Point Breeze gets new parent-resource centers

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Two new resource centers opened in South Philadelphia in March, providing a two-generation approach to tackling poverty in the Point Breeze section of the city.

The iParent@Diversified Resource Centers, funded by a grant from the William Penn Foundation, operate out of early childhood education centers in Dixon Learning Academy and Western Learning Center.

Last December, Diversified Community Services, a nonprofit social service organization that provides leadership and services to residents in Point Breeze and surrounding communities, announced that it had received a $438,500 grant from William Penn to help improve the lives of families in one of Philadelphia’s poorest neighborhoods.

“It is clear that children from low-income communities are set up for academic and economic failure before they enter kindergarten,” said Diversified’s executive director, Otis Bullock Jr., in a press release.

The resource centers will support Diversified’s effort by providing a quality education for infants and young children, but also by offering needed services for parents, such as parent training, financial workshops, computer literacy, résumé preparation, and workforce development.

During the grand opening of one of the centers at the Dixon Learning Academy, Olive Anderson performed yoga with students, while parents listened to a discussion on mental health awareness. Yoga and music lessons are some of the activities used to enhance the school readiness curriculum for the center’s pre-kindergarten students.

“Our two-generation approach addresses the short-term economic and educational realities of the parents in order to prepare young children for long-term educational success,” Bullock said in his statement.