News and Events
2017-2018 Annual Report
The Year in Review
Each day, when directors, teachers, and staff walk into Early Connections’ centers, we look forward to the day because we know we will watch wonderful things happen. Some days will be noisy and messy, and others will be quieter and maybe even tidy! The children in our classrooms will make friends, they will negotiate, they will ask questions, they will grow, they will learn something new, they will discover something that interests them. We are here to guide children on that journey, to help them succeed and be excited by what they are learning.
In this report, we focus on Early Connections’ work and activities throughout the 2017-2018 fiscal year, not only within our organization but in cooperation with families, friends, and our community. We pledge to continue our commitment to support young children and their families through leadership, advocacy, and quality programs in early childhood education!
Thank you for your interest in Early Connections!
Here are some pics from yesterday’s field trip to visit the Erie Bayhawks. It was lots of fun. We got to read books, try on actual jerseys, tour the building, touch a real basketball hoop and take lots of pics. Had a blast, can’t wait to see them again in January!!!
Arthur’s Thanksgiving was a great choice of books to read to the preschool children at City Center last week. They enjoyed having Aubrea Haynes from the Erie County Clerk’s office share the story of Arthur’s dilemma of who will play the part of the turkey in the school play.
Llama Llama Red Pajama
Preschool children at City Center were delighted to have Kim Thomas, Northwest Regional Director, DCED, read Llama Llama Red Pajama to them. We hope she will visit us again soon!
Mad Mex Fundraiser
Staff, Board members, family and friends gathered at Mad Mex on November 13th in support of Early Connections. Food, fun, and raffles were part of an exciting evening!! Thank you to those who attended, those who donated, and especially to our chairperson, Kiwanian Linda Smalley!
Early Connections children created artwork to thank our local Veterans. Their artwork is proudly displayed at Texas Roadhouse restaurant.
Youth Awards Recognition
Congratulations to Megan Bruno and Jessica Lewis for having been recognized at the UnifiedErie Youth Awards ceremony on October 11, 2018! The Youth Work Awards honor amazing adults in our community who go above and beyond to help all young people feel supported, valued and engaged.
Thank you for believing in our children, Scott Enterprises!
School supplies were collected by Scott Enterprise Employees for our school-age children at Early Connections. Along with all of the supplies was a letter, each from Nick Jr. and Chris Scott, which helped provide our children with a “can-do” attitude for the school year.
Pictured in front row: Darlene Kovacs, Executive Director, Early Connections. Second row, left to right: Christine Simon, Director of Human Resources, Scott Enterprises; Sharon Johannesmeyer, Safety Manager, Scott Enterprises; Nick Scott Jr, Vice President, Scott Enterprises; Michelle Harkins, Associate Executive Director, Early Connections.
Thank you, Erie Downtown Partnership!
Early Connections was one of the downtown businesses that proudly received a $2,595 Façade Improvement Grant from the Erie Downtown Partnership. The Façade Improvement Grant money currently awarded to businesses downtown totaled $15,000. This grant will help provide the funds needed to Read the rest of this entry »
City Center staff Megan Bruno-Osborne, Carissa Kepple, Kelly Ocasio, and Meghan Snider represented Early Connections at the Millcreek Mall’s recent annual Gingerbread House competition. They did an awesome job decorating EC’s house!
City Center preschool children were excited to have Alicia Evers and Conor Dawley from Highmark Caring Place visit them recently. They read “The Good Bye Book” and did a fish craft. Thank you for donating the book to our classroom so we can read it again and again!
We Love Books!
Early Connections is grateful for the Erie Kiwanis, who secured a grant from Constellation Energy to purchase books through Hooked on Books for Kids. Pictured left to right presenting one of our City Center preschool classrooms books are Erie Kiwanis President Bill Sapone, and Kiwanis Joe Murphy.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Preschool children at City Center welcomed guest reader Nicole Reitzell from Erie Downtown Development Corporation. Thank you for reading one of our favorite books, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Preschool children at City Center enjoyed having guest reader Mayor Joe Schember read two of our favorite books this morning,”Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you see?” by Eric Carle and “Bugs, Bugs, Bugs” by Bob Barner. Thank you, Mayor Schember for visiting with us today. We had a great time and are looking forward to you reading to us again!
Early Connections staff and children are thankful to the Kiwanis Club of Erie for donating $1,000 that was used to purchase books for our children and a secure gate Read the rest of this entry »
Erie BANK supports Preschool Scholarships in Erie County
Our sincere thanks to Erie BANK for their donation to Erie’s Future Fund Preschool Scholarship Program. The Erie’s Future Fund preschool scholarship program, administered by Early Connections, provides Pre-K scholarships for income eligible families in more than 40 preschool programs throughout Erie County.
Pictured left to right: Bill DeLuca, Senior Vice President at Erie Bank, Darlene Kovacs, Executive Director of Early Connections, and Katie Jones, Assistant Vice President at Erie Bank
- “I know they have my children’s best interest at heart.”
- “They really show individual attention to all the children.”
- “They come home tired and full of stories of what they’ve learned”
- “My son has attended Early Connections in Union City since Preschool. I still remember the
- It’s Clear She’s Learning
- Caring, Nurturing Staff – I Will Always Remain Grateful
- Thank You!
- All the Good Things She’s Learned
- Teachers are Friendly
- Clean, Happy Environment
VINYL PALOOZA 4.0
Early Connections Extends It’s Sincere Appreciation to the Following Sponsors:
Kiwanis Club of Erie
The Plazony Family Foundation
Times Publishing Company
The Sunflower Club
Presque Isle Downs & Casino
Rep. Flo and Vicki Fabrizio
Rep. Pat and Michelle Harkins
Dr. Paul and Darlene Kovacs
Mike and LeeAnn Thomas
Sean and Kimberly Beers
Thank You! East Erie Moose Lodge #593
Early Connections, Inc. is thankful to the East Erie Moose Lodge #593 for their donation of $500. The Moose Lodge supports family-friendly causes throughout the community. From left to right: Michelle Harkins, Associate Executive Director, Early Connections; Craig Westover, East Erie Moose Lodge Governor, and Stephanie King, Director of Early Connections West Side. Thank you Moose Board and Members!
Thank you! UPMC Health Plan
Early Connections is very thankful to their partners, UPMC Health Plan, for donating $40,000 through the Neighborhood Assistance Program. This funding will be used to provide high-quality curriculum in each of the Early Connections classrooms throughout Erie County, delivering the best early learning opportunities for children to become better prepared for success in school, and life.
Pictured (L-R): Darlene Kovacs, Executive Director, Early Connections; Jenny Weigold Geertson, Senior Manager, Regional Community Relations and Marketing Operations, UPMC Health Plan; Michelle Harkins, Associate Executive Director, Early Connections.
Thank you to everyone who donated so generously on Erie Gives Day to help Early Connections improve our playgrounds!
Early Connections Annual Report
Creating Lifelong Learners, One Child at a Time
Early Connections is pleased to present the information in this annual report to the community. We remain committed to our mission, providing leadership, advocacy, and quality programs in early care and education. We believe this represents the best means to assist young children and their families, giving young learners the enthusiasm and tools to succeed in their future education.
We work closely with our community partners to continually increase children’s access to quality early learning, and to provide an increasingly-diverse community of learners with multiple opportunities and means to explore new information, skills, and ideas.
In this report, we highlight Early Connections’ work during the 2016-2017 year within our organization and with our many community partners and supporters. We continue to work for Erie County’s future by inspiring children’s love of learning and by connecting with families to ensure their children’s success.