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Albright wins CCASR awards grant for PV

by on November 30, 2017 9:25 AM

SPRING MILLS — Kristen Albright, elementary library media specialist for all Penns Valley Elementary students in grades K– 6 in the district’s three elementary schools, is the recipient of the Centre County Association of School Retirees (CCASR) Education Support Grant for 2017 – 2018. 

This $300 award is given annually to an   active school employee for a project that addresses safety, health, welfare or the education of the students who will benefit from the project.

“The grant rotates among four county school districts and CPI.” said Lew Rodrick, CCASR Education Support chair.

The winning project, “Learning about Plants,” will allocate the funds toward the purchase of books appropriate for each grade level about gardening and animals. They will be physically located in or near the garden so they are readily available for students.

This literature is seen as an educational supplement to the courtyard garden, a once underutilized, overgrown space at Penns Valley Elementary School. The project began with a grant from Lowe’s and has been assisted by community organizations, like the Penns Valley Conservation Association and volunteers. It now contains pollinator, perennial and raised bed gardens. All elementary students have weekly lessons that are related to the district’s science standards in the space.

Parents and community volunteers, like local farmer Dan Shimp, teach lessons, offer tours, helped build raised beds, spread ground cover and weed. Environmental educator for Penns Valley Conservation Association, Jim Flanagan, has provided instruction to students, teachers and volunteers and has been a continuing resource for the project.

New features are constantly being added as resources and manpower become available. Last school year the Penns Valley High School TSA club designed and built a rainwater collecting shed.

Albright commented: “It is a multi-grade collaborative partnership with community agencies and volunteers. Students are gaining much needed hands-on learning experiences that enhance the regular curriculum in a way that would not have been possible without the original grant. The addition of books to this space will allow an additional literacy component.”

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