News and Events

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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Season Greetings from La Casa

In the spirit of the season…… We extend a heartfelt thank you for continuing to believe in and support our mission to foster self-sufficiency, empowerment and neighborhood revitalization. Wishing you the very best this holiday season & throughout the New Year. Warm Regards, La Casa de Don Pedro Board of

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In the spirit of the season……

We extend a heartfelt thank you for continuing to believe in and support our mission to foster self-sufficiency, empowerment and neighborhood revitalization.

Wishing you the very best this holiday season & throughout the New Year.

Warm Regards,
La Casa de Don Pedro
Board of Directors & Staff

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La Casa To Break Ground on New Homes on Eaton Place in Greenwood Area

The City of East Orange, in partnership with La Casa De Don Pedro, is presenting a unique opportunity for residents to own brand new quality homes at an affordable price. On Wednesday, December 16, 2015, at 11am, Mayor Lester E. Taylor III, along with representatives from both the city and

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The City of East Orange, in partnership with La Casa De Don Pedro, is presenting a unique opportunity for residents to own brand new quality homes at an affordable price.

On Wednesday, December 16, 2015, at 11am, Mayor Lester E. Taylor III, along with representatives from both the city and La Casa de Don Pedro, will host a Groundbreaking Ceremony at the corner of Eaton Place and 15th Street in East Orange. This event will mark the start of construction of the new project, which will begin in the first quarter of 2016.

Those looking to purchase the new homes will be able to take advantage of a $25,000 grant towards the purchase of the home provided by the City of East Orange. Income limits for the homes are based on household size.

“Homeownership strengthens communities and builds wealth for our families,”” said Mayor Taylor. “I am excited to work with La Casa de Don Pedro to renew this area and provide residents and families with a chance to own their own home.”

The groundbreaking marks the beginning of redevelopment for the Greenwood Area, commonly known as the Teen Streets.

Valerie Jackson, Director of Policy, Planning and Development, is looking to replicate the same success as the Lower Broadway area in Newark, which included such residential and commercial developments as investment in a commercial corridor, façade and streetscape standards, affordable and market rate housing and the renovation of foreclosed properties into viable community assets.

“This project and strategic community partnerships like the one we have with La Casa is helping us to drive the Taylor Administration’s vision to set the standard for urban excellence and become a destination city,” said Jackson.

Raymond Ocasio, Executive Director of La Casa de Don Pedro, is glad to expand the city’s existing partnership with this new venture.

“We are thrilled to be the Community Development Housing Organization, working with this project,” said Ocasio. “This builds on our presence on Central Avenue in East Orange where we provide home energy assistance and home weatherization services.”

“The affordable single families home will have 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths with an attached garage,” said Alle Ries, Community Economic Development Director, La Casa de Don Pedro. “We pride ourselves on building affordable homes with high quality, durable finishes that are perfect for first time homeowners who want a comfortable home that fits the family budget.

Interested homeowners can contact Lindha Perez at 973-485-0701, ext. 4621 or Realtor James Hughes at 201-675-1210.

 

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La Casa Re-Administering High School Equivalency Test

La Casa’s Personal Development Division is re-administering the High School Equivalency (HSE) formerly known as GED, in both English & Spanish. CLICK HERE to view flyer .

Giving and Inspiring Newark (GAIN) Launches Campaign to Support Local NonProfits on #GivingTuesday

Nearly 100 guests joined five local nonprofit organizations at Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art in Downtown Newark on Tuesday, December 1 to promote and celebrate charitable acts of giving for the betterment of the greater Newark community. News 12 NJ anchor Carissa Lawson served as the Mistress of Ceremonies.

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Nearly 100 guests joined five local nonprofit organizations at Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art in Downtown Newark on Tuesday, December 1 to promote and celebrate charitable acts of giving for the betterment of the greater Newark community. News 12 NJ anchor Carissa Lawson served as the Mistress of Ceremonies. DJ Omar Abdallah and jazz musician Antoinette Montague performed. Guests could donate to the charity of their choice.

The event kicked off a month-long philanthropic initiative on #GivingTuesday entitled Giving and Inspiring Newark (GAIN) to mobilize Newark residents in support of five city-based charities during the holiday season – Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, Greater Newark Conservancy, Independence: A Family of Services, La Casa de Don Pedro and Newark Gay Pride – who are making a difference in Newark and beyond.

