Propel McKeesport youngsters showcase talents to benefit food pantry
Propel McKeesport youngsters had the chance on Thursday to tell the world what motivates them, while helping to support a McKeesport food pantry.
“What propels me is to sing,” Sirinity Moorefield told classmates after her rendition of Ly'Asia's “Dream.”
“Math propels me,” Jade Robinson said. “I had 100 percent in a test in December.”
Principal Lauren DiMartino said it was a preparatory test for the fourth-grade Pennsylvania System of School Assessment math exam.
Students showed their parents art, read poetry, sang and danced at a “What Propels You?” community show, benefiting the Sonshine Community Ministries food bank.
“This event really is a small step in what we want to do to get more involved in the McKeesport community,” said DiMartino, who was named principal in January.
“It is fun,” eighth-grader Jamall Jefferson said. “We get to set up and show entertainment to others.”
It was hosted by Propel and the Pittsburgh office of AmeriCorps KEYS (Knowledge to Empower Youth to Succeed).
“KEYS is a countywide organization which distributes members to different schools to serve as mentors and tutors,” said KEYS service member Edward King-Smith, who attended the program with fellow staffers Megan Bower and Jennifer Stover.
“(KEYS members) serve in schools and organizations throughout (Allegheny) County, including after-school programs and youth mentoring,” King-Smith said. “We've been involved at Propel McKeesport for eight years.”
Sonshine Community Ministries food bank is located at the old Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church along Evans Street in McKeesport. Food bank coordinator Judy Kunes said her organization serves meals to anyone in the community who needs it.
“The eighth-grade classes have helped us at our food bank once a month for the last three years,” Sonshine director Terry Ruccio said.
“Usually we have 85-100 clients,” Kunes said.
Sonshine programs include a clothing bank, Monday meals, Tuesday tutorials and a 12-step program, and food bank distribution on Fridays. Kunes said 240 families are served by the food bank monthly.
Ruccio said other Propel students will be involved in a KidZone Extreme summer camp for second- through fifth-graders hosted by Berean Baptist Youth Group at Laurel Hill State Park. This year's camp is scheduled for June 22-26 and the cost is $40. Details are available by calling Ruccio at 412-672-6711 or emailing email@example.com.
Students from kindergarten through eighth grade helped Sonshine in a contest tied in to “What Propels You?”
“Part of the promotion has been to encourage the students to come and bring food,” King-Smith said.
The admission for Thursday's event was $1 or a nonperishable food item. Winners in the food drive as well as a raffle were announced at the end of the two-hour program.
Propel McKeesport, the second school in the network of Propel charter schools in and around Pittsburgh, is near the end of its 10th year. Only Propel Homestead (2003) is older.
“I heard of the great reputation of Propel,” said DiMartino, who came to McKeesport from the nation's capital.
In March 2010, the McKeesport facility was named the single top performing elementary school by a nationwide consortium of charter schools.
Earlier this week, Propel held a belated 10th anniversary celebration for its organization at Propel Braddock Hills High School.
“We are so grateful to the families, communities and individuals that have made Propel's first 10 years such a success,” said Jeremy Resnick, executive director of Propel Schools Foundation.
At Propel McKeesport Thursday, JaQunn Moore opened the entertainment with an original “What Propels Me?” poem. After Sirinity's song, Kasan Flowers danced to “Kids Bop Party Rock Anthem,” Zoe Gibson read an acrostic poem with the letters “m, u, s, i, c” and Destiny Jenkins sang Keke Palmer's “Stand Out.”
Teshiana Smith-Nichols offered an original poem, “I Refuse,” then sang Beyonce's “Pretty Hurts.”
Da'Quaja Cousar, Quinn Venay and Tamia Law capped the show with songs “Who You Are” by Jessie J and “Titanium” by David Guetta and Sia.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967.
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.
- McKeesport council approves mineral rights lease under Renzie Park
- Mon Valley police departments vary on use of heroin overdose antidote
- Ex-Port Vue police chief recognized
- Rib Fest highlights holiday weekend in McKeesport
- McKeesport honors ‘message’ bearers
- Employee of Elizabeth Township tent rental business struck by lightning in West Mifflin
- Electrical cable fire leads to McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge closure
- Wilmerding targeted for mobile farmers market
- McKeesport council OKs cities plan
- McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge reopens to traffic after electrical fire
- West Elizabeth residents oppose sewage tank plan