SPIN Parkwood Pre-K Opening – Media Highlights

Out of 2500 early childhood education centers in the city of Philadelphia, only 180 meet the state requirements necessary to offer a high quality pre-K program. SPIN operates three such successful centers and, after a nearly seven month delay due to the 2015-2016 PA Budget impasse, has finally opened its fourth in the Parkwood neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia. The ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, March 29 drew state legislators; City Council representatives; officials from the School District and the William Penn Foundation’s Fund for Quality; SPIN leadership and board members; and a choir of children at SPIN’s state-of-the-art pre-K facility.





Northeast Philadelphia is one of several “quality deserts”— sections of the city with critical shortages of quality pre-K slots identified by the Mayor’s Commission on Universal PreK and the Reinvestment Fund. The School District of Philadelphia contracted with trusted providers to expand the number of slots in these underserved neighborhoods, with additional support from the Fund for Quality, a program of the William Penn Foundation and The Philadelphia Health Management Corporation. As a longtime provider in one of these neighborhoods of both high quality early childhood education and supports to people with autism and intellectual/developmental disability, SPIN was uniquely positioned to provide an optimal learning experience to all children. While 2015-2016 budget negotiations stalled in Harrisburg, the School District had no authorization to move forward with the expansion, placing SPIN and families in a holding pattern for half of the school year. After Governor Wolf released emergency funding to school districts, SPIN’s team and community partners worked quickly to prepare the facility, employees, and families for a Spring opening. Over 40 families have waited anxiously for the opening since the Fall of 2015. A total of 120 additional families will now have access to SPIN’s free, inclusive, high-quality pre-K programs.


Community, business, and bi-partisan political support has been essential to the launch of the program. Attendees at the ribbon cutting included State Senator John Sabatina (D., PA Sen. District 5), State Representative Kevin Boyle (D., PA Leg. District 172), State Representative Martina White (R., PA Leg. District 170), State Representative Michael Driscoll (D.-PA Leg District 173) and their aides; Representative from the office of Philadelphia City Councilman Brian O’Neill (R., District 10, Minority Leader); LaToshia Sanders and Marion Brown from the Fund for Quality/Philadelphia Health Management Corporation; Michelle Gales from the School District of Philadelphia; Adam Wolff from Lakeshore Learning; SPIN Leadership and Corporate Board.




Several media outlets shared the story about the opening, including 6ABC Action News, NBC10, CBS3 Eyewitness News, Fox 29, WHYY Newsworks, and the Northeast Times. Here is some of the coverage: