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Milton Hershey School Trust's New Early Childhood Education Initiative

Robert Heist Attorney

· Education

Attorney Robert Heist has been the president and chief executive officer of R. Connor & Associates, P.C., a law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois, and Boston, Massachusetts, since 2001. In addition to being an attorney, Robert Heist is an alumnus of Pennsylvania-based Milton Hershey School (MHS) and has long supported the school and its mission. Furthermore, he is also past Chairman of the MHS’s Board of Managers and The Hershey Trust Company’s Board of Directors.

At the end of 2020, the school and its trustee announced a new Early Childhood Education (ECE) initiative to expand the vision of their founders, Milton and Catherine Hershey. For more than a century, MHS has provided a home and education for children from economically disadvantaged and at-risk backgrounds.

The ECE initiative will focus on bridging the so-called “school readiness gap,” that is, the academic disparity between children who have received quality pre-school education and those who haven’t.

An investment of $350 million will support the construction and operation of up to six cost-free early childhood resource centers (ECRCs) across Pennsylvania. Honoring MHS’s mastermind, Catherine Hershey’s Schools for Early Learning will welcome children who have been underserved from birth to age 5.

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