News and Events

La Casa & Sen. Bob Menendez host Puerto Rican Debt Crisis Conference

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) held a press conference on Monday, June 13 at La Casa de Don Pedro to discuss the Puerto Rico’s $72 billion debt crisis and the oppose the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, or PROMESA. Several elected officials and representatives from local Puerto Rican advocacy joined

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Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) held a press conference on Monday, June 13 at La Casa de Don Pedro to discuss the Puerto Rico’s $72 billion debt crisis and the oppose the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, or PROMESA. Several elected officials and representatives from local Puerto Rican advocacy joined Menendez on Monday to voice their opposition to PROMESA.

Senator Menendez has been a vocal critic and opponent of PROMESA since its inception. In March, Menendez introduced The Puerto Rico Stability and Recovery Package, a legislative package that would enable Puerto Rico to restructure all of its debt and avoid full financial collapse. Menendez’ proposed legislative package includes: the creation of a Financial Stability and Reform Board in Puerto Rico to oversee the restructuring process; changes to the island’s Medicaid program that would allow for federal reimbursement and thus provide stable, sustainable funding; an equitable tax credit treatment that would give Puerto Rican’s access to Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC).

NJ State Senator Nellie Pons aligned herself with Menendez at Monday’s conference and in a statement issued yesterday, stating “The PROMESA bill falls far short of providing the ‘promise’ to Puerto Rico that the island and its residents deserve. As chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus, I strongly support the effort of Senator Menendez to advance a more compassionate and responsible plan that offers Puerto Rico an opportunity to restructure its debt but also maintains the ability of the duly-elected representatives of the island to make decisions on behalf of those they represent.”

PROMESA passed in the House with overwhelming bipartisan support last Thursday and is expected to do so in the Senate later this month. With Puerto Rico’s next debt payment due July 1st, Menendez plans to bring his proposed amendments to PROMESA to the senate floor and gain support of advocacy groups and elected officials.

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LBNA’s Lower Broadway Live

The Lower Broadway Neighborhood Association is kicking off NeighborWorks Week with its first Lower Broadway Live event tomorrow Saturday June 4th from 5-8pm on Crane St. between Webster & Broadway. Join us for a Latin Dance Party with lessons provided by Smiling David’s Dance Studio! Tomorrow’s Latin Dance Party will

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The Lower Broadway Neighborhood Association is kicking off NeighborWorks Week with its first Lower Broadway Live event tomorrow Saturday June 4th from 5-8pm on Crane St. between Webster & Broadway. Join us for a Latin Dance Party with lessons provided by Smiling David’s Dance Studio!

Tomorrow’s Latin Dance Party will be the first of LBNA’s Lower Broadway Live event series that will take place throughout the summer. In an effort to generate positive energy and celebrate the Lower Broadway community, the Lower Broadway Live series will feature artistic and cultural events and highlight all of resources that Lower Broadway has to offer.LBL_Poster

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La Casa Hosts Community Development Spotlight on June 2nd

Spotlight On: Housing Counseling in New Jersey Statewide housing association brings Community Development Spotlight series to Newark                                                   WHAT:     As part of its Community Development Spotlight series, the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) is partnering with La Casa de Don Pedro to host a

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Spotlight On: Housing Counseling in New Jersey
Statewide housing association brings Community Development Spotlight series to Newark

                                                 

WHAT:     As part of its Community Development Spotlight series, the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) is partnering with La Casa de Don Pedro to host a forum on housing counseling. Housing counseling is a service offered by several New Jersey nonprofit organizations to assist individuals and households in the areas of buying, keeping and refinancing homes. The Network’s Community Development Spotlight series highlights various aspects of community development in effort to raise awareness and celebrate the achievements of the sector.

WHO:       Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Network; Raymond Ocasio, executive director of La Casa de Don Pedro; AnneMarie Uebbing, director of the Community Planning and Development Newark Field Office for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. A panel discussion will feature housing counselors from the Affordable Housing Alliance, the Paterson Task Force, and La Casa de Don Pedro. There will also be a presentation by Valley National Bank on homeowner mortgage products.

 

WHERE:  La Casa de Don Pedro located at 75 Park Ave. in Newark.

 

WHEN:     Thursday, June 2.

 

TIME:       10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

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La Casa centers will be closed on Monday May 30

Please note that all of La Casa’s offices & centers will be closed on Monday, May 30 in observance of Memorial Day. Regular hours & programs will resume on Tuesday, May 31.

