Eastern Bank Honors Zelma Khadar and Lucas Skorczeski, Co-Executive Directors of Acre Family Child Care, with Community Advocacy AwardNovember 13, 2019
Honorees Help Women Achieve Economic Independence by Operating High Quality, Licensed Child Care Businesses in Their Homes
BOSTON, MA, November 13, 2019 – Eastern Bank, America’s oldest and largest mutual bank, has honored Co-Executive Directors Zelma Khadar (Administration) and Lucas Skorczeski (Child Care and Professional Development) of Acre Family Child Care, with a 2019 Community Advocacy Award in recognition of their work to enable women to achieve economic independence by running licensed family child care businesses in their own homes. Acre Family Child Care has been recognized as a model for excellence with its program referred to as a “model for the nation.”
Acre Family Child Care was founded in 1988 in response to two related economic and community development needs: access to jobs and to licensed child care. Acre Family Child Care provides a pathway for women to be financially independent by operating their own high quality, home-based child care businesses. Over 500 women have launched family child care businesses with Acre Family’s assistance, and more than 15,000 children have received child care services. Acre Family’s proprietary Benchmark Training serves as a foundation for its educators. Support to educators is further built upon through program visits, one-on-one coaching, referrals, ongoing professional development, and family support services. Acre Family’s staff speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, Khmer, and Vietnamese to meet the needs of the educators and families in Lowell.
When Zelma Khadar immigrated to Lowell from Grenada and Cuba, she first became connected to Acre Family Child Care when she used the services for her young children who were in the care of an Acre Family child care provider. In 1997, she joined Acre Family as Coordinator of the Individual Development Account program, which offered financial education classes to Lowell residents. Today, she oversees the organization's administration and operations.
Believing that education is critical to building strong futures for individuals and communities, Lucas Skorczeski has focused his career on ensuring accessible and high-quality opportunities for children, families, and educators of all abilities and backgrounds. He joined Acre Family Child Care in 2015 as Chief Program Officer, and now oversees the organization’s child care and professional development resources. He is a member of the Board of Directors at the Massachusetts Association of Early Education & Care (MADCA), and previously served as Director of Early Childhood Education and Parent Resources at the Discovery Museum in Acton.
“Zelma and Lucas understand that well-paying jobs and high quality child care are essential to greater upward mobility and a thriving community,” said Bob Rivers, Chair and CEO of Eastern Bank. “They enable economic independence so many people with children, including the child care providers themselves, can in turn work or attend job training programs, further contributing to their community. Zelma and Lucas are strong advocates for children, families, and child care providers, and we congratulate them on their Community Advocacy Award.”
The celebration of Eastern’s Community Advocacy Award coincides with the Bank’s focus on enriching early childhood development in its philanthropy and advocacy, and is part of Eastern’s broader strategy to address income inequality and workforce issues by supporting efforts that assist parents and caregivers and prepare children to be ready to learn and succeed. The Community Advocacy Award celebrates local community leaders who give their time and talent to address vital needs throughout Eastern’s New England footprint.
Zelma Khadar commented, “We are changing outcomes across our community by helping women advance in their careers and ensuring children receive safe and developmentally appropriate care.”
Lucas Skorczeski added, “Acre Family Child Care works to support women, strengthen families, and support children across Lowell in lifelong learning. We are thankful to Eastern Bank for this very special recognition of our work.”
About Eastern Bank
Founded in 1818, Boston-based Eastern Bank is America’s oldest and largest mutual bank, with over $11 billion in assets and more than 110 locations serving communities in eastern Massachusetts, southern and coastal New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Eastern provides exceptional access to fairly priced banking, investment and insurance products and services for consumers and businesses of all sizes. Eastern Bank, which includes Eastern Wealth Management and Eastern Insurance, is known for its outspoken advocacy and community support that has exceeded more than $140 million in charitable giving since 1999. An inclusive company, Eastern employs 1,900+ deeply committed professionals who value relationships with their customers, colleagues, and communities. Join us for good at www.easternbank.com and follow Eastern on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
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