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JT child center gets $6K in donations

The Lehigh Valley Children’s Center at St. Joseph’s Academy in Jim Thorpe got a boost with three donations last month.

CEO and President Charles Dinofrio accepted $1,000 from the Knights of Columbus Damian Council 598, $2,950 from Rotary International District 7410 and $2,000 from Jim Thorpe Rotary Club.

Dinofrio gave the Jim Thorpe Rotary Club an update on the preschool and child care center, which opened Aug. 28 with 15 students and two teachers. The center hopes to expand services to another 15 youngsters, once staff are hired, maxing out their capacity.

The preschool/child care center is open from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Rotary worked the Lehigh Valley Children’s Center, surveying more than 200 families on the need for child care in the area.

The center’s short-term and midterm goals are to continue to partner with Jim Thorpe Area School District to provide parent meetings and transitioning conferences, Dinofrio said.

LVCC will collaborate with the local Intermediate Unit 21 to ensure proper services are available for families prior to kindergarten, he said.

A new playground should be completed by the end of September giving the preschool children a safe and engaging space, Dinofrio said.

A longer-term goal is to focus on the center gaining a Keystone STAR 3 or 4 by the end of March 2024 and to continue to increase services in unmet areas, he said. Keystone STARS is a quality rating system (scaled from 1 to 4) that promotes quality improvement in early learning and development programs and afterschool care. LVCC has also applied for an Appalachian Regional Commission grant and is waiting to hear if they will be awarded funding. This will help with further materials, teacher salaries, and curriculum development within the new LVCC at St. Joseph’s Academy, he said.

For more information, visit www.lvcconline.org or call 610-820-5333.

Charles Dinofrio, CEO and president of the Lehigh Valley Children's Center, third from left, accepts nearly $6,000 in donations for work at LVCC at St. Joseph's Academy in Jim Thorpe. Presenting checks, from left, are Jim Thorpe Rotary secretary Dr. Clem McGinley, $1,000 from Knights of Columbus Damian Council 598; Rotary Vice President Jeanne Miller, $2,950 from Rotary International, Dinofrio, and Rotary President April Brugan, $2,000 from the Jim Thorpe club. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO