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A N    O V E R V I E W   O F   T H E   S O H O   C E N T E R
                                                                by Jeanna Beker, Director    

I founded and continue to direct the Soho Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization - first for nearly 18 years in New York City and now for the past 30 years in Virginia.  I hope you'll read what I have written below to get a better sense of what we are, what we've done, and what we believe in.

Through economically stable times and through several recessions, the Soho Center has consistently found cost-effective and sensible ways to help large numbers of children and families.

Over the years, we've received much-appreciated funding and support from major foundations, national and Virginia-based corporations, state agencies, three Virginia Attorneys General, the federal government, and many generous individuals.  All of them recognized important needs to be addressed and selected the Soho Center because of our capacity to intelligently and responsibly bring effective solutions to the public as well as to prominently credit our supporters for making what we do possible.

Y O U ' R E   I N V I T E D   T O   T A K E   A   T O U R

Thanks to our generous donors and supporters, we have finished
a major addition to Soho Center's Regional Facility. For a look at our
renovated and expanded facility (as well as all of our
wonderful educational resources), please Click Here

And just what do we do?  Let me give you a few examples.  Over the years, the Soho Center and I - 

  • Designed, implemented, staffed, and operated the largest early childhood education/parent education program in Manhattan
  • Established the United Nations Child Care Centre - including facility design, policy development, curriculum development, and staffing criteria
  • Offered extensive training/educational sessions to child care providers in numerous rural, suburban, and urban counties
  • Gave away $15 million of quality children's books to programs serving low income children to promote children's literacy and school success.  To see the scope of Soho's Book Giveaways, please click here

We've also extensively used print, radio, video, television, and the web to help the public.  For example, the Soho Center -
  • Created the National Children's Literacy Website to provide the public with easy-to-understand, easy-to-implement literacy tips and advice to help children love books and learning.  With no paid placement, the site is consistently in the Top Five on Google, Yahoo, and Bing out of 140 million sites for "children's literacy."  To see Soho's National Children's Literacy Website, please visit

  • Published and distributed Educational Newsletters to women taking care of 50,000 pre-school and school-age children while their parents work. 
  • Created and aired a series of highly-produced television and radio PSAs in multiple states to publicize an underutilized, federally-funded child nutrition program. 
  • Developed and co-produced the well-reviewed Business of Family Child Care video/DVD used extensively across the country to help educate child care providers about tax and business matters.
    Click Here for more information or to purchase. 
  • Created the Virginia Health Information Project at which continues to provide the public with reliable, non-commercial state and national health, safety, and nutrition information and resources.

Depending on the nature of each of our projects, we collaborate with numerous non-profits, state agencies, and child-related groups and involve award-winning media professionals, nationally-recognized educators, distinguished children's book authors and illustrators, and community members and volunteers.

As I acquaint you with the Soho Center, the point I'm trying to make is that we're committed to helping over 200,000 children and families each year in as cost-effective and sensible a way as possible - and we know what we're doing. 

Our funders have uniformly been impressed by the Soho Center's approach and expertise.  This includes the W.K. Kellogg Foundation which broke with tradition and gave us 3 grants totaling over $1,000,000, the USDA audit team which audited the Soho Center's well-documented use of over $1,000,000 of federal funds and concluded that everything was in order and that, in fact, the USDA owed us 60 cents, and that three Virginia Attorneys General have funded and supported the Soho Center's literacy projects and heath-related work.

We are pleased that our annual independent audits confirm that Soho's administrative expenses are under 1% each year.

We always use the funds we receive as promised, meet deadlines, provide timely progress reports, get annual independent audits, and publicly acknowledge (on our active website and in multiple news stories) how donors make Soho's work possible.

Soho Center's programs and services are free to the public, and we help a very diverse group of over 200,000 low- and moderate-income children and families in many, many communities.

Soho has participated in the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) for over 20 years. Many of our donors are able to make good use of  the 65% NAP Virginia tax credits that Soho can give them.  Soho also participates in the Combined Virginia Campaign (CVC).  Our CVC code is 00-3007.

As we approach our 50th year, I'm proud of the work we do.  I hope you'll take a moment to browse the Soho Center's site.  And I hope you'll contact us to explore collaborations, discuss sponsorship opportunities, and consider tax-deductible/basically zero-cost donations - so that, together, we can continue to help over 200,000 children and families each year in meaningful ways.

You can call the Soho Center at 540-923-5012
or Click Here to e-mail us

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