Tony Domiano Early Childhood Center to close at end of semester

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Photo credit/ Elysabethe Brown

Chad Black, Staff Writer

Marywood is closing the Tony Domiano Center at the end of the spring semester.

Sister Marilyn Muro, the di- rector of the program, and Sister Sarah Ann Holmes currently teach preschool and kindergar- ten in the Domiano Center. Both sisters are retiring after working in the program for 34 years and 19 years, respectively.

Since the program began, the sisters have taught over 1,800 children. They have taught more than one generation of students.

“We have some of the chil- dren’s children here now,” said Holmes.

The Marywood University Board of Trustees made the decision to end the program at its winter meeting. There are no sisters to replace Sister Marilyn and Sister Sarah Ann. That, coupled with the fact that enrollment has gone down, and the center has been operating at a loss for about nine years, led to the decision to close.

The center had one of the first and only early childhood pro- grams in the area. Now, there are many alternatives for children to attend preschool and kindergarten. Some include Saint Clare/ Saint Paul in Scranton, Saint

Mary of Mt. Carmel in Dunmore, and Our Lady of Peace in Clarks Summit all of which are still staffed by IHM sisters.

“When we first started it [the early childhood program], there were very few kindergartens, there were no preschools. So we were basically the only kindergarten and preschool in the area. Now there are kindergartens and preschools in the Dioceses schools, in the public schools, the private schools, and charter schools… There are many options,” said Muro.

The program was founded by the IHM Congregation in 1976 and was first run by Sister Joanne Madden. Marywood took over the program in 1980.

The program originally took place on the first floor of the IHM Center and remained there until the construction of the Tony Domiano Center in 2000.

Over the years, the sisters have provided their students with a Montessori education. They have taught the children subjects such as reading, writing, math, science, geography, music, art, and religion.

Although they are sad to retire, the sisters are also happy for everything they have accomplished in their time working with the students.

“We just really wanted to celebrate the dedication of the sisters that have worked here and the service to the children,” said Muro. “The fruits of the work of the sisters will live on in the children throughout their lives.”

With the program coming to an end, plans for the Domiano building remain unknown; however, Marywood will be reaching out to the Domiano family to discuss any future operations.

Note: The early childhood cen- ter is not in conjunction with The Fricchione Day Care Center, which will remain open.