Buy Tickets Now for NothStar Learning Centers 50th Born Day Celebration.

Celebrate 50 years of partnering with and serving our families and our community. Join us for an evening of cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing to great musical entertainment highlighting Soca music, a blend of traditional West Indian rhythms, African percussion, and calypso, with influences from funk and soul, coupled with dancing and good company. While having a great evening, you are supporting our new Early Education Academy, providing early education and care to 135 children and families.  We are encouraging Caribbean style dress!

To purchase tickets online or in person by one of the methods below:

  1. Scan the QR code on the flyer above.
  2. Go to NorthStar’s 50th Born Day Celebration! (  or
  3. Email David Jones to schedule the purchase of physical tickets.


Breaking Ground


In 2017, NorthStar committed to building a new Early Education and Care Center for many reasons. More affordable/accessible early education and care capacity was desperately needed in New Bedford: our new Early Learning Academy expands NorthStar’s previous capacity by more than 70%. Early Education and Care facilities need to be purpose built to provide the best early education and care, and to lay the foundation for children’s bright futures.

On December 7th, nearly 250 supporters showed up for what became a very emotional ceremony. A very special thanks to our guest speakers; the City of New Bedford, Bristol County Savings Bank, MA Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC), The Property Casualty Initiative (PCI), Community Health and Engagement (Boston Childrens Hospital), Davis Square Architects Inc., Dellbrook 1 JKS, and New Life South Coast.




Giving Thanks


Each year NorthStar is honored and humbled to support our families and local community.

Below on the left, NorthStar handed out turkeys to local residents just before Thanksgiving.

The picture below on the right shows NorthStar staff serving a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal to roughly 30 of our families.





Another success story from the Heal Center

After some encouragement from the Heal Center staff, this young man invested in himself. As a result, he now has a High School Equivalency Diploma from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Education.

This is a great example of when given the opportunity and support, doors can be opened for our New Bedford Youth.





NorthStar Learning Centers Inc.  Annual Report 2022





Some see New Bedford’s disadvantaged youth as trouble. This group sees much more. 

By Matthew Ferreira, Standard-Times, 2023-05-24

Doing the tough work to make a real impact on young lives

New Bedford Shannon, with its current enrollment of 202, focuses on city youth aged 10-24, who are often referred to the program by sources like city schools, police, Department of Children and Families or other agencies. It’s difficult to sum up the whole of what its staff do on the day to day, as each day is different — something that can be especially true in the often chaotic lives of the youth they see — but much of the work can be likened to acting as a caring family member would.

NEW BEDFORD — Some throw up gang signs. Some commit crimes and get arrested. Some have a habit of skipping school, or have stopped going altogether. But if there’s one thing Renee Ledbetter, program director for New Bedford Shannon, says she’s learned in her years of working with some of the city’s most disenfranchised youth, it’s that underneath their hard exteriors are hearts of gold that just need some extra love — often, tough love.

“They are the unseen; they are the ones that are pushed to the side because they might not be acting the way we expect them to,” said Leadbetter, who, aside from her day job, became New Bedford NAACP president in October. “But these kids will give you the shirt off their back.”


Reaching for the Stars

NorthStar is building a state-of-the-art Early Education & Community Center in the south end of New Bedford

After 6 years of planning and fundraising, NorthStar is getting ready to break ground on its biggest and most impactful project in 50 years.


This new school will service a total of 135 children at or below the poverty level in the community. What is currently a vacant lot, will soon be a beacon of hope. The residence of New Bedford will also benefit from its community play spaces, and the commercial kitchen. Thank you to all of the foundations and donors who helped make this dream a reality. This 12-month construction project is projected to break ground by September 2023. If you would like to be a part of this miracle, it is not too late. We still have a funding gap in order to open the doors debt free. Please contact our Director of Development, David:, or click  CONTRIBUTE to fill out a contribution form.



New Bedford youth beating the heat while expanding their creative minds through art.

   Summer Nights / Art Class / 7/11/23

“Tonight, for art class at Summer Nights, the participants enjoyed making picture frames made out of cardboard, clear white tape, fake flowers, with real grass and leaves.  Some kids got really creative and took real bark off the tree from outside and used it for the bark part of their tree in their picture frame.”  (Shawnte Paris, Community Engagement Mobilization Coordinator).

Summer Nights is a grant through the Department of Conservation and Recreation in connection with the Govenor’s Initiative that runs for six weeks in the summer.  It is a FREE program for the youth ages 10-16 that runs from July 5, 2023 – August 17, 2023.  The youth participate in different activities such as art, boxing with a professional boxer, and multimedia cultural art.  They develop new friendships and lots of fun along the way.

At our HEAL Center (NAACP building: New Bedford, MA)