Roberto Clemente Elementary Charter School goes blue and white

Dennille Schuler
January 11, 2016

Throughout December, Roberto Clemente Elementary Charter School's (RCECS) second grade celebrated Penn State Lehigh Valley Month as part of its Early College Education Model Program. 

Beginning this past year, each Roberto Clemente Elementary Charter School’s (RCECS) classroom has been adopted by a local college or university.  Each month one of those institutions is highlighted throughout the whole school.  Students receive a survey to complete with their parents to fill out together, while helping the students and their families learn about each institution. RCECS students that complete the surveys correctly are rewarded with prizes donated by the highlighted institution. Then, a dress-down day in the school's colors followed and sometimes a presentation or visit by the highlighted school is completed.

To celebrate Penn State Lehigh Valley Month in December, a special assembly program and presentation was held Dec. 22 as a kick-off to a partnership between RCECS and Penn State Lehigh Valley.

"Roberto Clemente Elementary Charter School (RCECS) is thankful and excited to begin our partnership with Penn State Lehigh Valley," said RCECS Principal Alyssa Newman. "Through this partnership our students will be exposed to the world of higher education and the university community of Penn State Lehigh Valley. Thus reassuring that college is an option for each and every RCECS student, regardless of their age, language, gender, or ethnicity."

With the second grade decked out in blue and white, Tina Q. Richardson, chancellor of Penn State Lehigh Valley spoke to the students and encouraged them to start thinking about college now because it is a possibility for each of them if they stay focused and work hard.

"It is important for us to be involved at the elementary level to prepare children and get them on a path to higher education and this is what RCECS is doing through this college program for the second grade,” said Richardson. "We, at Penn State Lehigh Valley, are invested in the success of the children of the Lehigh Valley and their families. We want to be a resource and a partner in helping to address the barriers to educational success."

Lorena Roedan, admissions counselor at Penn State Lehigh Valley then showed a slideshow presentation introducing the second graders to college life at Penn State Lehigh Valley. The second graders also heard from Marie Tabshi, sophomore corporate communication student at Penn State Lehigh Valley and got to meet local high school students, who were accepted to Penn State Lehigh Valley and are beginning college classes next fall.

The Nittany Lion then made a grand entrance surprising the students with a box of art supplies donated by the Lehigh Valley campus. More than 20 boxes of markers, colored pencils and chalk will help stock both second grade classrooms.

The excitement kept rolling with a special announcement from Nancy Coco, director of corporate and community education at Penn State Lehigh Valley, that her department would donate five free registrations to RCECS teachers to attend the Lehigh Valley Writing Project's annual conference: Best Practices in Teaching Writing: Linking Literacy and Steam. The conference, held on Jan. 30, at Penn State Lehigh Valley, features interactive workshops and presentations for teachers to share professional teaching practices. Coco also brought picture story books with an English as a Second Language (ESL) focus to donate to the second grade classroom libraries.

Lastly, Richardson announced the campus' education honors society, Kappa Delta Pi, whose members have ESL certification, have also committed to regularly visit RCECS in the spring to tutor and read to the students.

"This will be a multifaceted partnership aimed at helping the students and supporting the teachers," said Richardson.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 12, 2016