LEVITICUS FUND - Faith Capital for Building Communities A community development fund for socially-responsive investors

News & Events>Unified Vailsburg Services Organization Opens Newest 14-Classroom Center

To the delight of invited guests and parents, children at the Vailsburg Child Development Center at Ivy Hill took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new school on September 24th.

With much excitement, and a wee-bit of trepidation, three-year-old children from the new Vailsburg Child Development Center at Ivy Hill sing during ribbon-cutting celebration. 

The 14-classroom center in the Ivy Hill section of Newark, New Jersey opened its doors on September 9th with full enrollment of 210 children between the ages of three and four years old. The state-of-the art preschool is the newest facility operated by Unified Vailsburg Services Organization (UVSO), a human services and community development agency based in Newark.

The new Vailsburg Child Development Center at Ivy Hill is a state-of-the-art, 14-classroom preschool serving 210 children.

UVSO has over 30 years of experience as an early childhood education provider, in addition to offering a wide range of services and programs primarily in the Vailsburg section of Newark. This newest facility marks UVSO’s expansion into the city’s Ivy Hill section, providing that community’s first center-based program for preschool children. Ivy Hill is noted for having the highest concentration of preschool-age children in the city, as well as blending a diverse mix of nationalities and cultures. 

“The Ivy Hill area is very culturally and racially diverse,” explained Dale Goodwin, Director of Youth and Children’s Programs for UVSO. “We consider it our ‘United Nations’ of the West Ward of Newark.”

Staff, board members and invited guests make it official by cutting ribbon for UVSO's newest child development center in Newark, New Jersey. 

Leviticus Fund is one of three regional community loan funds that provided financing to UVSO for the construction phase of the Ivy Hill center.  The $5.1 million center received a $1 million loan from Leviticus. This most recent project is the 15th loan that Leviticus has made to UVSO and the fourth loan specifically for an early education center.

“Leviticus is proud once again to partner with UVSO on such an important project for this Newark community,” explained David Raynor, Leviticus’ Executive Director. “At such an early stage in their school formation, these young children now have access to quality educational resources and facilities, plus talented teachers.”

Lucille Davy, New Jersey Commissioner of Education, and David Raynor (center), Leviticus Fund's Executive Director, congratulate Mike Farley (right), UVSO's Executive Director at ribbon-cutting celebration.
Children at the new Ivy Hill center display artwork in one of the center's new classrooms.


“The benefits of early childhood education are clear on both a national and local level,” he added. “Children from low-income families that complete the program are entering kindergarten with a strong foundation for learning.”

The three- and four-year-old children enrolled at the Ivy Hill Center took top billing at the ribbon-cutting ceremony by singing for invited guests and parents. Michael Farley, UVSO’s executive director, and agency staff also received numerous accolades for efficiently completing its largest construction project to date.

"If you're happy and you know it..." was the song of the day for children at the Vailsburg Child Development Center at Ivy Hill as they welcomed invited guests and parents to the September 24th ribbon-cutting. 

“The Ivy Hill facility is an impressive accomplishment for UVSO,” added Mr. Raynor. “The project was delivered to the community both on time and on budget.”



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