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West Side Education News & Notes

4/10/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

ExxonMobil Chemical provides computers for children

WEST AKRON — The Salvation Army has acknowledged the financial support of ExxonMobil Chemical Co. and the assistance of United Way of Summit County in facilitating a gift to provide a new computer lab for children and families.

The lab will be available to children in The Learning Zone, an educational program of The Salvation Army, serving 300 children each year. The Learning Zone serves families of all backgrounds and includes preschool and afterschool enrichment for families currently residing in the Booth Manor Family Shelter.

ExxonMobil Chemical is providing eight new computers in support of STEM learning  so that every child will be able to complete his or her math homework, much of which is completed online, according to Salvation Army officials.

“It is imperative we get the children interested and comfortable with technology,” said Catherine Brauning, The Learning Zone director. “They need access to the Internet just to complete homework, as well as for everyday learning. This one stumbling block can impact success in every subject, and we are so glad that these children will now have what they need to stay on track for success.”


Veterans’ success at UA prompts visit by lieutenant governor, OBR Chancellor

DOWNTOWN AKRON — State officials visited The University of Akron (UA) April 7 to see how its leadership in providing academic and support services to student-veterans can be replicated at other campuses to advance Ohio’s mission to value veterans, UA officials announced.

Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, a UA alumna, and Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) Chancellor John Carey heard from UA officials, as well as veterans themselves, about the best practices that have led to UA receiving the Military Friendly Designation from G.I. Jobs magazine for five consecutive years.

The range of services for student-veterans and service members at UA includes:

  • the Military Services Center — a hub for enrollment, financial and academic support services;
  • credit awarded appropriately for military training, experience and coursework at no charge;
  • priority registration for classes;
  • disability services coordinated with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies;
  • counselors trained to understand the unique needs of veterans; and
  • The Musson Military Veterans Lounge, a student veteran gathering place.

At a press conference, two veterans — current student Master Sgt. Mark Patterson and alumna Sgt. Christian Turner — shared their experiences at UA.

Jay Musson, speaking on behalf of the R.C. Musson and Katharine M. Musson Charitable Foundation, announced that the R.C. Musson and Katharine M. Musson Charitable Foundation Scholarship for Veterans has been established with $17,000. Awards will be made, based on need, to support full-time undergraduate and graduate veterans and currently serving military members at UA who have exhausted all other G.I. benefits. In addition, the American Legion Post No. 808 — the first-ever post on the UA campus — has been founded to increase members’ engagement with the academic part of their college experience and their preparation for graduation and beyond. Alumni, faculty and staff who are veterans, and have the necessary academic and work experience, will serve as mentors.


Outside Is In program connects city youth with nature

SUMMIT COUNTY — On April 7-8, Friends of Metro Parks presented the first of six overnight nature education experiences for inner-city sixth graders from the Akron Public Schools (APS).

This will be the sixth year for the Outside Is In program, a Friends of Metro Parks partnership with the APS and Metro Parks, Serving Summit County.

Started in 2009 as a pilot program with 40 students, the 2014 Outside Is In sessions expected to host 600 to 700 students. Other sessions have been scheduled for April 8-9, 9-10, 21-22, 23-24 and May 5-6.

The students will be picked up from their classrooms by APS buses and transported to Camp Y-Noah in Green, where they will begin the program with team-building exercises, a soil and water program, campfire, night hike and overnight stay. In the morning, buses will take students to Firestone Metro Park in South Akron for a full day of fishing, hiking, nature art and orienteering games.

Outside Is In is based on the Ohio Revised Standards and Model Curriculum for sixth-graders, with the goal of presenting science concepts while connecting children to the outdoors.

Friends of the Metro Parks board member Lynn Stamp said that an important purpose of the Outside Is In program is to introduce children who might otherwise not spend much time in nature to the importance of the natural world. Outside Is In activities are designed to be fun, educational and hands-on, helping children realize their connection to the natural world and eventually to grow into good stewards of the environment, according to Metro Parks officials.

“Inspiration for the program came from Richard Louv’s book, ‘Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder,’” Stamp said. “The book led Friends [of Metro Parks] to understand that nature is important to children’s development in every major way — intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically.”

Friends of Metro Parks funds the program through a variety of community foundations and corporate and private donations.


CLC students integrate art, math

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Art and math integration artwork by students in the Akron Public Schools’ Impact program will be on display April 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Akron Art Museum.

The schools involved include Helen Arnold, Crouse, Findley, McEbright, Robinson, Schumacher and Seiberling community learning centers.

The program included field trips to the Akron Art Museum to explore the museum’s artwork through the eyes of mathematicians. Docents and educators lead students through gallery activities that highlighted the relationship between art and mathematics.

On April 24, attendees can enjoy refreshments in the lobby while perusing the artwork, as well as participate in a family-friendly art project.

Until 9 p.m., attendees also can enjoy free admission into the museum’s collection and special exhibition galleries.


Stephanie Kist contributed to this report.

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