Riverview School District officials plan to use a state grant to implement a new computer science program at Verner and Tenth Street elementary schools.
The district was one of 16 Allegheny County education entities, including charter schools, to be awarded a $35,000 portion of $560,000 targeted grants provided through Gov. Tom Wolf’s PAsmart initiative.
Tenth Street Elementary teacher Cathy Favo heard about the PAsmart grants at a workshop at the Riverview Intermediate Unit in Clarion. She applied in December and the award announcement was made Jan. 17.
“I think that the state recognizes, and educators recognize, that children need to be literate in the field of computer science to navigate the workforce in the future,” Favo said. “With the help of this grant, we hope to establish formal computer science instruction in the Riverview School District elementary schools.”
Favo said the grant would be split in two ways. Between $10,000 and $15,000 could be used for professional development and $20,000 to $25,000 could be used for equipment. Teacher training would be provided by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit in the Homestead section of the Waterfront.
The new program would be designed for fourth through sixth graders.
District officials believe the grant will bolster STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — opportunities for students.
Offices of State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Penn Hills, and state Rep. Frank Dermody, D-Oakmont, assisted in securing the grant.
“We need to prepare future generations for a path to success, and the influx of money coming in to support the district’s computer sciences classes will do just that,” DeLuca said.
Other school districts to receive the grant include Steel Valley, South Allegheny, Shaler Area, East Allegheny, Duquesne and Deer Lakes.
More information about the PAsmart initiative is available at bit.ly/2FDtP71.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.