Speaker DeLeo, Rep Madaro Tour Local Social Centers

In his tenure in the House of Representatives Speaker Robert DeLeo has long been a champion of early learning.

Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo talks with children at the East Boston Social Centers early education room during a tour of the 100-year-old Eastie agency.

In a speech this year about the state’s Early Education and Care (EEC) DeLeo pledged to build on the House of Representative’s ongoing commitment to providing high-quality early education and care, in large part by supporting the state’s EEC workforce like the ones that staff the East Boston Social Centers.

“We know that the EEC years provide a unique opportunity for us to impact learning outcomes for children,” said DeLeo in the speech.

As an Eastie native DeLeo knows first hand the impact the Social Centers has had over the years on giving children the tools they need to grow and learn.

Last Friday DeLeo was joined by Rep. Adrian Madaro for a tour of the Socials Centers programs and see first hand the impact his advocacy in the House has had on programs in Eastie.

“Speaker DeLeo has shepherded several consecutive significant salary increases for early educators through the State House—and Representative Madaro has been a key ally,” said Socials Centers Executive Director Justin Pasquariello. “The Social Centers has been a long-term provider of high-quality early learning and school age programming—currently serving 300 children.”

Aside from its early education programming DeLeo was impressed by the agency’s teen and senior programs that keep the community engaged with the important local non-profit.

‘There are infants, children, teens, and older adults in our community that depend on this center,” said DeLeo after the visit. “I was honored to visit and personally thank the staff who work so hard each day to serve family and individual social, educational, and recreational needs.”

Pasquariello said the tour gave he and his staff the chance to thank DeLeo and Madaro and show them that state funding is being put to good use.

“We were excited to welcome Speaker DeLeo to East Boston, where he grew up, to thank him for—and demonstrate—the significant impact of investments in early education—for children from his district,” said Pasquariello.  “The Speaker’s tour recognizes the importance of our work in our communities—and will help bring attention to our fundraising gala on Nov. 7.”

Both the Speaker and Madaro are serving on the Social Centers Honorary Committee for the Nov. 7, gala to celebrate 100 years in the community.

“The East Boston Social Centers has been serving our community for 100 years,” said Madaro. “During that time, they have developed programming to meet the needs of each new wave of immigrants to our neighborhood, provided services to residents from newborn to elderly, and have worked tirelessly to accommodate the changing needs of East Boston.  I am so grateful for the excellent work they have done and the immense impact they have had on East Boston.  With committed staff, strong leadership and community support, I look forward to seeing the organization thrive in the years to come.”

Pasquariello added the Social Centers is thanking the legislature and the public for recognizing the importance of these critical investments—and urging that we continue to make these investments until all dedicated early education providers can earn a living wage.

Founded in 1918 to meet the needs of a new immigrant population, East Boston Social Centers is a vibrant multi-service agency serving culturally diverse families and individuals of all ages in East Boston and throughout Greater Boston.

The Social Centers has set an ambitious goal of raising $500,000 through the November 7 Cruisin’ Through the Decades gala to celebrate the agency’s 100th anniversary.  Event leadership includes Honorary Co-Chairs Martin J. Walsh and Governor Charlie Baker; emcee Cheryl Fiandaca of CBS Boston; honoree Robert Lewis, Jr., Founder and Director of the BASE; and co-chairs Diane J. Modica, Attorney (and former City Councilor); Thomas N. O’Brien, Founding Partner and Managing Director of HYM Investment Group (and former BRA Director); Robert E. Travaglini, Public Affairs Executive (and former Senate President); and Debbi White, Community Leader (and former East Boston Camps leader).

“This 100th anniversary celebration will be the last major event in the Grandstand area of Suffolk Downs, featuring 10 decade “dinner stations” with antique cars from that era, food from a destination restaurant in a community we serve, historic photos and decor from each era and storytellers who lived through that era in East Boston,” said Pasquariello.

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