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Local woman honored for dedication

Lewistown resident celebrated for her work with children, families

Submitted photo
Nancy Yoder, who has dedicated her life to children and their families, is being honored with a book her family is creating in time for her 60th birthday.

LEWISTOWN — A woman who has dedicated her life to serving developing children and their families is being honored for her work with a book her family plans to present during her 60th birthday party in October.

The family of Lewistown resident Nancy Yoder is seeking stories and photos that reflect the impact she had on her clients to be included in the book to commemorate her retirement.

Yoder plans to retire from her position at Summit Early Learning in Lewistown at the end of the year, a position which she has held for more than 30 years.

Rebecca Boaz, Yoder’s daughter, recalls as a child, others would say what an impact her mother had on their life.

“We decided we wanted to do something — like a biography — that goes through her work and life and all the things she has done,” she said.

Boaz said she has reached out to some — now adults — that she went to the daycare her mother hosted and is seeking stories from others who she worked with

“I have a note from one of my kids saying (their time in daycare with Yoder) was a bright spot in their childhood,” she said. “Those are the people we’re trying to reach out to.”

Contact Boaz at rboaz2247@gmail.com, or submit written messages to Lewistown Salvation Army, 9 S. Dorcas St., Lewistown, PA 17044.

Boaz hopes to have as many materials as possible received by Oct. 23 to present at the party.

Yoder’s work in childcare began in 1983 with her association with Mifflin County Child Development in the home daycare program.

“I remember going on field trips to the post office, Boalsburg Military Museum, learning to make personal pan pizzas at Pizza Hut. … We made great memories with the kids who came to the daycare — a couple stayed lifelong friends,” Boaz recalled. “It was inspiring as kids to see her detrmination and work ethic.”

In the early ’90s, Yoder began working for SUM Child Development Head Start program (now Summit), where she eventually moved into a teaching role.

“She was able to instill the value of education and learning through play and teaching kids social and self-help skills to prepare for school,” Yoder’s daughter said. “She often need advocate for child welfare and provide child specific plans to assist each kid with reaching their potential.”

Yoder also worked with Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11 to create an inclusion classroom that introduced children with physical disabilities while working in the home with parents and children.

“She has done this work walking alongside families and children for over 30 years. She continued this service of supporting children and families to this day (at) SUMMIT Early Learning and Healthy Families Central Pa.,” Boaz said.

Boaz said her mother has also been working as Therapeutic Support Staff through the Juniata River Center and has worked with the special needs center for Service Access and Management to provide respite care for youth and families who need extra support.

Additionally, Boaz said her family volunteers with the Salvation Army’s youth progran, running a teen ministry program.

“My mom’s compassion and ability to find ways to include everyone was instrumental in this program. We would sometimes have girls who came from tough situations and she would find a way to include them without drawing attention to issues,” Boaz said. “She would always provide a safe haven if it was needed and provided options to help with communicating between parents and teens.”

For more information, visit the Nancy’s Birthday and Retirement Memories & Blessings Facebook page.

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