This year, the Tunkhannock Area Intermediate Center wanted to give its specials teachers a boost.
In partnership with the Parker Hill Church in Clarks Summit, the TAIC Counseling Department gave out “special kits” to students in third through sixth grade and seventh graders in the STEM Academy.
“I think it’s awesome that we could help the school in providing something for the kids while they’re home,” Parker Hill Next Steps Pastor Dustin Hibner said. “I think it gives the teachers tools to use to make their online learning tangible.”
They arranged the first giveaway on Friday specifically for cyber students enrolled in the Fusion C3 program. It coincided with a pickup for Fusion C3 materials ahead of the first day of school.
The Tunkhannock Area School District brings students back today under a hybrid reopening plan. Students in seventh grade and up will have two days in school and three days online, while the younger grade levels will be in the buildings every day.
A number of students have opted for full-time distance learning instead.
While Parker Hill purchased roughly 755 kits for all students in these grade levels, TAIC Guidance Counselor Kate Krispin said she hasn’t decided on when to pass them out to students in the brick and mortar schools.
Parker Hill volunteers packed the kits with items geared toward art, technology education, music and physical education, such as colored pencils, construction paper, a jump rope, and a birdhouse building kit. The seventh grade kits include a bucket and drumsticks, with the others containing a music kit with rhythm sticks, a shaker egg, and more that’s on back order.
The community outreach partnership between the TAIC and Parker Hill started three years ago with a drive that gave out hundreds of coats. Last year, Krispin said Parker Hill donated shoes to TAIC students in need.
With Tunkhannock Area having such strong specials classes, she wanted to make sure that students could still thrive in these subjects at home. She asked the specials teachers which items they would like and handed the list over to Parker Hill.
“We hope we continue to have that relationship with them,” Krispin said. “We have so much gratitude for what they’re doing for our community here… It was just an incredible donation and it really helps us out.”
Hibner said his church serves four area school districts as part of its push to be “for NEPA.”
“In order to be for NEPA, we have to be in NEPA, and one of the best ways is partnering with schools and getting into these communities,” he said. “It’s been awesome for our people to have a way to serve our community.”