News Updates

  • Education Center Expands Staff

    This October, FSHD began accepting applications for the 60 new apartments that will soon become available for rent at our award-winning development, Ethel R. Lawrence Homes (ERLH) and a nearby site in Mount Laurel now known as Robinson Estates. This exciting development has required FSHD to expand the staff at the Margaret Donnelly O’Connor Education Center to accommodate additional children we expect will join the ERLH community. In August 2017, we welcomed our new Education director, Michael Morris, and an Associate Education Director, Chantel Young, who is serving our teen population. We also enjoy full-time support from two college graduate Jesuit Volunteers who provide us with a year of service. This year, our JVs hail from New Orleans (Kathleen Harmon, a IT graduate of Spring Hill College) and Baltimore, Maryland (Andy Beck, a political science major from Haverford College). FSHD bid adieu to Steve Axberg, the popular former Education Director who is heading back to school.

    Published on October 31st, 2017 in Fair Share Housing Development | Read more »

  • Creative Activities, Fun Field Trips Highlight Summer Enrichment Camp

    Build-Your-Own Lava Lamp, Meet a Chinchilla and Foreign Pen Pals are among the fun events planned for the five-week Margaret Donnelly O’Connor Education Center summer enrichment camp. Kids will visit the Larchmont Pool, Paws Discovery Farm, the Funplex, the Franklin Institute and a Trenton Thunder baseball game. Each week features a theme: health/wellness, STEM activities, nature/ecosystem exploration, multicultural week and music appreciation. The summer ends with a BBQ and display of all of the artwork and digital novels the children will have completed.

    Published on June 26th, 2017 in Margaret Donnelly O'Connor Education Center | Read more »

  • MDOC Enrichment Camp Stems the Summer Slide

    Studies have shown that academic regression during the summer can vary depending on grade level, subject, and family income. Lower-income students generally lose about two months of reading achievement during summer break. These findings are part of the reason for our focus on literacy during our Summer Camp. We examined the data for the reading levels of the students enrolled in the Margaret Donnelly O’Connor Education Center after-school program and camp. Students who regularly attend our after-school program and summer camp on average saw measurable gains in reading level while the students who didn’t regularly participate in our after-school program and/or experience our summer camp saw a decrease in reading level over the summer.

    Published on June 19th, 2017 | Read more »

  • Crafting Kids Celebrate Their Parents

    Ethel Lawrence Homes resident Darcy Daniels is an avid crafter during her free time, often spending hours in her room dedicated to crafting creating fun new projects. Darcy reached out to the Education Center to offer her help and expertise in creating beautifully designed Mother’s and Father’s Day cards. “I think crafting is a healthy and productive way to deal with stress,” said Darcy. “I enjoy teaching the children something new, and hopefully besides the cards themselves, they will take away from the experience that they can create their own crafts on their own.”

    Published on June 18th, 2017 | Read more »

  • A Reflection by JV Margaret Cowles

    Working with such passionate, energetic kids has reinforced my desire to become a pediatric nurse and without ERLH, I would still be searching for this clarity of purpose. Fostering relationships with the kids, and teaching to the individual and not the mass, is the kind of innovative educating that makes Margaret Donnelly O’Connor Education Center such an incredible place. I’ve taught everything: math, reading, sports, piano, filling out the FAFSA, career opportunities and even basic first aid! The Education Center fosters not only academic growth but personal, social and emotional growth as well through mentoring, group activities and emotional awareness and intelligence. Whether we’re cooking, studying or doing STEM experiments with the kids, I learn something new every day and I look forward to discovering more about myself as I enter into the second half of my year as a Jesuit Volunteer.

    Published on April 28th, 2017 in Fair Share Housing Development | Read more »