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Lightbridge Academy® Locations in New Jersey "Spread the Joy" with Care Packages to Children Battling Long-term Illnesses

The leading early education and child care center’s Circle of Care prioritizes giving back to the community, as its Lightbridge Foundation has donated over $600,000 since its inception.

By Helen Harris1851 Franchise Staff Writer
SPONSOREDUpdated 10:10AM 12/10/21

New-Jersey based Lightbridge Academy, the leading early education and child care center with over 120 centers either open or under development, announced their recent partnership with Spread the Joy, a non-profit that surprises hospitalized children with care packages, or rather, “Joy Boxes.” The Joy Boxes are filled with fun and therapeutic arts and crafts, games, origami, magic tricks and much more. Not only fun, they are 100% clinician recommended and the perfect way for Lightbridge Academy to give back to the communities in their Circle of Care this holiday season.

The Spread the Joy partnership took place during their Week of Giving from November 29 to December 3, and Lightbridge Academy locations in Fair Lawn, Renaissance, Edison, Iselin and Plainsboro, New Jersey, organized over 300 Joy Boxes. The boxes, filled with 16 items each, were delivered to five different hospitals and went directly to children battling long-term illnesses.

Lightbridge Foundation executive director, Audrey Feci, explained why the Spread the Joy program was chosen to pilot and why it was so impactful. 

“We wanted to partner with an organization that supports those most vulnerable and closest to our hearts - children. Spread the Joy tied in nicely into the Kindness Curriculum that is taught in all of our child care centers and allowed children and staff to actively demonstrate the act of giving and experience the joy that comes from it,” said Feci. 

Children and teachers in the five Lightbridge Academy centers running the pilot were actively involved with Spread the Joy by putting the boxes together during the week of giving. 

“The feedback from all those involved in the project was heartwarming,” Feci said. “The children were able to see videos of how their act of giving positively impacted others. Learning empathy at an early age helps to develop character and confidence knowing that they can make a difference and contribute to their community. It becomes a way of life, not something that they just ‘do.’ They have the power to change someone’s world just by showing them that they care. We’re an extended family raising young children and our Circle of Care philosophy reminds us that everyone within a child’s circle is critical to their development.”

The Spread the Joy pilot is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this franchise’s giving; all Lightbridge Academy child care centers participate in fundraising activities for the foundation throughout the year including bake sales, lemonade stands and candle sales. A yearly favorite event for all children and staff are the company-wide Field Days with games and festivities that make giving back fun while also demonstrating the importance of working together toward a common goal. 

The Lightbridge Foundation contributes to the culture of care that is found in all Lightbridge Academy centers—and it just keeps giving. The non-profit has also supported the local community high school students with college scholarship for those pursuing degrees in the area of education. Parents and staff also volunteer within the community to help as part of Tooling Around Town projects, hurricane relief, as well as for other disaster recovery.

About Lightbridge Academy

Established in 1997, the company was founded as a family business based on core values and a Circle of Care philosophy that places equal importance on the needs of children, their families, teachers, center owners and the community. Lightbridge Academy provides quality early education and child care programs to children aged six weeks through kindergarten. Franchised in 2011, the company currently has over 120 child care centers either open or in development throughout Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia. In response to COVID-19, Lightbridge Academy® launched The Lightbridge Promise as the Gold Standard for health & safety in the child care industry. In 2020, the company was featured on the Inc. 5000 ranking, Franchise Times Top 200+ awards, and Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500 and most recently, was recognized on Newsweek’s 2021 list of America’s Best Customer Service.

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