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Project Discovery opens expanded preschool and outreach center at new 197 Jersey Avenue location

One of six brand new classrooms soon to be filled with local preschoolers at Project Discovery’s new 197 Jersey Avenue school and outreach facility.

PORT JERVIS, NY -- Port Jervis' Project Discovery pre-school and outreach center has opened at its new location, 197 Jersey Avenue. A Grand Opening celebration was held on Wednesday, September 27 to provide tours of the new facility and to introduce its doubled classroom space, new gym, and other expansion components to its school and outreach center.

The monthly outreach center is larger, has more storage, new freezers and refrigerators, and will be able to provide fresh produce and foods for more balanced family meals.

The new school is bright, fully furnished and ready to go. In addition to now having a big, bright gym, the students have remarked with excitement about the tiny toilets it now contains.

"These little toilets are all the rage," chuckled Jim Malatras of Easterseals of NY's FEDCAP umbrella group as he also spoke of the many more serious and lasting benefits the new facility will bring for students and the community. “After 23 years with Easter Seals serving Port Jervis, this expansion will help fill more of the need and continue to bring a sense of empowerment for all that it serves.”

Executive Director of Easterseals of New York Mary Moran credited the dedication and countless hours of work of staff, volunteers, and other supporters for helping to move the group from East Main Street to its new facility.

“Port Jervis is an amazing community. We thank each and every one of you,” Moran said.

This sentiment was affirmed by Project Discovery Director Kiley Trigani, who thanked all who help to provide financial, emotional, physical, and mental support throughout each year, and Nurse and Outreach Coordinator Barbara Kuczyra who expressed her gratitude for the team effort in Project Discovery's success.

"From the bottom of my heart, I thank you,” Kuczyra said. “For over 20-years Project Discovery has educated children who need it. With the continued support of our community partners, and now with our new freezer and outreach space, our outreach can also provide more help for our community.”

Two certificates were presented as part of the Grand Opening event, one by New York State Senator Skoufis’ Chief of Staff Emma Fuentes and the other by New York State Assemblyman Karl Brabenec of the 98th District.

Brabenec said he enjoyed touring what he deemed an excellent new facility, and praised the daily help provided through Project Discovery.

“You’ve provided 23-years of making this community great, and have contributed to the renaissance and rebirth of this community. You nurture children with special needs, and provide for our community through your food pantry, and I’m very proud to be here with you today,” Brabenec said. “I know this will begin many, many more decades of service to come.”

Port Jervis Project Discovery’s preschool provides a fully integrated educational program for preschoolers, both with special needs and those without. It also provides a universal pre-kindergarten to Port Jervis School District children in the year prior to kindergarten. The community outreach program, which is operated as a base from the Project Discovery building, provided a monthly food pantry with special collection drives prior to the holiday season.

Officials, volunteers, staff, and other supporters turned out to cut the ribbon and celebrate Project Discovery's new 197 Jersey Avenue location opening this week.

Barbara Kuczyra, Nurse and Outreach Coordinator for Port’s Project Discovery was introduced as a tireless advocate for her community. She became emotional as she thanked her community’s volunteers and staff for the teamwork of support and help and in keeping Project Discovery a loving place to be for over 20 years.

Mark Legaspi, Board Chair of Easterseals New York spoke of the expanded possibilities offered by Easter Seals’ newly opened 197 Jersey Avenue facility and the commitment by Easter Seals to continue its more than 100 year-mission in helping people “live, learn, work, and play” in their communities.

L-R: Kiley Trigani, Director, Project Discovery Port Jervis, Mary Moran, Executive Director, Easterseals of New York, Emma Fuentes, Chief of Staff, Office of NYS Senator Skoufis, NYS Assemblyman 98th District Karl Brabenec

Kiley Trigani, Project Discovery Director, praised the many regular supporters of Project Discovery in Port Jervis.

Executive Director of Easterseals of New York Mary Moran called Port Jervis and amazing community, and credited the dedication and countless hours of work of staff, volunteers, and other supporters

NYS Assemblyman Karl Brabenec praised the 23-year impact on Port Jervis and what it will bring for decades to come.

An official ribbon cutting launched Project Discovery's new 197 Jersey Avenue location this week, September 27, 2023.

The new location contains a bright new gym for preschoolers.

A large group of officials, staff, volunteers, and other supporters helped to cut the ribbon to Project Discovery’s new 197 Jersey Avenue school and outreach, officially opening the new facility in the afternoon of Wednesday, September 27, 2023.

An expanded outreach center will offer more balanced meals and fresh foods in its regular monthly outreach distributions.

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