On Saturday, March 3, 2018, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center celebrated its annual open house 100×35+10 event honoring the 110 th birthday of the Center’s namesake (the national poet of Puerto Rico, Juan Antonio Cor- retjer), and the 45th year of the Center’s founding. During the past ten years, this cel- ebration has highlighted one of the Center’s programs. this year it was the inauguration of the new facility that will house the early educational programs of the Center (the Con- suelo Lee Corretjer/Nancy Franco Maldonado Child Parent Center) which multiply the number of chil- dren currently served, as well as the variety of educational services. This new facility, located at 1345 N. Rockwell, will ensure that all children served from 0 to 5, will receive a high quality educational experience with a total immersion in a dual language, dual cultural environment. The ribbon cutting ceremony was followed that day by a short Program that included welcoming remarks by Xochtil Ramirez, Program Director of the Consuelo Lee Corretjer Center; an emotion filled statement by Alderman Roberto Maldonado in which he noted the importance of this Center which will now bear his be- loved wife’s name -to his family and to the community (read remarks below); a synthesis of the educational founda- tions of murals which will adorn the space by artist Richard Santiago and the reading by Senator Iris Martinez of a Proclamation by the Illinois General Assembly acknowledging the contribu- tions of the PRCC’s Executive Director, José E. López (read Procla- mation below). This Proclamation was introduced by State Rep Cynthia Soto. Following the program, the more than 100 participants were invited to see the facility and enjoy a sumptuous Puerto Rican luncheon. Many of the attendees then proceed- ed on a walking tour to all the Puerto Rican Cultural Center’s programs throughout Paseo Boricua. The 100×35+10 event culminated with a fundraiser for El Rescate held at El Faro’s Restaurant and also celebrated the 6 year of its foundation. The fund- raiser included food, performance and a silent auction. ALDERMAN MALDONADO’S REMARKS Today we give new life to the former Alexander Von Humboldt Elementary School Annex, transforming this once vacant Chicago Public School building into a beautiful place of healthy growth and development for our youngest residents in the 26th Ward. Today this building will be reborn as the Consuelo Lee Corretjer Day Care Center and the Nancy Y. Franco-Maldonado Child Parent Center, giving a new dimen- sion to early childhood education in our community.José E. López, the Ex- ecutive Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and the leader on this initiative, worked with me in ac- quiring this 14,600 square foot annex from the Chicago Public Schools and the City of Chicago. We are proud to offer free or reduced-rate childcare services for up to 150 children from low income families and create up to 25 new jobs as a result of this 2-year effort. You may all be familiar with the famous Puerto Rican poet, educa- tor, and pianist Consuelo Lee Corret- jer whom this center is named in part for. What you may not know is that my late wife, Nancy Y. Franco-Mal- donado, was the heart, the soul, and the quiet force behind making the Child Parent Center a reality and her spirit is here with us today blessing all of the young children whose lives will be forever changed by this amazing place of learning. Nancy encouraged our own chil- dren – Rene, Robertito, and Raquel – to acquire skills and values that will help them become leaders, and she wanted to give this opportunity to all of the young children in this community. Thank you for your powerful advocacy and vision Nancy. You made this happen.
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