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Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William Executive Director Kendra Kielbasa relocates

Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William’s Executive Director Kendra Kielbasa has decided to relocate with her husband who has accepted a new position in Pennsylvania. She will continue to support the organization during the transition. From the press release:

Leadership Transition at Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William
From Larry Hughes, Chairman Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William (SBGPW)

It is with mixed emotions that I share this update with you. Kendra Kielbasa, our Executive Director, has moved to State College, Pennsylvania to join her husband who accepted a new position in that area. While we are happy for Kendra and the opportunities that await her, we are very sad to see her leave. Fortunately, Kendra has agreed to continue to provide support to SBGPW during the transition.

Under Kendra’s leadership, we have made great strides for young children and their families in our community. We are grateful for her relationship-building skills that have fostered partnerships and collaborations and have brought in a team of highly adept volunteers who provide the backbone for our programs and initiatives. We wish to thank Kendra for dedication which resulted in numerous achievements, including:

An increase of over 1,100% of at-risk four-year-olds who receive quality pre-school through Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI)
Providing over 6,000 newborns their first book and literacy support kit through Books 4 Babies
Launching Directors Forums which support the professional development, networking, and collaboration of area child care directors
Partnering with higher education (NOVA) to provide professional development and training to over 300 early childhood professionals
Establishing of our School Readiness Committee which provides Parenting Education and Support, and professional development to Early Childhood Professionals
Distributing over 2,000 literacy kits to rising kindergarteners who have never been to preschool
Smart Beginnings 4 Tomorrow’s Workforce, a sold-out event highlighting the business case for early childhood. Key-note speakers and collaborators were from Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Center for Education and Workforce
Healthy Initiatives and Obesity Prevention training through CDC and Nemours Health Initiative, benefiting thousands of area children in a childcare setting.

It is our intent and priority to continue the work and growth that SBGPW is experiencing. This is a priority for Kendra and our entire Board of Directors. Here is what you need to know:

Our priorities remain the same; 1) Increase pre-literacy skills, 2) Increase access to high quality early learning, 3) comprehensive health, and 4) increased community awareness of the critical window of opportunity that exists during early childhood.

Kendra, kkielbasa@smartbeginningsgpw.org will continue to support SBGPW with consulting and coordination services on a modified schedule until a new Executive Director is identified.
 
Gina Parr, gparr@smartbeginningsgpw.org remains as our part-time Outreach Liaison.
 
Sharon Henry, Executive Director, SPARK, remains as the fiscal agent for SBGPW.
 
The following initiatives will continue as follows throughout the current school year:
 
School Readiness Committee – Chairman, Debi Stepien, dstep211@gmail.com. Typically meets the 4th Tuesday of the month at the Head Start Offices, 14715 Joplin Rd., Manassas, 20112 from 9:30 am – 11:00 am. The next meeting is on September 25th.
 
Parent Training and Engagement will continue through the School Readiness Committee. There is a calendar of scheduled presentations throughout the school year.
 
The Directors Forums will continue a regular schedule. This committee is part of the School Readiness Committee.
 
Books 4 Babies will continue to provide books and support materials to newborns at Novant Health UVA Prince William Medical Center and Novant Health UVA Haymarket Medical Center.
 
In-person representation on advisory boards, committees, boards, etc. will be picked-up by SBGPW Board members or Volunteers. Please reach out to Kendra to see how this will best work for your organization.
 
We can not thank Kendra enough for her leadership, dedication, and passion. She will truly be missed by the Board, staff, volunteers, and partners. We look forward to following her and are happy about the opportunity for Kendra and her family. With your continued support, we will remain diligent in our quest to increase kindergarten readiness, both as an educational initiative and as a workforce development initiative. If you have questions during this transition, you may reach out to Kendra at kkielbasa@smartbeginningsgpw.org or Sharon Henry at henrysw@pwcs.edu.
 
Sincerely,
Larry Hughes, Chairman, Board of Directors, Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William
 
From Kendra Kielbasa, Executive Director, Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William
 
After nearly seven years with Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William (SBGPW), it is time to transition to a different role. I’ll be joining my husband in Pennsylvania where he has relocated due to a new career opportunity. While I have a mix of emotions as I move into this next chapter, I am confident the forward momentum in our local early childhood initiatives will continue to grow at an increasing rate.
 
I am so grateful to those individuals and organizations who have been supportive of both SBGPW and me personally over the years. This gratitude extends to board members, volunteers, partners, and funders. You have grown this organization, made it what it is, and the laid the groundwork for what is yet to come. I am honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to lead this organization as we have grown in both awareness and improved early childhood well-being in our area. I look forward with much anticipation to see the growth that I know is coming.
 
All the best,
Kendra
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