GIFT OF LEARNING – Representatives of Mercer CYO accept a check from Berkshire Bank to aid the organization’s after school programs. Shown from left are After School Program director John Soss, Christine Spinelli and Bambina Szarka from Berkshire Bank, and CYO executive director Tom Mladenetz. Courtesy photos
GIFT OF LEARNING – Representatives of Mercer CYO accept a check from Berkshire Bank to aid the organization’s after school programs. Shown from left are After School Program director John Soss, Christine Spinelli and Bambina Szarka from Berkshire Bank, and CYO executive director Tom Mladenetz. Courtesy photos

Mercer County Catholic Youth Organizations recently fielded two significant wins for its work with young children – re-accreditation by National Association for the Education of Young Children, and a grant for an after-school program.

The CYO Yardville Preschool received the accreditation in August, which will allow the school to remain accredited with the NAEYC through August, 2023. NAEYC accredited programs demonstrate a commitment to providing a high quality program for young children and their families. scoring categories include health and safety, staffing, staff qualifications, physical environment, administration, and the nature of the child experience.

“Earning the NAEYC accreditation is huge for the Yardville CO Pre-School,” said Mercer CYO executive director Tom Mladenetz. “This means the CYO goes above and beyond the state child care licensing requirements.”

The program is fully dedicated to offering the highest quality programs, he said, noting that this type of accreditation is among what parents look for when shopping for child care and preschool programs.

“All four CYO Preschools here in Mercer County have earned the distinction, which is the result of many staff working tirelessly together as a team to meet these stringent criteria,” Mladenetz continued. “The CYO Board of Trustees has set the bar high for all our programs and the CYO staff continues to reach these goals. As the executive director, I am very proud of our team!”

Meanwhile, the CYO South Broad Street Center recently received a grant from Berkshire Bank for its After School Tutoring Program.

“The recent grant from the Berkshire Bank Foundation is being used toward the CYO South Broad Street Center After School Program – with special focus on the free tutoring services we provide ,” Mladenetz explained. “In total, this program has nearly 120 children enrolled, all from Trenton schools.”

CYO provides a structured enrichment program, which includes tutoring offered by two certified teacher son four afternoons each week. More than 60 students directly benefit from the tutoring services, which Mladenetz said has proven to increase their academic performance in their respective schools.

“Having community partners such as Berkshire Bank allows the CYO to enhance our program offerings<’ he said. “The CYO is grateful for this support.”

For more information about CYO, visit www.cyomercer.org or call 609-396-8383, ext. 15