“It was Charles Dickens who wrote that the December holiday season is when ‘abundance rejoices and want is most keenly felt,’” said Mayor Baraka. “We are determined to make this holiday season a joyous one for all of our residents, by empowering these important nonprofits with the tools they need to enhance the quality of life for at-risk residents, youth, seniors, the LGBTQ community, artists, and restoring our environment. Together, this partnership of caring people will transform Newark into a City we can all believe in.”

#GivingTuesday is a national movement that celebrates charitable activities at the start of the holiday season. This year, the GAIN-Newark coalition hopes to grow Newark’s #GivingTuesday movement from a small project to a critical mass to help change the way Newark and its stakeholders think about philanthropy and community service. Chipotle Mexican Grill and Hotel Indigo also hosted events in support of the initiative.

“Aljira’s trustees and staff are proud to be partners in this unprecedented collaboration; it underscores the positive impact of nonprofits who are dedicated to serving Newark, its neighborhoods and residents, said Victor Davson, Executive Director, Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art.

“GAIN’s #GivingTuesday celebration helped to set the tone for community members by giving them an opportunity to come together, celebrate generosity and give,” said Margaret L. Woods, President & CEO, Independence: A Family of Services.  “IFS was happy to be a part of such a wonderful initiative.”

GAIN-Newark would not have been possible without the support of the event sponsors: Food and Beverage Sponsors: Atlantic Federal Credit Union, ShopRite of Newark, Horizon NJ Health, Martini & Rossi and Whole Foods of Morristown. Media Sponsor: BrickCityLive, Marketing Sponsor: RayZo Marketing Inc., Printing Sponsors: MinuteMan Press and Stobb’s Printing. Other supporters include: PNC Bank, Wells Fargo and Senator M. Teresa Ruiz.

CLICK HERE to view a selection of event photos.

GAIN-Newark is accepting donations through December 31.To make a contribution online or to learn more about GAIN-Newark and #GivingTuesday, visit www.newarkgives.org.

For more questions and more information, please contact Tenisha Malcolm at info@lacasanwk.org or 973.482.8312 ext. 1116.

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La Casa Centers Closed In Observance of Thanksgiving Day

All La Casa centers will be CLOSED Thursday, November 26th and Friday, November 27th in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will re-open Monday, November 30th at 9am.

GAIN-Newark Nonprofits Working Together to Promote #GivingTuesday

From support for youth and families, job and housing counseling, and environmental education, to cultural enrichment, health education and services for the LGBTQ community, five nonprofit organizations (Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, Greater Newark Conservancy, Independence: A Family of Services, La Casa de Don Pedro and Newark Pride) who

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From support for youth and families, job and housing counseling, and environmental education, to cultural enrichment, health education and services for the LGBTQ community, five nonprofit organizations (Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, Greater Newark Conservancy, Independence: A Family of Services, La Casa de Don Pedro and Newark Pride) who are making a difference in Newark and beyond have formed a #GivingTuesday coalition called GAIN-Newark: Giving and Inspiring Newark. The collaborating organizations are seeking your support of Newark’s #GivingTuesday initiative in December.

“The goal is to celebrate giving and advance the idea that investment in charitable programs is not only vital to their success, but beneficial to the contributor as well,” noted Carrie Puglisi, Director of Program & Fund Development at La Casa de Don Pedro. “Giving helps promote social connections, it evokes feelings of gratitude and happiness, and it’s contagious.”

#GivingTuesday is a national movement that celebrates charitable activities at the start of the holiday season. This year, the GAIN-Newark coalition hopes to grow Newark’s #GivingTuesday movement from a small project to a critical mass to help change the way Newark and its stakeholders think about philanthropy and community service.

GAIN-Newark’s coalition partners will host a free kick off celebration on December 1st from 6:00 p.m. till 8:00 p.m. at Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, 591 Broad Street in Newark. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served at the event, and representatives from the collaborating nonprofits will share information about their services and community impact. DJ Omar Abdallah and jazz musician Antoinette Montague will perform. Guests will be able to donate to the charity of their choice.

