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annual report

July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Letter to our Friends

Dear CentroNa Family:
As we reflect on the achievements from the last year, we are once again reminded that the work we do on behalf of our
children and families is both joyous and challenging. Every day we give thanks to our new and longtime donors, alumni,
volunteers, and dedicated staff for making it possible for us to continue to offer high-quality early childhood education
for low-income, working families in a bilingual and multicultural environment.
As we move into our 30th anniversary year, we want to express how grateful we are for your support. Because of
you, CentroNas community of children and families is more vibrant than ever. This year we continued to
grow our core programs in early childhood education, food and wellness, arts, and workforce development. Along the
way, we had some extra special moments that we would like to share with you:
CentroNas expansion at the Upshur site allowed us to provide Early Head Start to an additional 60 families in
Washington DC.
In 2013, CentroNa conducted a needs assessment of food services and nutrition education offered at 15 childcare
centers in the District of Columbia. From this assessment, we are looking at ways to address three important
a. Many centers served meals exceeding the recommended sugar, sodium, and calorie requirements for
young children.
b. Of the centers surveyed, none provided a comprehensive nutrition education curriculum for children
or families.
c. Many administrators and teachers reported they lacked the necessary financial resources for training,
materials, and equipment to improve the food quality or to establish a nutrition education program.
CentroNa welcomed U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan alongside the National Institute for
Early Education Research (NIEER) to unveil the 2014 State of Preschool Yearbook at the CentroNa Maryland site.
With full support from the CentroNa community, DC Bilingual, the charter school that grew out of CentroNas
mission, started its 2015-2016 school year in its new home at 33 Riggs Road, NE.
The CentroNa Institute was selected to serve as one of three organizations to provide training and technical
assistance to child care centers across the city in order to help the centers meet the Early Head Start standards.
Our annual report this year serves as a reminder of the impact of your on-going support. And behind the numbers are
stories of children and families succeeding, often against difficult odds. Thanks to YOUR incredible support our
children have a greater chance of succeeding in school and our families in realizing their dreams.
THANK YOU for being champions in the education of our children!

Myrna Peralta
CentroNa President & CEO

Dennis Davison
CentroNa Board Chair

Who We Are
About CentroNa
CentroNa, a nationally recognized,
award-winning educational organization
education; professional development to
educators; and family support services
to more than 2,400 low-income children
and families in the District of Columbia
metropolitan region. Founded in 1986,
CentroNas holistic approach ensures
that our children and families receive
the support and encouragement they
need to succeed academically, develop
a strong sense of community, and live
healthy and active lives. This includes
an award-winning Food & Wellness
Department that provides healthy
meals for CentroNas community, and
encourages children, parents, and staff
to adopt healthy lifestyles by making
informed food choices.

Educating children and youth

and strengthening families
in a bilingual, multicultural

Today, CentroNa serves more than 2,400 children,
youth, and families annually in Washington, DC and


CentroNa becomes a HUB partner via Early Head

Start to provide coaching and technical support to
early childhood centers in DC.


CentroNa launches the CentroNa Institute to

share institutional experience and best practices in
early childhood education. Michelle Obama launches
Lets Move campaign at CentroNa.


CentroNa becomes a Early Head Start partner for

its growing program in Maryland.


CentroNa opens a location inTakoma Park, Maryland

to serve the growing immigrant community in
Montgomery County.


CentroNa is born! The name derives from Spanish,

Swahili, and Esperanto a language created in the
19th century to help bridge cultures Centro
means center in Spanish; Nia means purpose in
Swahili and our in Esperanto.


85 pre-kindergarteners enroll at new site located on

Harvard Street.


DC Bilingual Public Charter School is founded and

begins enrolling elementary school students.


Opening of the Infant and Toddler program for

children 3 months to 3 years old.


Receives donation of 1420 Columbia Road building

by Verizon; enrollment grows to 100 preschoolers,
youth and parents.


Programs expanded to include after-school and

parent education to reflect the growing needs in the


CentroNa opens its doors as Calvary Bilingual

Multicultural Learning Center, offering 15 children
high quality, affordable and multicultural early
childhood education out of the Calvary United
Methodist Church.


Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education begins with building responsive relationships between a child, their parents,
and their teacher. This allows children to thrive in all environments of growth and learning. CentroNa
implements year-round bilingual, early childhood development and education for children from birth to
age five. At the heart of CentroNas program are five core understandings:
Parents are a childs first teacher. They provide the foundation for building a strong partnership
between the family and the primary caregiver.
Children thrive when all domains of growth and learningsocial-emotional, cognitive, and physical
developmentare fully integrated.
CentroNa is committed to individualized care within the context of small groups.
When children feel supported, they will feel free to explore the world and engage in the most critical
of tasksbuilding meaning about the world around them.
A bilingual, multicultural community supports growth and learning through the intersection of culture,
diversity, and language, which plays an important role in child development, especially among English
Language Learners.
All early childhood classrooms at CentroNa incorporate the artssinging, dancing, and painting
allowing children to explore and express themselves at an early age.

I couldnt feel more priviliged and

proud of the education that I received
at CentroNa, explained Phenola
Lawrence, CentroNa Alumna.
Its strong bilingual and arts focused
program provided me a strong
foundation to become a succesful

Family Support
In order for students to be successful, families must
have access to the resources they need. CentroNas
Family Center provides comprehensive educational
opportunities to our families through workshops and
classes, as well as advocates for causes important to
our community through referral services to partner
organizations. The Family Center also provides case
management services for individuals who face multiple
challenges including adult education, workforce
development, housing access, immigration issues,
domestic violence, and substance abuse.

Shalinees Story
Shalinee immigrated to D.C. in 2007 to join her loving husband and reunite her two children with their
father. Eager to find work but without an Employment Authorization Card, Shalinee began volunteering
with a local public school and enrolled in classes in an adult education program where she obtained a
Child Development Associate (C.D.A.) certification.
After three years, having since acquired authorization to work, Shalinee needed to renew her certification.
She joined the CentroNa C.D.A. renewal program, which provides training to individuals seeking a career
in Early Childhood Education and immerses students through instructional workshops and hands-on
experiences. Shalinee graduated and joined the team of PreK4 teachers at CentroNa for summer camp!

With the C.D.A. renewal classes and support validating my college

transcriptsCentroNa provided a foundation for my family to thrive.
With dreams of becoming a science teacher, Shalinee
sought support from CentroNas Family Center in
updating her rsum. Through the Family Center, she
worked with a representative from College Board who
provided resources to validate her college transcripts
from India. Shalinee found work as a science teacher
in an elementary school for one academic year, then
jumped at an opportunity to work with CentroNas
Studio R.O.C.K.S. after school program. She has been a
teacher with us for almost three years and most recently
is teaching Kindergarten and 1st graders after school and
over summer break. Shalinee hopes she can help more
families like hers in the community.

Food & Wellness

At CentroNa, our entire communitychildren, parents, and
staffis encouraged to adopt healthy lifestyles and to make
informed food choices. With proper nutrition, children and
families are best positioned to learn. Teachers and parents play a
central role in guiding students healthy choices around diet and
exercise during the earliest stages of a childs life.


meals served daily to

children and families

By strengthening efforts in schools and early childhood education

centers, CentroNa seeks to create a lasting impact in nutrition
habits and choices, which start at infancy. We work around five
core strategies:
1. Cooking and serving nutritious meals for all our
children ages 6 months to 14 years
2. Developing a catering service that seeks to provide
low-cost wholesome and delicious alternatives to our
3. Creating and implementing child and adult nutrition
education programs through curriculums, nutritional
workshops and cooking classes
4. Encouraging the development of a wellness culture in
our community through the work of a multi-disciplinary
wellness committee
5. Partnering with other community organizations to
consolidate advocacy efforts that promote nutrition and
wellness practices across the District and beyond

Community Engagement
CentroNas Community Engagement & Education
department advocates for, educates, and promotes
student achievement by utilizing the arts as a medium
of instruction and communication.This department
is comprised of three programs:
Studio R.O.C.K.S. offers before and after school
programming as well as all day programs during
winter, spring, and summer breaks for children
in kindergarten (age 5) to middle school (age 13).
Studio R.O.C.K.S. provides students with meaningful
and impactful programming, which emphasizes
academic enrichment, self-discovery, and creative
explorationall in a bilingual, multicultural setting.
Tutoring focuses primarily on improving literacy
skills and allows students to receive support with
homework.The program thrives on volunteer tutors
from local universities and the community. Students
and tutors are paired for the length of the program
which helps strengthen relationships and drive
CentroNas Community Library is a
bilingual resource center with more than 10,000
books and materials. Considered a teaching-library,
the Community Library supports the CentroNa
community through its involvement in academic
lessons and by providing resources to teachers,
students, and families.

