Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning Center Acquires Former Lancaster County Elementary School
ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. – December 21, 2023 – Today, Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning (CHS), a subsidiary of Milton Hershey School (MHS), announced the purchase of the former Rheems Elementary School in Lancaster County. The former Elizabethtown Area School District building will be the site of CHS Elizabethtown, an Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) which was first announced in November 2022.
With this purchase, CHS will renovate the building located on Alida Street in West Donegal Township. The planned remodel will transform the building into a new education facility that will provide high-quality early childhood education to up to 150 children from six weeks to age 5 from under-resourced and over-burdened backgrounds, with all costs covered for qualifying families.
“We are honored to join the Elizabethtown community and look forward to reviving a space where local educators and staff once served area children,” said CHS Executive Director Senate Alexander. “By putting down roots in this familiar and accessible location, it enables us to fulfill our mission to create a positive impact on children, families, and the broader community, as we strengthen our influence together.”
Most recently, CHS announced a partnership with Elizabethtown College. The two organizations will collaborate and provide continuing education opportunities for CHS families and staff, along with internships for the college’s students.
CHS Elizabethtown is part of a $350 million initiative by MHS to initially develop six early childhood education centers in Pennsylvania. It will provide a play-based program that enhances children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. Like other locations, it will have a Family Success Center, which serves as a safe place for enrolled families to access resources; each enrolled family will also have a dedicated Family Success Advocate who partners with them throughout their CHS journey.
Leading CHS Elizabethtown will be Luanne Gould, who brings nearly 20 years of experience in early childhood education, primarily serving children in need across Central Pennsylvania. “CHS has designed a program that supports the whole child, with supports to succeed both at school and at home,” said Gould. “Through our family success approach, we enable our enrolled families to develop skills and reach their family goals. I am delighted to be able to deliver this programming to the Elizabethtown community.”
CHS Elizabethtown is one of three planned locations in Lancaster County, joining CHS Lancaster City and CHS New Danville, which are expected to begin opening in 2026. The remaining three Early Childhood Education Centers are in Hershey, which opened this fall; Harrisburg, opening in 2024, and Middletown, expected to open in 2025.
ABOUT CATHERINE HERSHEY SCHOOLS FOR EARLY LEARNING
Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning (CHS) provides non-residential, year-round weekday care and education to children from six weeks to age 5 from under-resourced and over-burdened backgrounds, with all costs covered for qualifying families. CHS is a subsidiary of Milton Hershey School (MHS) and is part of a $350 million initiative to develop six Early Childhood Education Centers in Pennsylvania. For more information, visit chslearn.org.
ABOUT MILTON HERSHEY SCHOOL
Milton Hershey School is one of the world’s best private schools, where qualifying students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade live on campus and receive an exceptional educational experience—with all costs covered. For more information, visit mhskids.org.