Safe Haven Community Center & Safe Haven Early Childhood Preschool Education Academy
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Safe Haven Community Center Celebrates 16 Years of Service to the Omaha Community
Gwen Easter is the founder of Safe Haven Community Center, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit agency established in 1999, and the owner of Safe Haven Early Childhood Preschool Education Academy is licensed accredited established in 2000. (Formely known as Safe Haven Preschool Child Care) Easter, a graduate of the Dyslexia Training Institute, is a Certified Dyslexia and Special Education Advocate, trainer, consultant, and screener. She has received Certificate of Completion Susan Barton Bright Solution graduate level Dyslexia Screening course. She started working in the childcare industry at the age of 16. She has received certificate in English as Second Language Teacher Training Institute. She has prepared children for kindergarten and tutored children and adults in reading for approximately 17 ½ years through her agency, academy and AmeriCorps for Omaha Public Schools various tutoring programs, OPS OOIC Adult Education and Omaha Boys and Girls club from 1998-2000.
It was during her AmeriCorps years she discovered that more than half the children and adults she worked with struggle with reading. She realize how important it was to prepare children at an early age for kindergarten. She also realize it was important to continue helping school age children and adults who struggle with reading and have a learning disability. During her Americorps service she researched and received information about early childhood and preschool programs and how to organize a program that focused on reading, writing, phonics, language, multisensory teaching using all senses to learn. She also used her childcare and AmeriCorps experience to help create her programs and services. She continue to educate herself to perfect the programs and services in order to better serve children, adults and families.
Ms. Easter, knows by experience that low-income children, adults and families are at a disadvantage when it comes to poverty finances, education, employment housing, early pregnancy. She grew up in low-income neighborhood that had the same problems families are facing today. She understands that low- income children are at higher risk of dropping out of school, engaging in criminal acts, pregnancy, joining gangs, or end up in jail or dead if they do not have the opportunity they need to succeed academically. She experience single mothers, families struggle to make ends meet keep their homes. She believes God gave her the vision to start her education and housing services and safe night youth rallies because of her and neighborhood experience, personal school and AmeriCorps experience.
The Center is supported by her academy staff, volunteers, certified and non-certified teachers, volunteer tutors and housing specialists, board members, donors and families. Safe Haven Community Center and Safe Haven Early Childhood Preschool Education Academy is a prevention and intervention center. We assist children and families who may other wise fall through the cracks of our education and housing, social service system.
The Safe Haven Community Center mission is to provide education and housing services to adults, children and families while acting as a holistic resource and referral advocacy social service community center insuring that all clients receive education and housing services needed to have a healthy stable home environment and to become productive citizens.
After years of working with children and adults who struggle with reading, writing and have learning disabilities, and already having the understanding of how learning disabilities affect children and adults. Ms. Easter became passionate about dyslexia and decided to become a certified dyslexic & special education advocate, screener, consultant. Ms. Easter offers the R.E.A.D.S™ (Right to Educate Advocate for Dyslexic Students & Special Education) service. R.E.A.D.S™ provides dyslexia and special education advocacy, consultation, screening and professional development training seminars to parent groups, educators, childcare providers and organizations.
Ms. Easter’s agency and academy provides an early childhood, preschool, youth and adult education classes and tutorial services to American, Somalia, Sudanese, Korea, Burma, and Hispanic children and adults. She and her staff, teachers and volunteers has helped children and adults learn to read and write, prepare for kindergarten, learn English, prepare for GED testing and jobs, and assists in meeting other family housing needs. Safe Haven Community Center Adult Education has served over 398 students through Youth and Adult Basic Education Literacy, GED, ESL, Job Readiness classes and Work Experience program. We have served over 225 Employment First participants since 2007 and have helped a few adults students study for their citizenship. Safe Haven Community Center has also served over 578 families through the Home Intervention Referral Service. Their housing specialists research, connect and advocate for low-income families who are in jeopardy of losing their home or in need of a home connect to community agencies for utilities, deposits, rent, and to landlords for homes.
Since 1999, Ms. Easter a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has offered through Safe Haven Community Center 14 Safe Night Youth Rallies events to promote putting God first, non-violence, and avoidance of drugs, alcohol and gang life. Promoting love, peace, neighborhood safety unity in the community. In 2012, Safe Haven Community Center adopted Safe Haven Early Childhood Preschool Education Academy “KIDS CAN READ™ Reading Tutorial Academy program. This program supports typical readers and provides tutoring support to very low-income children who struggle with reading, have a learning disability, dyslexia, dysgraphia. KIDS CAN READ!™ Reading Tutorial Academy™ also has it's own book club KIDS CAN READ BOOK CLUB™ with over a thousand books.
Ms. Easter credentials includes approximately 16 years of service to the community through her agency and childcare. Over 900 education training hours in the areas of early childhood, literacy, learning disabilities, tutor training, tutor and volunteer training, dyslexia advocacy, consultant and screener for dyslexia, Wright Special Education Law, & PTI Special Education Training, staff and volunteer recruitment and management, program organizing, multisensory phonics teaching methods, adult education ESL (English As Second Language), family advocacy, Casa, mental health aide. Trainings and certification Dyslexia Training Institute, Susan Barton Bright Solution for Dyslexia Nebraska Board of Education Early Childhood Training Center; 7 course Early Childhood Early Learning Training Courses, all 5 Business Management Training Courses, Train the Trainer, (ECTC) English as Second Language Teacher Training Institute, Napp Sac, Training Logic of English Multi-Sensory Training, SB Multisensory Training, Early Childhood Training Center, Providers Network, Nami Basic National Mental Health, CASA, Mental Health First Aid, RentWise, Health Human Service licensing, AmeriCorps, Omaha Public School and Boys Girls Club, OSBN & New Community Business Course, Skills Path Grant Writing, University of Nebraska Lincoln Nutrition Education training, and (1) year from Metro Community College OHA drafting computer course.
To learn more about Safe Haven Community Center services or Safe Haven Early Childhood Preschool Education Academy services call 402.932.6103. For information about R.E.A.D.S (Right to Educate Advocate for Dyslexic Students & Special Education) call 402 916-9653 Please click on the navigation bar to learn more about our services.
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