History

The Campagna Center is a not-for-profit human services organization that taps deeply into community resources to provide programs that strengthen families and help children become caring, productive adults. Since 1945, The Campagna Center has provided quality programming and services to meet the ever-changing needs of Alexandria, Virginia. 

 

The Campagna Center Throughout the Years

1940s – In 1945, a group of local women organized The Campagna Center, then known as the Alexandria Branch of the YWCA. The program provided the only place where women of all ages, regardless of race or creed, could gather for social activities that promoted “leadership, morale, and inspiration.”

1950s – Offering activities that promoted racial harmony, such as Brotherhood Sunday and the World Fellowship Tea, the YWCA was at the forefront of the civil rights movement.

1960s – In 1962, Elizabeth Anne Campagna joined the YWCA as director and turned it into a powerful actor in the community. As the merits of Head Start were being debated nationwide, the YWCA, in partnership with the city of Alexandria, secured funding to run Alexandria’s first Head Start program.

1970s – In the 1970s, the YWCA separated from the national group to become the independent Alexandria Community Y (ACY). Soon after, Campagna Kids debuted to meet community needs for quality after-school care and quickly attracted hundreds of families.

1980s – The decade of the 80s began with the purchase of our headquarters at 418 South Washington Street in Old Town Alexandria, a site that has been used for educational purposes since 1812. Our building sits on a parcel of land originally dedicated by George Washington to the city of Alexandria for the Alexandria Academy.  Wright to Read, RSVP and many other programs were implemented during this decade of service.

1990s – In 1991, we mourned the passing of Elizabeth Anne Campagna and renamed ACY the Campagna Center in honor of her commitment to the community. The Campagna Center continued to strengthen its capacity to meet the changing needs of the community, despite losing Ms. Campagna.

The 2000s – The turn of the century marked a rapid expansion of the agency’s focus on cradle to career programs.  A long time operator of Head Start, during this decade The Campagna Center became Alexandria’s sole provider of Early Head Start services, expanded the number of children served through Head Start, and created the Early Learning Center to serve young children ineligible for Head Start.  The Campagna Center also added vital programs that addressed the needs of middle and high school students at risk for school failure and welcomed a program, New Neighbors, to help adults and young children learn English.

 

Today

With the addition of a middle school program in 2012, The Campagna Center stands as the only nonprofit in Alexandria serving children across the education spectrum, from birth through high school.

Throughout its long history, the Campagna Center has been a catalyst for community involvement, and we continue to serve the Alexandria community by promoting a commitment to learning at every level. Today, with Dr. Tammy L. Mann at the helm and almost 200 staff members, 25 board members, and more than 750 volunteers dedicated to the well-being of Alexandria’s children and families, we ensure that Ms. Campagna’s legacy lives on.