres said in his remarks to the attendees. “At the end of the day, the winners are the kids.”
GBCA’s two new early childhood education centers will provide safe environments that are ethnically and culturally responsive, where children to grow and learn in and continue the program’s commitment to getting children ready for kindergarten and preparing their families for life beyond the program. Supportive programs and services, such as classes on effective parenting, financial literacy education, English as a Second Language classes, and USA citizenship classes, are offered to families throughout the year. Additionally, all GBCA Head Start/Early Head Start families have access to the programs and services offered by the agency, including housing, education and financial/banking resources.
Lincoln Park Pre-School Education Center and Michael’s Energy Factor of GBCA are both open to children in their respective communities. To learn more about GBCA’s Head Start/Early Head Start program in Jersey City, Paterson or Bergen County, please contact us at 844-472-4453 or go to www.GBCAHeadStart.org.