Updated February 23 at 11:56am
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3/28/12 03:09PM
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Federal Hill House Seeks Photos, Memorabilia, And Personal Stories For 125th Anniversary Celebration

PROVIDENCE, RI, March 28, 2012—The Federal Hill House Association (FHHA), a Providence human services agency that spurred the city’s growth by helping thousands of immigrants assimilate in the …

PROVIDENCE, RI, March 28, 2012—The Federal Hill House Association (FHHA), a Providence human services agency that spurred the city’s growth by helping thousands of immigrants assimilate in the early 1900s, is seeking photos, memorabilia, and personal stories for a year long celebration of its 125th anniversary. A private, non-profit 501(c)(3) agency, FHHA is the second oldest “settlement house” in Providence and among the oldest in the United States. Anyone with anything to donate or share should e-mail Natasha Simeon-St. Dennis (nsimeon@federalhillhouse.org) or call the Federal Hill House Association, 9 Courtland Street, Providence, RI 02909, at 401-421-4722.

“Our theme for the 125th anniversary celebration is our long legacy of service to the community,” says Nina Pande, executive director, Federal Hill House. “We’re especially interested in hearing from people with stories about how FHHA helped them or someone they know adjust to America or assisted them through a major life crisis. We’d also like to hear from people that may have worked for the agency or may have sat on the agency’s board of directors who we have lost touch with. Our goal is to create a permanent online archive, so that we can have a tangible record of the agency’s history.”

FHHA’s legacy of service dates to 1887 when it was founded by Alida (Sprague) Whitmarsh and Harriet Richards. Originally called the Mt. Pleasant Working Girls Club & Library, it was located at the Sprague House on Armington Avenue in Providence and was part of the “settlement house” movement. The club taught immigrant Irish girls to sew and had a private library. In 1902 the club changed its name to the Sprague House and expanded the scope of its services to include cultural, educational, and civic programs.

FHHA continued to expand the scope of its services as time passed. In 1906 the Sprague House offered its facilities to the Providence Public Library as its first branch. The Sprague Library lasted into the 1940s. In 1914 the Sprague House moved to a small tenement house at 417 Atwells Avenue, Providence, re-named itself as the Federal Hill House Association, and began offering community programs to help Italian immigrants assimilate. A disastrous fire destroyed FHHA’s Atwells Avenue location in 1972. FHHA moved to the Bell Street Chapel for a while. In 1977 it moved to its current location.

FHHA is among Rhode Island’s leading human services agencies, serving a diverse population with a team of multi-ethnic, multi-lingual workers. Last year it helped nearly 5,000 individuals and families meet their immediate needs. FHHA is also among the state’s leaders in early-childhood education. Its early learning program is the only full-service community center to receive a four-star rating from BrightStars, an independent Rhode Island rating agency. In September 2011 it introduced the state’s first trilingual immersion program for early learning students, which teaches students English, Spanish, and Chinese.

About Federal Hill House Association

The Federal Hill House Association is Providence’s second largest human services agency. It serves a diverse community and delivers a wide range of client-focused services. During the early 1900s it helped help thousands of Italian immigrants adjust to the New World. Today, the Federal Hill House is a multi-ethnic, social service non-profit agency, providing services that help improve the quality of life of its constituents.

For more information about the Federal Hill House Association, its trilingual immersion program, or FHHA’s services, contact the Federal Hill House Association, 9 Courtland Street, Providence, RI 02909, Tel: 401-421-4722. E-mail: fhh@federalhillhouse.org

# # #

Contact:

Nina Pande

Federal Hill House Association

Tel: 401-421-4722

FAX: 401-421-4725

E-mail: ninapande@federalhillhouse.org

Web Site: www.federalhillhouse.org

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