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Innovative Learning Opportunities

STEM Training and Competition

Through the United Way’s Community Investment Council which annually reviews special requests for grant-based funding to address emerging community needs, the United Way sponsored a STEM training hosted by Abington Heights for 56 teachers representing eight area school districts. We also offered six mini-grants of $250 to Kennedy Elementary, Forest City Regional High School, Lackawanna Trail Elementary Center, Valley View Middle and High School and Mid Valley Elementary to further their STEM curriculum. Then, in April, we sponsored a unique STEM competition for middle school girls which was attended by 54 students from Abington Heights, Forest City Regional, Delaware Valley and the Scranton School District (South Scranton, West Scranton and Kennedy). 

Educational Tax Credits

For the past 11 years, the United Way has been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PA DCED) as a Pre-Kindergarten, Educational Improvement, Scholarship and Opportunity Scholarship organization. Each year, dozens of generous companies obtain tax credits through the PA DCED and contribute them to the United Way. Thanks to this generosity, the United Way awarded 49 scholarships for students attending fee-based schools last year. We supported afterschool programs in Robotics, Environmental Education and the Arts for 41 children at the Wayne County YMCA. At the Greater Carbondale YMCA, 154 children participated in an afterschool Arts program with 111 enjoying Robotics and 92 learning Environmental Education. We also supported 21 children through United Neighborhood Centers’ Shutterbugs Photography program. Nineteen of those children had group gallery showings of their photographs during First Friday and 10 had individual showings. The group supported the PROSPER craft event by hosting “Photos with Santa,” and one student completed senior pictures for five of her peers. The United Way also leveraged the Pre-K tax credits to provide scholarships to 140 children from four counties.