To date, confirmed event sponsors are Horizon NJ Health, Martini and Rossi, Shoprite of Newark, and Whole Foods, all Food & Beverage Sponsors, Media Sponsor Brick City Live, Marketing Sponsor RayZo, Inc., Printing Sponsors Minuteman Press and Stobbs Printing, and supporters PNC Bank and Senator Teresa Ruiz.

“I am proud to be part of this great cause that is bringing together the community to promote charitable acts of giving on #GivingTuesday. Giving And Inspiring Newark is an important initiative that will encourage people to give back and make the holiday season a little brighter for families in our area,” said Senator M. Teresa Ruiz. “I want to thank the organizations that are working to make this happen, and for allowing me to be part of this event that is dedicated to benefiting Newark and its residents.”

GAIN-Newark’s nonprofit collaborators provide vital services to thousands of Newarkers annually:

Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art presents memorable, innovative exhibitions, educational programs such as artists’ talk and exhibitions tours, and related cultural programming. Co-founded over 30 years ago by community-focused visionary artists, Aljira celebrates well-known as well as under-recognized, emerging artists and art of our time.

Greater Newark Conservancy is dedicated to the revitalization of Newark, NJ and surrounding urban areas. Founded in 1987, the Conservancy’s mission is to promote environmental stewardship to improve the quality of life in New Jersey’s urban communities through four inter-related program areas:  Environmental Education, Community Greening & Urban Agriculture, Environmental Justice, and Job Training.

Independence: A Family of Services, Inc. (IFS) has served youth and families struggling with educational and behavioral issues caused by poverty and unstable homes for over 43 years. IFS’ ultimate goal is to help clients in the greater Newark area and across urban northern New Jersey break the often generational cycle of dependency on government assistance, attain self-sufficiency, and live productive lives.

Founded in 1972, La Casa de Don Pedro provides a comprehensive range of services and community development initiatives for greater Newark, ranging from youth educational, cultural and recreational programs, youth & family counseling, community health initiatives, HIV/AIDS prevention & services, workforce development & job placement, affordable housing development and counseling, community development and organizing, home energy assistance conservation.

Newark Pride is a 100% volunteer organization affiliated with the North Jersey Community Research Institute (NJCRI) offering a range of services to Greater Newark including LGBT and HIV/AIDS services and programming. The mission of Newark Pride is to ensure that the social and cultural needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) constituents in the City of Newark and Essex County are supported and Newark continues to evolve as a safe space for all LGBTQ people.

Businesses and restaurants can also support GAIN by hosting “Give & GAIN” days where they donate a portion of their sales to the cause. “Together, we can demonstrate #GivingTuesday’s impact and promote how people can support Newark by contributing to their charity of choice within the GAIN-Newark consortium, or among other deserving nonprofit organizations in the city,” concluded Victor Davson, Aljira Executive Director. “We invite local businesses to support our cause and attract new customers by hosting a Give & GAIN day in December; we look forward to helping interested parties come up with an event concept and will promote your 100% tax free contribution to GAIN-Newark or to one or more specific nonprofits in our group.” Chipotle Mexican Grill, located at 222 Market Street will hold a Give & GAIN day on Tuesday, December 1st 4:30pm-8:00pm while Hotel Indigo will host an after party that same evening where a portion of the proceeds of a select menu will support GAIN.

For more information or to get involved with GAIN-Newark’s efforts, please contact Tenisha Malcolm at info@lacasanwk.org or 973.482.8312 ext. 1116. To make a contribution online or to learn more about GAIN-Newark and #GivingTuesday, visit www.newarkgives.org.

 

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SNAP Pre-Screening & Application Assistance

The SNAP Outreach team from the Community FoodBank of NJ will visit La Casa de Don Pedro, located at 282 First Ave, Family Success Center II in Newark, on Friday, November 20 to help low-income families see if they may qualify for food stamps. They will be there from 9:00am

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The SNAP Outreach team from the Community FoodBank of NJ will visit La Casa de Don Pedro, located at 282 First Ave, Family Success Center II in Newark, on Friday, November 20 to help low-income families see if they may qualify for food stamps. They will be there from 9:00am to noon and help those people likely to be eligible for food stamp benefits to fill out an online application. Support in English and Spanish will be available. CLICK HERE to read more.

For more information, contact Nora Alvarez at nalvarez@cfbnj.org or 800.609.3663 FREE or visit www.cfbnj.org/hope/assistance/snap.

 

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