Starfish program returns for Steel Valley youngsters
By Stacy Lee
Published: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, 4:06 a.m.
Steel Valley is reintroducing the YMCA's Starfish After School Program for its second- and third-grade students.
“It's an extended-day program for students in second and third grade,” assistant high school principal Jill Fleming-Salopek said. “We did a kick-off by adding it as a component to the summer reading camp. The program has a lot to offer. They've been here before and we're fortunate to get them back again.”
Jason Cendroski of the YMCA said the Starfish After School Program is being brought back as a year-long program.
“Typically we ran a 12-week program,” he said. “This year we decided to go the entire year. The program is provided through a grant from the EQT Foundation.”
The 90-minute program will be offered twice a week for 24 weeks from October to May. There will be 25 students participating from each Barrett and Park elementary schools starting next week.
“We'll employ two teachers – one lead teacher and one assistant,” Cendroski said. “We're going to assess our progress through an assessment tool called Children's Progress. What districts need to provide is just a standard classroom, a snack for the students, transportation home, access to the computers labs for Children's Progress and suggested teachers.”
He said he's been in touch with building principals to find those teachers.
Cendroski said the children are first assessed, then a report is established on their strengths and deficiencies and they are taught based upon that report.
“The mission of the program is to reach each student in a fun and interactive way,” he said.
The program will be covering early literacy and mathematics.
Fleming-Salopek said the Starfish Program is connected to the $620,870 Keystone to Opportunity grant the district recently received.
“One of the major components of the Keystone to Opportunity grant is to create a comprehensive literacy plan,” she said. “The plan must be modeled after the commonwealth's plan and yet still be tailored to the specific needs of the Steel Valley community. Fortunately for us, we will be able to use grant funds to create our plan. Other districts in years to come will be mandated to create their own literacy plan without the benefit of the grant funding.”
McKeesport YMCA executive director Dexter Hairston said the Starfish After School Program is targeted to second and third graders, but the YMCA offers a variety of other after-school opportunities for students.
“A lot of folks look at us as a place to play basketball and swim, and a membership facility,” he said. “What we really are is fast approaching 50 after-school sites in Allegheny County.”
Hairston said the YMCA is starting an after-school program with South Allegheny and is expected to start one in Clairton City School District and McKeesport Area School District.
“It's a school-age childcare program that we can target any grade levels that you would like,” he said.
Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- MLB notebook: Padres’ Johnson to undergo 2nd Tommy John surgery
- Search warrant shows 12 items seized from stabbing suspect’s locker
- Casey to promote tax-free savings plan for disabled during Pittsburgh stop
- A.J. Richardson, wife held for trial over 911 calls
- Silk Screen festival casts wider, more creative net
- RAW: Natural Born Artists helps serve up emerging fashion designers across U.S.
- Indictment alleges scheme defrauded government of $10 million
- Pirates notebook: Hurdle familiar with Ike Davis’ lineage
- Champions come out for ‘Stars on Ice’ at Consol
- Comedian Corey Holcomb keeps it honest, but fair
- Former U.S. Steel executive and wife make $500,000 donation