Congresswoman Grace Meng Kicks Off Renovation Project at QCP’s Children’s Center

Congresswoman Grace Meng Kicks Off Renovation Project at QCP’s Children’s Center

On June 18, 2024, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) visited Queens Centers for Progress’ Apple Preschool to celebrate a significant victory for the community. Thanks to her efforts, Meng secured $850,000 in federal funding dedicated to the reconstruction and renovations of the center’s facility which serves children three to five years of age who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The event was a vibrant celebration as Congresswoman Meng was welcomed by the cheerful sounds of the children, who performed songs and presented her with handmade thank you cards. The touching gesture underscored the deep gratitude felt by the community for the improvements that will greatly benefit the children,Congresswoman Meng, accompanied by QCP board members, staff, and families, toured the center to see where exactly the funding will be used. The center’s renovations include a state-of-the-art fire alarm system, new roof and HVAC system, an emergency exit ramp, among other crucial enhancements. These upgrades are essential for providing a safe and supportive environment for the children and improving the overall quality of services offered by the center.

“This money, secured by Congresswoman Meng, will help keep our school safe and up-to-date,” said Cindy Heller, Director of the Children’s Center. “It is an amazing opportunity for us and will truly make a difference in the lives of our children.”

The visit highlighted the critical role of federal support in bolstering local community resources. Meng’s efforts have not only improved the physical infrastructure of the center but have also reaffirmed the community’s dedication to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all its members.

Prominent figures in attendance included New York State Assembly Member Nily Rozic, QCP Board President Tom Toscano, Operations Manager Ed Weiss, Director of Children’s Service, Cindy Heller and Director of Development Wendy Phaff-Gennaro. They guided Meng through the facility, showcasing the areas where the funding will be utilized and explaining the positive changes it will bring about. Parents and families also shared their appreciation, noting how these upgrades would make a real difference in their children’s lives.

“Queens Centers for Progress is an exceptional organization that does tremendous work in our borough, and I am thrilled to have secured this crucial federal funding so that it can do an even better job serving children with developmental disabilities and ensuring a safe and secure environment for them to learn and grow,” said Congresswoman Meng. “I’m excited to see this money benefit kids throughout our communities for many years to come.”

The celebration was a powerful demonstration of unity within the community and the impact of dedicated advocacy. Meng’s efforts ensure that Queens Centers for Progress can continue to provide essential services and support to children with special needs in a safe and nurturing environment. QCP is delighted that so many members of the community embrace the impact of collective compassion and fostering a more inclusive society.

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