If more people heard the amazing things that are

happening at CentroNa, they may be even more
inspired to do something themselves, said
Darcy, a community volunteer.

The Community Engagement & Education

programs have inspired my childs interest in
reading and have helped our family grow, learn, and
discover together, said Luis, a CentroNa

CentroNa Institute
The CentroNa Institute was developed as the result of
CentroNas years of experience and success working with
young children, their families, and teachers in a multicultural
and bilingual environment.The majority of children CentroNa
serves immigrated here with their families and many are
English Language Learners (ELLs). These communities are
historically underserved, both nationally and locally, by centerand school-based education. The CentroNa Institute strives
to raise awareness and strengthen institutional capacity to
address these needs by:
Presenting and disseminating research surrounding best
practices for educating young ELLs;
Offering professional development workshops and
trainings to educators, school leadership, childcare center
staff, and parents;
Providing on-site technical assistance in early childhood
centers and schools.

CentroNa Institute Reflective Practice

Approach (CIRPA) Toolkit

The CIRPA Toolkit release is an exciting milestone for the

CentroNa Institute who worked tirelessly to compile and
disseminate CentroNas 30 years worth of experience in
combination with best practices and new research in early
education. In the coming months the CentroNa Institute
will be working with 13 centers around Washington, DC
to implement the CIRPA Toolkit and provide one-on-one
coaching to teachers and administrators.

Quality early care and education can help close

the readiness gap for kids entering kindergarten and
influence their trajectory in life, expressed Lauren
Stillwell, Program Officer at Washington
Area Womens Foundation. We are proud to
support CentroNias effort to build and offer meaningful
training and professional development for the early care
and education workforce, thereby strengthening quality,
and improving chances for children in our region.

Awards & Leadership

Lets Move Active School National Recognition
Award (2014)
CentroNas President and CEO, Myrna
Peralta, awarded Capital Ones Community
Champion Award (2014)
Alliance for a Healthier Generation Silver
Award (2013)
USDA Healthier U.S. School Challenge Gold
Award with Distinction (2011)
First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Lets
Move! Child Care campaign at CentroNa

Board of Directors

Dennis Davison
Chair, McKenna Long & Aldridge
Alison Miranda
Vice Chair, Social Impact
Carla Decker
Treasurer, DC Federal Credit Union
Maria Holleran-Rivera
Secretary, Retired U.S. Department of Energy


Monica Arias
Parent member
Celeste Clete Boykin
Gretchen Gayle Ellsworth
Retired, Smithsonian Executive
Alamhir Gutierrez
CentroNa Alumna


Robert Morton
K. Shiek Pal
Perkins Cole, LLP
Gabriela Rodriguez-Niebres
Discover Financial Services
Doug Rose
Discover Financial Services


Myrna Peralta
President & CEO
Steve Glover
Pro-bono Counsel


For complete audited Form 990s, please visit our Guidestar page:

Annual Fund Supporters

We are so grateful to all our generous supporters! Although a great deal of care has gone into ensuring the
accuracy of this donor list, there may be some errors.We apologize for any omissions, misspellings, or other
mistakes and welcome your corrections and suggestions.
Diana Alonzo Watkins
Alfred Amado
Phyllis Armstrong
Stacy Baker
Judy Bauer
Donna Bean
Marc Berk
Joaquin Bonilla
Kristyn Borrero
Celeste Boykin
Elizabeth Bruce
Robert Carolla
Freddy Castro
Eva Cervantes
Joy and Jerry Choppin
Renata Claros
Lise Clavel
Ruth Ann Compton
Kathleen Conley
James Cox
Kate Cromwell
Maria Cruz
Laurie Davis
Katherine Davis
Dennis Davison
Judith Denny
Sandra Dew
Eduardo Diaz
Angela Elkins
Gretchen Ellsworth
Donald Fado
Marlin Farnsworth
Janine Feggans
Elliot Feldman
Jorge Felix
Tamar Fishman
Nicole Fox
Austin Frizzell
Mary Gabay
Carolyn and John Garland
Carol Gayle
Jonathan Genn
Joshua Gerber
Barbara Gholz
Denise Gilman and Ariel

