Gilson Child Development Center set to open July 5th

Local News

Child Development Centers, Inc. will open its new Gilson Child Development Center on Monday, July 5th, at 903 Payne Avenue in Erie.

The newly renovated center will offer high-quality education and care to children on Erie’s east side.

CDC currently is accepting enrollments for its summer program, as well as Head Start and tuition-based openings at the Gilson center for the 2021-2022 school year.

The 16,000-square foot center includes 11 bright, spacious and well-equipped classrooms, two gyms, an on-site laundry facility, and a fully stocked kitchen for up to 150 infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children.

An expansive playground for each age group also will be constructed this year.

While CDC funding primarily is from federal and state grants, including Head Start and Pre-K Counts,
local grantors also supplemented the Gilson center’s completion.

CDC has earned a $20,000 Helping Today grant from the Erie Community Foundation and a $10,000 grant from the Wabtec Foundation.

The Erie Community Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life for all in the Erie region by evaluating and addressing community issues, building permanent charitable endowments, and promoting
philanthropic and community leadership. Its Helping Today grant specifically supports capital, facility or
system needs of impactful non-profit organizations in Erie.

CDC’s mission aligns closely with the Erie Community Foundation’s vision and strategy on empowering and encouraging the next generation, narrowing disparities and building a more inclusive community, and sharing knowledge so that others can succeed.

This grant helped to secure high-quality educational classroom materials and supplies for the Gilson Center, including shelving, chairs, toys, cribs, cots, tables, etc., that will support early childhood development and education.

“Obtaining the Helping Today grant from the Erie Community Foundation means a lot to CDC,” Chief Executive Officer Rina Irwin said. “This generous grant has aided in our efforts to furnish and equip each classroom for our new young learners on Erie’s east side.”

The Wabtec Foundation grant, in combination with a $10,000 CDC match, will fund educational books,
blocks, games, puzzles, art supplies and other learning and literacy materials that will foster interactive learning for up to 80 young learners in four preschool classrooms.

The items purchased with this grant will complement and maximize the quality of the Creative Curriculum lessons that CDC teachers will offer in both Head Start and Pre-K Counts classrooms.

The Wabtec Foundation provides funding to non-profits that strategically focus on education and the
environment and specifically supports programs that achieve a measurable knowledge increase, improvement in academic progress, or employment outcomes for individuals.

With a specific focus on improving academic outcomes, the Wabtec Foundation aims to ensure that all individuals excel in and complete their K-12 academic programs.

CDC’s innovative curriculum, NAEYC accreditation, Keystone Star 4 ratings, and genuine commitment to kindergarten readiness made it an excellent candidate for the Wabtec Foundation’s Direct Grant Program.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the Wabtec Foundation,” CDC Chief Executive Officer Rina Irwin said. “Our mission of ‘Educating Children to Succeed’ aligns closely with Wabtec’s commitment to
academic achievement for all individuals, regardless of income,” she explained, “and we are honored to have
been selected as an organization that exemplifies Wabtec’s vision and values.”

The new Gilson center has offered 15 new jobs to residents in Erie, along with eight internal transfers,
to promote academic achievement for its young learners.

This Gilson facility also supports the local work force by giving working parents the availability to maintain employment and create new job opportunities, as the Payne Avenue center offers 12-hour care and education (6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays) for their children.

For more information on enrollment opportunities at the Gilson Child Development Center, please
contact CDC at 814-480-9505 or by visiting

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