La Casa Celebrates Early Childhood Education

Newark, NJ (May 4, 2016) – Community, business and political leaders and advocates gathered at NJPAC on Wednesday, April 27th for La Casa de Don Pedro’s annual cocktail reception La Casa Es Su Casa. With this year’s theme being “The Early Childhood Education Journey,” La Casa celebrated the successes of

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La Casa’s four year old student Paola Hernandez surprised Mayor Baraka with a Spanish and English greeting. Photo courtesy of Anthony Alvarez Photography

Newark, NJ (May 4, 2016) – Community, business and political leaders and advocates gathered at NJPAC on Wednesday, April 27th for La Casa de Don Pedro’s annual cocktail reception La Casa Es Su Casa. With this year’s theme being “The Early Childhood Education Journey,” La Casa celebrated the successes of its preschool program and honored local leaders and advocates who have fought to make quality Early Childhood Education accessible for all of Newark’s children.

Dr. Lauren Wells, Newark’s Chief Education Officer, was the evening’s emcee. This year’s honorees included NJ Senator Teresa M. Ruiz, chair of the Senate Education Committee; Nancy Rivera, Newark’s first Early Childhood Education Director, Barbara Reisman; Former Executive Director of The Schumann Fund for New Jersey and current Senior Advisory to the Maher Charitable Foundation; as well as the Education Law Center and Advocates for Children of New Jersey.

The event featured a retrospective photo exhibit that chronicled La Casa’s journey from a small dual-language daycare center founded in 1974 to the robust, fully accredited preschool program that it is today. A “pop-up” classroom, fully equipped with dual-language educational materials, gave guests an interactive experience with the preschool program. A former student and her mother and the current president of the Parents Committee gave testimonial speeches about their experiences with La Casa over the years.

Remarks by Dr. Wells, Mayor Baraka, Executive Director Ray Ocasio and each of the honorees stressed the importance of early childhood education as a foundation for future success and the need to continue expanding such programs.

La Casa de Don Pedro has been providing Newark families with free, dual language, high quality early childhood education for over 40 years. La Casa’s three centers serve over 255 children annually and are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). 90% of La Casa’s students come from low income households and almost 50% are living in extreme poverty. Despite these socioeconomic challenges, La Casa’s students have consistently scored above average on both national and statewide assessments.

However, statewide budget cuts are threatening the quality of La Casa’s program. Just this past year, La Casa was forced to cut its technology and educational materials budget by over 50% and teachers have had to limit educational field trips to centers like the Museum of Natural History, the Liberty Science Center and New Jersey’s local farms. As a result, La Casa’s students are missing out on formative educational experiences and opportunities. Knowing preschool is widely known as a means to help level the playing field and close the achievement gap, La Casa made a special appeal to guests and sponsors to support its Early Childhood Education program.

Donate to our Early Childhood Education Program here

La Casa es su Casa was made possible by support from sponsors: PSE&G, TD Bank, JP Morgan Chase, M&T Bank, Prudential, Verizon, Atlantic Federal Credit Union, Horizon NJ Health, McCarter & English, LLP, McManimon Scotland & Baumann, LLC, North Jersey Federal Credit Union, PNC Bank, Rutgers University – Newark, and WithumSmith+Brown.

View photos from the event here 

La Casa es Su Casa is the first of four fundraising event in 2016. Next is “Festival de la Familia,” in July followed by “Burgers & Brew” in September and National Latino AIDS Awareness Day in October.  To learn more visit: http://www.lacasanwk.org/news-and-events/2016-special-events-series/ or call 973-482-8312.

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Energy Assistance Program Deadline EXTENDED

Please note that the Energy Assistance Program Deadline has been extended to May, 2nd 2016. Representatives will be available at the West Orange and Newark Satellite offices until May 2nd.

600 Central Avenue, East Orange Location Closed Until Further Notice

Due to recent flood water damage our facility located at 600 Central Avenue, East Orange will be closed until further notice. All other sites listed below are open for client walk in and application submittal:   Essex County: La Casa de Don Pedro (basement in rear of building) (973) 485-0795

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Due to recent flood water damage our facility located at 600 Central Avenue, East Orange will be closed until further notice.

All other sites listed below are open for client walk in and application submittal:

 

Essex County:

La Casa de Don Pedro (basement in rear of building)

(973) 485-0795 & (973) 485-0796

317 Roseville Ave.
Newark, NJ 07107

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.

