NorthStar Learning Center is 50 years old this year. It is celebrating with a new building now under construction at Hyacinth and Rivet Streets in New Bedford's South End.

NorthStar is also holding a fundraising event on May 31 that promises to be a lot of fun.

NorthStar Director Maria Rosario and AJ DaLomba, Director of Prevention and Intervention Services, came by Townsquare Sunday to discuss the new building and share details on the fundraiser.

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Rosario said NorthStar started out in 1974 with one very small, early education classroom.

"Over the years, we continued our work with infants and toddlers and expanded our services to include pre-school and after-school programs," she said. "We have huge mentoring programs, intervention and prevention programs, particularly around gun violence, and a small but mighty mental health clinic."

The new NorthStar Early Learning Academy will double NorthStar's current full-time enrollment capacity, serving a total of 135 children and families. It will also serve as a regional laboratory school for best practices and professional development. The building will also provide the community with play spaces, a community room and a commercial kitchen.

Courtesy NorthStar Learning Center
Courtesy NorthStar Learning Center

The May 31 fundraiser at the Century house in Acushnet will run from 7 p.m. to midnight and will feature dinner and dancing with a live band, plus other artists offering a blend of traditional West Indian rhythms, African percussion, and Calypso along with some funk and soul.

"Just come ready to dance and enjoy the company of folks in our community," Rosario said. "It's going to be a great time."

Tickets are available at or stop by NorthStar headquarters at 53 Linden St. Tickets are also available at

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please email the host at

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