Pittsburgh Dream Center interested in acquiring Centennial Elementary
With McKeesport Area School District set to close three of its elementary buildings in 2014, the Pittsburgh Dream Center believes its outreach would be at home within the school community it already has adopted.
Gary Brougher, Pittsburgh Dream Center co-facilitator, approached McKeesport Area board members and administrators during Wednesday's meeting to express interest in acquiring Centennial Elementary. While the building will house Twin Rivers Primary students for the first half of the 2013-14 academic year, the school will be vacant in January.
“I'm not sure how many people know about the Dream Center,” Brougher said. “We've been reaching out to McKeesport residents for almost two years now. We're all about reaching out, revitalizing the community and helping individuals fulfill their God-given dream and purpose in life.”
A faith-based outreach, the Pittsburgh Dream Center has been working across the Mon Valley and in Pittsburgh's eastern suburbs to meet the needs of the communities it serves. Its four major initiatives focus on community, hunger relief, discipleship and children.
In McKeesport, that outreach has included the Backpacks of Hope food assurance program for 25 Centennial students in the 2012-13 school year.
“We've partnered with the Centennial school,” Brougher said. “Through that connection we were able to give 300 flip-flops away this summer to make sure that Centennial students have summer shoes. We had a Christmas toy drive and gave away more than 200 toys. That's just part of the program and our adoption of Centennial school.”
More important than material assistance, Brougher said the Pittsburgh Dream Center is focused on relationship building.
“Through practical acts of love and kindness, we've been able to see people change in the community,” he said. “We know residents personally, and we've seen dramatic things happen in their lives.”
In the center's adoption of Union Avenue, volunteers have done work including cleanup efforts, lawn care, holiday giveaways and community cookouts.
On a Friday afternoon in June, the group hosted a family fun day at Centennial. Of the organizing 80 volunteers, 60 went door to door asking families to come out and enjoy the day. The event was full of entertainment, activities and human service resources to provide immediate assistance with food and clothing.
“Over 500 people came with just an hour and 15 minutes of advertising,” Brougher said.
The Pittsburgh Dream Center is intended very simply to serve, he explained.
“It's not about a program or what we can offer,” Brougher said. “It's about being available and showing people God's love in simple ways.”
Having a prominent neighborhood location, he said, could provide a 24-hour safe haven. It would serve as a community center to meet a variety of needs, such as after-school programming, GED courses, hunger relief and athletics.
McKeesport Area officials said they would provide Pittsburgh Dream Center facilitators with pertinent information if they are interested in pursuing the property. Business manager David Seropian said property reports are available on all district buildings.
“Speaking for the board, there is nothing but positive things about what you've said there,” president Patricia Maksin said, noting the administration will be willing to meet with Pittsburgh Dream Center representatives at any time. “We are excited to have an interest in our building. We don't want them to be vacant.”
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, 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.
- Monument to Steel Valley Korean War hero relocated
- McKeesport men jailed following high-speed chase
- East Allegheny releases teacher salary figures
- Mon Yough Chamber lends support to bike event
- North Versailles restaurant, dance studio damaged in crash
- Munhall experiences phone problems after dispatch switch
- Elizabeth Township man waives hearing
- Duquesne shooting victims are stable
- PSU campus gathers data for McKeesport plan
- Munhall seeks to stave off ‘47’ status
- McKeesport gardeners enjoy fruits of their labors