Wednesday: 9:00 A.M. – 7:00 P.M. (last client at 6:00pm)

Closed on Fridays and the Last week of every month for data entry and outreach

 

PSE&G Satellite Offices /representatives available during program season only

59 Main Street

West Orange, NJ 07052

Monday, Wednesday & Friday

8:30 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.

 

80 Park Place
Newark, NJ 07102

Monday, Wednesday & Friday

8:30 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.

 

Please note these hours are only valid during each program season from October 1 to April 30th of each year the locations remain the same unless noted otherwise.

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North Newark Residents and Leaders Share Input about the Future of Newark Public Schools

More than 60 residents shared their thoughts about the future of Newark Public Schools at a strategic planning session at Barringer High School on Wednesday evening, February 3rd. In an effort to demonstrate inclusion and transparency, Newark Public Schools has been organizing meetings directly with local community partners.  La Casa

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More than 60 residents shared their thoughts about the future of Newark Public Schools at a strategic planning session at Barringer High School on Wednesday evening, February 3rd. In an effort to demonstrate inclusion and transparency, Newark Public Schools has been organizing meetings directly with local community partners.  La Casa de Don Pedro co-hosted this North Newark focused session in conjunction with Councilman Anibal Ramos and the school district’s Office of Family and Community Engagement.

Superintendent Christopher Cerf spoke about the role the Strategic Plan will have in shaping the education of Newark’s children and the significance of achieving local control. Newark Public School’s Executive Director of Family & Community Engagement, Margarita Muniz, outlined the evening’s participation process while facilitators, including staff of La Casa de Don Pedro, led small group discussions about issues such as academics, finance, operations and governance, school choice and planning, data and accountability, and community engagement. Also present were Councilman Carlos Gonzalez, Newark Public Schools Board Members Dashay Carter and Rashon Hasan. Meanwhile in a separate room, children of the parents enjoyed free childcare provided by La Casa de Don Pedro.

Ray Ocasio, La Casa’s Executive Director, participated in the school choice and planning group. He was pleased to see that the discussion affirmed the value of ‘community schools’ in fostering ‘communities and quality of life’ throughout the city.  He said, “Schools are one of the few positive elements where we can build communities. The goal should be that ‘quality and equity’ in education make the question of choice meaningful for all.” He also advanced the need to adhere to the school funding formula that would provide assurance of multi-year and adequate funding of the schools. “Under the school funding formula we can engage in constructive planning as opposed to the current system that forces us to make choices of what must be eliminated in the schools,” said Ocasio.

Armando Aviles, longtime North Newark resident and chair of the Newark Hispanic Commission, participated in the Student Supports session. He was enthusiastic about the ideas that the group proposed such as creating community school boards to oversee and work together with schools to evaluate operations and help provide resources, establishing a mentorship program for children in crisis, and engaging alumni for support. “I was particularly impressed at the fact that parents, teachers, community and corporate leaders were able to sit at the table and agree on priority issues that will directly enhance the future of our city’s children. We can no longer live in an atmosphere of placing the blame on one entity; our attitudes must change to understand that only working together we will bring about positive change.”

The next and last Newark Public Schools strategic planning meeting is Wednesday, February 10th at Malcolm X Shabazz High School.  Newark Public School plans to present the findings from all of the sessions at a community meeting on February 25th at Central High School.

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La Casa Centers Closed Tuesday, January 26th

La Casa de Don Pedro continues to be closed through Tuesday, January 26th. Newark Public Schools are also closed. Residents with streets still blocked due to snow removal challenges should be sure to contact the City of Newark’s snow removal number at (973) 877-9260. To view the City of Newark’s

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La Casa de Don Pedro continues to be closed through Tuesday, January 26th.

Newark Public Schools are also closed.

Residents with streets still blocked due to snow removal challenges should be sure to contact the City of Newark’s snow removal number at (973) 877-9260.

To view the City of Newark’s snow removal tracker please click HERE.

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La Casa Centers Closed Monday, January 25th

Due to the weekend’s blizzard and current street conditions, all La Casa centers will be closed Monday, January 25th. City Hall and its agencies, including municipal courts and medical clinics, with the exception of essential services and Public Safety will also be closed. Newark Public Schools will also be closed

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Due to the weekend’s blizzard and current street conditions, all La Casa centers will be closed Monday, January 25th.

City Hall and its agencies, including municipal courts and medical clinics, with the exception of essential services and Public Safety will also be closed.

Newark Public Schools will also be closed and garbage collection and street sweeping will be suspended.

For updates on Newark’s snow removal efforts please visit www.ci.newark.nj.us/snow.

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