The Learning Lamp CEO Named Vice Chair of State Advisory Council on Early Childhood EducationPosted on December 13, 2022
Johnstown, PA (December 13, 2022) – Dr. Leah Spangler, President and CEO of The Learning Lamp and Ignite Education Solutions, has been named Vice Chair of the newly formed State Advisory Council (SAC) on Early Childhood Education and Care. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf appointed Dr. Spangler to the Council, which was created via executive order in October. She was named Vice Chair in December. The new council effectively repurposed and renamed the previous Pennsylvania Early Learning Council.
Academic performance and test scores continue to trend downward statewide—and at steeper rates than the national average. Governor Wolf is hoping to curtail this problem in Pennsylvania by investing in education at its early stages. According to his executive order, the purpose of the council is “to serve young children from birth through their entry into school,” as well as to “make recommendations to ensure a smooth transition for those children into K-12 education and other programs serving older children.”
A release from the Governor’s office emphasized that establishment of the SAC and subcommittees represents both the “diversity of Pennsylvania” and allows for “robust stakeholder participation and collaborative conversations and work between The Office of Child Development and Early Learning, advocates, and providers.” Five standing subcommittees to the SAC include: Access to Programs; Professional Development; Physical, Behavioral and Mental Health; Child Care Certification and Quality Rating; and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Governor Wolf acknowledged in his original executive order that “the early learning, development, and education of young children is of critical importance to Pennsylvania’s families, workforce, education system, employers, and economy.”
Dr. Spangler agrees wholeheartedly and is eager to join others at the state level to problem solve and advance strategies and solutions that will benefit young children, parents who rely on access to quality care, and the businesses that employ them.
“An investment in our youngest community members is an investment in the future of Pennsylvania. Quality early learning and care is crucial to the commonwealth, its families, and employers. When Pennsylvania’s children succeed, our communities, workforce, and economy thrive. I look forward to serving all Pennsylvanians in this role,” Spangler stated.
Dr. Spangler is the founding Chief Executive Officer of The Learning Lamp & Ignite Education Solutions, a Johnstown-based nonprofit with a mission of engaging all children in the support they need to succeed. She holds a doctorate in education, as well as degrees in journalism and communications. Before her career in the nonprofit sector, Dr. Spangler worked as a journalist for 20 years. Additionally, she has taught undergraduate and MBA classes in public relations, nonprofit management, social enterprise and fund development at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Saint Francis University and Mount Aloysius College. She is also an instructor for the PA Quality Assurance System and is approved to provide professional development for the early learning workforce that is recognized by the PA Department of Human Services.
For more information on The Learning Lamp, visit thelearninglamp.org.
The Learning Lamp is a nonprofit organization with a mission to engage all children in the support they need to succeed. We deliver high quality programs that are affordable and accessible to families of all income levels. In 2021, The Learning Lamp served 28,160 youth/adults from 51 public school districts and 69 other schools and organizations in 19 Pennsylvania counties.
Our programs include: one-to-one tutoring; before/after school programs; portable classrooms aimed at building math and science skills; alternative education programs for at-risk students; evidence-based prevention programs; online learning and credit recovery; SAT preparation; educationally focused child care; literacy-based preschool programs; and grant writing and project consulting for schools.