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Celebrating Cindy

We were deeply saddened to learn that former PIC Executive Director Cindy Roberts passed away on Februrary 10, 2016.
Cindy believed that all children deserve access to high quality child care. Donations made in Cindy's memory will support children in PIC's pre-K classrooms whose families are unable to afford the full cost of tuition. 
Cindy lived with cancer for one year and even in the face of illness, continued to show her grace, never-ending generosity, and wonderfully quick wit. 
It was only a few weeks ago that Cindy stopped by PIC to bring boxes filled with things for our Recycleteria. In the past year, she often dropped off treats for our teachers or items for classrooms.
Last spring she filled plant orders during our annual Plant Sale and in the fall she sponsored and attended ArtStart. She simply never stopped caring about this community.

Part of PIC for more than 30 years

Cindy was a part of PIC's culture for more than 30 years — first as a parent, then as a Board member, and finally as an administrator and Executive Director.
After moving to West Philly in 1985, Cindy and her husband enrolled their then 2-year-old daughter at PIC. When PIC’s board expanded to include community volunteers in 2002, Cindy joined the Board of Directors as an alumni parent. 
After a 25-year career in editing and publishing, Cindy earned her graduate degree, and sought a career change. In 2004 she found herself working at PIC as Assistant Director to then-Executive Director Marni Sweet.
When Marni Sweet was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2007, Cindy stepped in to guide the Center and ultimately was hired as PIC's Executive Director.
During a time of unexpected change in leadership, Cindy brought an enormous amount of energy and vision to her position, and she provided PIC with continuity and direction.
She expanded the reach of PIC by partnering with Pennsylvania's Pre-K Counts, a program to increase access to quality pre-kindergarten to at-risk children and families.
Following the death of Marni Sweet, PIC launched Sweet Dreams, an ambitious campaign to raise $1 million to realize Marni’s vision for PIC and meet the rapidly growing demand for child care in University City.

Under Cindy's leadership

Under Cindy's leadership, PIC renovated the Sweet Building and created an outstanding space to provide high-quality child care for an additional 50 children.
During her tenure at PIC, Cindy saw a growing movement that recognized the impact nature has on the healthy development of children. As more and more research showed the benefits of outdoor play, the playground improvements conceived during Sweet Dreams became an opportunity for so much more. 
Cindy helped develop a plan to create Acadia Woods Magic Circle, a very special outdoor learning space with separate areas for art, gardening, active play, quiet gathering, and dirt digging. It was her vision and commitment that drove this project forward. 
After announcing her departure from PIC in 2012, the PIC Community came together to pay tribute to Cindy and launch this new initiative. Today, PIC's Magic Circle provides the same kind of rich, inviting educational environment that our children enjoy in their indoor classrooms.
Cindy felt that watching children grow at PIC was something very special. As its Executive Director, she successfully led PIC through a period of growth and great change.


Saying Goodbye 

Today we say goodbye to a great friend, dedicated leader, and strong believer in honoring the time of childhood. Her family is in our thoughts and in our hearts.
Cindy Roberts touched the lives of so many people in the PIC Community. As we remember and pay tribute to Cindy together, we hope to share some of these memories on our website or in PIC communications. We invite you to share your memories of Cindy.
Cindy believed that all children deserve access to high quality child careDonations made in Cindy's memory will support children in PIC's pre-K classrooms whose families are unable to afford the full cost of tuition. 
Read more about the impact Cindy had on PIC and the West Philadelphia community in her obituary at