City Center Investment Corp. Continues Its Support of Allentown School District as United Way Community School Corporate Partner
Allentown, PA – City Center Investment Corp. strengthened its commitment to revitalizing Downtown Allentown by renewing its corporate partnership with Central Elementary Community School for another three years. As corporate partner, City Center will continue to provide support to Central’s students and families in collaboration with Allentown School District, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (UWGLV), Communities In Schools of Eastern Pennsylvania and Women United.
Specifically, City Center has made its second consecutive, three-year commitment to support the school with a $50,000-a-year grant and approximately 400 employee-volunteer hours annually. Since 2018, City Center’s employees have volunteered at Central Elementary for jobs ranging from reading to students to organizing the food pantry to landscaping the playground.
Through its extensive community partnerships, City Center also provides in-kind donations valued at thousands of dollars to benefit Central’s students, families and teachers and coordinates enrichment programs to benefit students each year.
“Central Elementary School is our company’s neighborhood school, which has made our employees’ relationships with Central’s students and families especially meaningful,” said J.B. Reilly, president of City Center Investment Corp. “City Center is committed to helping create a healthy, thriving community for everyone downtown, and we enjoy sharing our resources with Central’s families to create enriching learning experiences and strengthen their connection to the many benefits downtown Allentown has to offer.”
Using schools as hubs, Community Schools organize programs and services in one central place for students and families. These programs and services remove barriers to learning, create positive youth development, and empower parents to strengthen their role as partners in education. The model convenes companies, nonprofit organizations, volunteers and other community supports to ensure higher success rates for students. As a result, Community School students have increased reading and math scores and excel in other academic areas.
“Simply put: Community Schools work. And they work, thanks to the generosity and the leadership of partners such as City Center,” remarked David Lewis, President, UWGLV. “City Center’s commitment to Central Elementary School has made a transformative impact. We are so grateful for continued resources and support that City Center and its employees dedicate to Allentown students and families.”
As a result of City Center’s involvement, a Community School Coordinator will continue to connect Central’s students, families and nearby residents with the resources they need to thrive, including medical and dental care, early learning opportunities, after-school programs, access to nutritious food and clothing resources.
“Central is one of the longest standing schools in center city Allentown, and since City Center has partnered with us, we truly feel like a part of the revitalization. From our school to now our playground as the neighborhood grows around us, City Center makes it possible for Central to grow with it!” added Rebecca Bodnar, Principal, Central Elementary School.
This Community School partnership is part of an ongoing community engagement initiative of City Center and its employees and principals called Building Community. The initiative aims to revitalize downtown Allentown and its surrounding neighborhoods by providing financial support, in-kind donations and volunteer service, focusing on three key results-oriented areas: arts, community development and education. In 2020, CCIC donated more than $3.8 million total to 75 organizations and its 25 employees volunteered at nearly 45 organizations, donating more than 2,000 total hours.
United Way’s Community School Network serves approximately 19,000 students in Allentown, Bethlehem Area, Easton Area and Bangor Area school districts. As a Community School with lead partner Communities In Schools of Eastern Pennsylvania and support from Women United, Central Elementary School engages approximately 200 volunteers each year and involves more than 400 students in school activities including after-school programs, sports and academic clubs.