BEAR CREEK TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The pandemic has thrown a monkey wrench into plans for in-person learning at many school districts. But one summer learning program found a way to succeed at it locally and help students achieve academic success.
133 children enrolled this summer in the 4th annual Power Scholars Academy — a program aimed at preventing summer learning loss.
The pre-K through 5th grade students, from Wilkes-Barre Area and Hanover Area School Districts, worked on such skills as literacy and math inside classrooms for the first time in a long time.
Mary Tranguch, the co-director at Power Scholars Academy said, “With them not having school since March, it was very important that we have this program because of we already addressed summer learning loss but now we have summer learning loss plus a couple of additional months of not being, like, in a full direct instruction with school.”
The national program coordinated locally by the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA used Bear Creek Community Charter School for the first time as its summer learning venue.
Tranguch told Eyewitness News COVID-19 concerns meant a lot of change, and required a strategic safety plan the moment scholars arrived each day.
“The students got their temperatures checked as soon as they got out of the vehicle. And then you know we went from there to just maintaining, keeping small sizes to our grouping, making sure we constantly washed hands, used hand sanitizers, spread out as much as we can,” said Tranguch.
Something else different during this pandemic for Power Scholars Academy, rather than having two separate locations, one in Wilkes-Barre Area and the other in Hanover Area School District, they combined locations to just this one.
But what remained the same? The goal of Power Scholars Academy to close an academic achievement gap, among young students, at no financial cost to families.
“It just just gives kids a lot of confidence to be their own person,” said Dawna, from Discover NEPA.
Power Scholars Academy also provided arts and music, and outdoor learning thanks to public and private donations.
Head to the Power Scholars Academy website to learn more about supporting this educational program.