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The original item was published from 4/1/2021 9:19:30 PM to 4/4/2021 11:39:24 PM.

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News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: April 3, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Greenburgh Slice of History

From the Basement to Trailers and Beyond: The Story of June Castlebury and The Lois Bronz Children’s Center

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From the Basement to Trailers and Beyond: The Story of June Castlebury and The Lois Bronz Children’s Center 

By Riley Wentzler & Felicia Barber 

 

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At 30 Manhattan Avenue, White Plains, New York 10607 stands a well-loved building. This is the Lois Bronz Children's Center named for the Honorable Lois Bronz, a math teacher; who taught at every level K-12 at some point in her long career as an educator, and later served on The Town of Greenburgh Town Board from 1976 until 1993, when she left to become a member of the Westchester County Board of Legislators. She was later elected Chair of the Board of Legislators in 2002. She served on the board until 2009 (https://obits.lohud.com/obituaries/lohud/obituary.aspx?n=lois-bronz&pid=188189057&fhid=21962).  Most of Greenburgh’s residents are probably familiar with everything the Lois Bronz Children's Center does today: a Full Day Program for toddlers (beginning at 18 months old) and preschoolers from 8:00 am - 6:00 pm Monday – Friday, a School-Age Enrichment Program for children ages 6 to 12 Stepping Stones Program, and, a New York State certified special education preschool for children with special needs etc. (https://loisbronzchildrenscenter.org/about-us), but just how did it get here?

 

The answer lies with one woman who, starting in 1957, had the herculean task of caring for 17 toddlers a day every day for nine years.  This woman’s name is June Castlebury, a lifelong Greenburgh resident. Initially it was 3 children from each of her two sisters plus 11 neighborhood kids. For many years she cared for these children in her own home. The unique challenges presented by this large undertaking inspired her to found a daycare center which she initially set up in the basement of Union Baptist Church (Personal Communication from June Castlebury). She was there for about a year before having to alternate between a series of trailers on Tarrytown Road. This trailer-hopping phase lasted for about two years (Personal Communication from June Castlebury).

 

Then Marioan Goodman, one of the parents of the children she was caring for, suggested moving to a larger and more permanent location in order to accommodate more children (Personal Communication from June Castlebury). 30 Manhattan Avenue, White Plains, New York 10607 was chosen as the new location. It was in 1966 that things finally got established there (https://loisbronzchildrenscenter.org/about-us). After about a month, the center began accepting even younger children. Initially, June had been taking care of 18 month- 2 year-old children, but at this point the center began accepting kids as young as four months old (Personal Communication from June Castlebury). They also soon expanded into other age groups including: (2-4 years), (5-8 years) and (6-12 years.)

 

While the responsibilities and staff of the center continued to increase, June herself continued to work only with the 18 month- 2 year-old children for 30 years (Personal Communication from June Castlebury). During her 30 years of work founding and working at Lois Bronz Children's Center she was a source of inspiration to many. She was and remains a crowning jewel in her community for launching a much needed and valued service to residents - caring for children.

 

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Previous Slices of History include:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Hastings’ Best and Brightest: Nobel Laureates of Hastings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Authors:

 

We are both Assistant Town Historians at Greenburgh Town Hall and we are engaged to be married and are currently looking for permanent employment.

 

Riley Wentzler:

I was born and raised in a small rural town in central Pennsylvania. In high school, I took every honors course available including four years of Spanish. I received A’s in all of them. I graduated third in my class of 146 students. This brought me to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Once there, I continued my trend of academic excellence. I graduated summa cum laude in Political Science with a minor in Spanish and a Master’s in Communication Studies, with a G.P.A of 3.94.   It was also there that I met my lovely fiancée, Felicia Barber. My Master’s in Communication has promoted public speaking, teamwork, and customer service. My Political Science degree has developed my research skills using computer-based tools and provided me with experience using the Microsoft Office products. My minor in Spanish has facilitated my bilingual capabilities. During my internship at Greenburgh, I created the petition for the State Roads project using website tools. My diverse education and areas of interest have provided me with a wide range of skills. I look forward to finding a career opportunity in business or government. To suggest a topic for next week’s article, you can contact me at assistanthistorian@greenburghny.comor to help me find employment, you can contact me at rjwentzler413@gmail.com 

 

Felicia Barber:

I was born in New York City and raised in Hartsdale, New York. I graduated from Ardsley High School. I recently earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. It was here that I met my fiancé, Riley Wentzler. As a result of my academic excellence, I won a scholarship every year. I learned and applied many graphic design skills to projects during my summer internships and at school. I am proficient in using Adobe graphic design applications including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. For my Identity/branding course at Edinboro, I created logos to appear on the tee-shirts of Physical Education majors. For a veteran’s upcoming event, I used a typeface to focus the reader to the soldier in the poster. For the State Roads Legislative Campaign project, I created the embedded graphic-photo that accompanied the petition I am looking for a job to utilize my skills as a Graphic Designer in an agency, print shop, company or government To suggest a topic for next week’s article, you can contact me at assistanthistorian@greenburghny.comTo learn more about my artwork or to help me find employment you can contact me at feliciadbarber@gmail.com.

 

 

Two Interviews with the authors:

 

https://riverjournalonline.com/around-town/a-love-of-history-and-each-other/13708/

 

https://wcbs880.radio.com/articles/news/stories-main-street-couple-cerebral-palsy-brings-manytalents-town-greenburgh


 

 

References:

 

Lois Bronz Children Center. (2018, (NOT GIVEN) (NOT GIVEN)). About US. Retrieved from loisbronzchildrenscenter.org: https://loisbronzchildrenscenter.org/about-us

 

Unknown. (2018, February 16). Lois Bronz (1927-2018). Retrieved from LoHud: https://obits.lohud.com/obituaries/lohud/obituary.aspx?n=lois-bronz&pid=188189057&fhid=21962

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