Merging missions with resources, City Alliance Church and Stevens Primary School are announcing the launch of its joint after-school program, C.H.E.E.R., a community-school initiative focused on mentoring and strengthening the literacy and math skills of Stevens' students.
The program will run from 3:35 to 4:35 p.m. on Wednesdays, beginning Wednesday at the school. Volunteers from City Alliance Church, 454 Pine St, will provide tutoring.
The development of the weekly program began when the church approached the school this summer in an effort to extend its outreach into the schools.
From left are Lycoming College student and church volunteers Liza Gallen and Sarah Jaran; Chris White, a third-grade student at Stevens Primary; and Rose Saville-Iksic of City Alliance Church. Here, the group sits during an initial training and orientation, led by Title 1 Instructional Coach, Lynne Piotrowski.
"We want to be present in our community - giving freely of our love and support - and that means loving our schools," said Rose Saville-Iksic, volunteer coordinator at City Alliance. "We also hope this program becomes an outlet for other community members to have a part in caring for this city, that they might join us, or replicate the idea elsewhere."
Described by district Title 1 Instructional Coach Lynne Piotrowski as "fun with a purpose," the program is designed to include communication, homework help, engagement, enrichment and review - all components that comprise its acronymic title, C.H.E.E.R.
"Everyone is eager to provide students with an additional learning environment that is enjoyable, engaging and will promote enthusiasm for all involved," Piotrowski said. "At Stevens Primary, we recognize the value of partnering with community organizations in further developing responsible citizens."
Piotrowski added that through City Alliance's committed effort in providing a strong volunteer base to work with students on campus, and with assistance from the WASD Education Foundation, "our children will have the opportunities to become further engaged and encouraged through various connections made with a significant mentor and role model in addition to their family members."
Principal Kirk Felix described City Alliance as a wonderful partner of Stevens Primary, noting its support of the building for a number of years with some of its members participating on its PTSA board, and the church's kind regards and recognitions of the Stevens staff.
"We look forward to launching an after-school program with City Alliance church members and volunteers they are helping us recruit," Felix said. "Our collective goal is to find positive mentors for our students who will benefit from additional caring adults in their lives. The goal of our after-school program is improved academic motivation provided through positive mentorship."