President's Newsletter October 2016

Community Engagement

Four projects focusing on K-12 education and on nutritious food education and access are underway, with new PACC*VISTA leadership, including two Alvernia alums — Madison Kaley '15 and Alex Roche '15 who are joined by Emily Butz and Lauren Lesser. The Pennsylvania Campus Compact and the Corporation for National and Community Service selected Alvernia as the only university in the state to host more than two VISTA members for the 16-17 academic year.

One of our recent biology graduates, Briana Pearson ’16, as part of the Holleran Center’s Post-Graduate Year of Service, is working with education and science students to bring STEM education to local children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Alvernia’s healthcare science program leadership is collaborating with the Reading Health System to understand future healthcare workforce needs. This will assist in subsequently adjusting curricular offerings so that students graduate with training and experience that are aligned with marketplace needs.

Our Reading Collegiate Scholars Program (RCSP) is expanding to serve 9th and 10th as well as 11th and 12th grade students in the City of Reading. After-school programming is now taking place three days a week at Reading High School and one day a week at Reading Intermediate High School. During the school day, RCSP is also serving Reading High students needing tutoring in core subjects.

The South Reading Youth Initiative, marking its 10th year, has grown to serve students at both Millmont and Tyson-Schoener Elementary Schools. SRYI is holding an after-school program for 60 first and second grade students. A new Holleran Center-led initiative is underway at Millmont to increase parent engagement.

This fall, the Holleran Center’s Foster Grandparent Program placed 50 senior citizens at volunteer sites throughout Reading focused on improving literacy skills and academic achievement for pre-k and elementary school students.

Alvernia students reported 34,351 hours of service to the community during the 2015-16 academic year. Twenty-nine Alvernia students were recognized for providing 100 hours or more in service during the academic year, and 13 for providing more than 300 hours of service during their time at Alvernia. Four completed over 500 hours!

More than 450 students, faculty and staff served at 17 of the 19 schools in the Reading School District during Alvernia’s Orientation Day of Service, one of four such days held each year. Groups spent time sprucing up flower beds, playgrounds and courtyards at a number of schools, as well as helping teachers and administrators prepare for the academic year.

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president's newsletter october 2016

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