Benjamin Gitterman
Wendy Goldberg
Sandra Gomez

Marie-France and Pierre

Michele Hagans
Mary Hamill
Angela Hartley
Sharee Hatfield
John Hauge
John Herrmann
Robert Hirsch
Julius Hobson
Maria Holleran Rivera and

John Holleran
Jean Hopkins
Carmen Howell
Lynne Hundley
Leonade Jones
Alice Jordan
Francis Keller
Kenneth Klein
Donald Kohn
Lillian Kraemer
Diane Kuhla
Melih Kutluer
Rebecca Lemos
Margaret Lenzner
Grace Lopez
Sean Luechtefeld
Jean Lujan
Lester Matlock
Alan Mayers
Elizabeth McGuffee
Alex Mentch
Cynthia Mercado
Alison Miranda
Frances Molinaro
Theodore Olt
Beatriz BB Otero
Maria Otero and Joseph

Nanette Paris
Myrna Peralta
Rob Plati
Radhika Raman
Jamie Raskin
Susan Reddish
Michelle Ritchie
Alice Rivlin
John Roane
Shelley Robinson
Marissa Roman

Anna Rosario
Robert Douglas Rose
Susan Rosenbaum
Martin Rozenberg
Marie Ruddell
Vanessa Ruiz
Alice Sadler
Kathleen Sadler
Mike Sandfort
Carroll Saussy
Daniel Schindler
Steven Schjenken
Sandra Scioville
Jo Ann Scott
Amy Seago
Louise Shelley
Jerome Shipman
Charles Short
Emma Snyder
Renee Stikes
Lois Thibault
Lucy Wadeson
Eileen and Bernard Wasow
Barbara Wege
Shearer Weigert
Emily Weinmann
Ricky Weiss
Patricia Weiss Fagen
Martha West
Emily Whitfield
William Willcox
Jonathan Willen
Joanne Williams
Carolyn Wogaman
Ivey Wohlfeld
Nikolas Youngsmith
Beatriz Zuluaga

DC Commission on the Arts

and Humanities
DC Trust
Debevoise and Plimpton LLP
Diana Davis Spencer

Diane and Norman Bernstein

District Government
Employees Federal

Credit Union
Fight for Children
George Preston Marshall

Homer and Martha Gudelsky

Inter-American Development

Kresge Foundation
Mara Bershad Foundation
Maryland State Department

of Education
Mayors Office on Latino

McKenna Long & Aldridge

Monarch Lab, University of


Cities Schoolyard

Ecology Explorations
Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz

U.S. Department of Health &

Human Services,

Administration for

Children and Families
Office of the State

Superintendent of

Corporations, &
Pitney Bowes
PNC Foundation
Richard E. & Nancy P.
Bank of America

Marriott Foundation
Braun Film and Video, Inc.
Share Fund
Building Hope
United Way
Capital One
Washington Area Womens
Catherine B. Reynolds


Randolph Hearst

Community Foundation for
the National Capital Region World Bank Group

Our Impact

children and
families served



healthy meals served for

children, families, and staff

of children
and families
Spanish in
their homes


individuals received
support services from
the Family Center

of students enrolled in CentroNa

programs receive free or reduced lunch

Get Involved
We want you to be a part of our
CentroNa Family! Were celebrating
our birthday in 2016, and youre invite
to join the party. Our supprters are
choosing to donate their own birthday
to our children and families and YOU
can too! Join the campaign and you can
see how your efforts compare to others
in CentroNas Birthday Challenge.

There are many opportunities for you
to have hands-on experience working
with the many different programs at
CentroNa. Maybe you would like to
tutor a student? Or maybe you enjoy
helping with special events? Join us by
viewing volunteer opportunities and
filling out an application on our website,

One of the best ways to learn about
CentroNa is to come see our community
in person. CentroNa visits provide
an opportunity to see our facility and
learn about our programs. Youll be able
to meet with our dedicated staff and
interact with families who are benifiting
from CentroNas services.

For further information:

Kate Akalonu, Director of Development & Communications
Email: | Phone: 202-332-4200 ext. 1140

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1420 Columbia Road, NW | Washington, DC 20009

202-332-4200 | |