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Students Create Birthday Baskets For Children In Need January 16, 2018

For the second consecutive year, members of the Phipps family of Chester Springs, along with the third-grade class at Pickering Valley Elementary School, created 30 birthday baskets filled with items such as cake mix and frosting that will be distributed to families in need served by the Lord's Pantry of Downingtown.

Ava Phipps, 8, received a $500 Disney Summer of Service grant through Youth Service America (YSA) to finance the cost of the supplies. Last year, her twin sister, Olivia Phipps, received the grant, which is designed to support a community service project that benefits families.

"We can only put one name on the grant. We applied with Ava's name this year, since Olivia applied last year," explained Kristin Phipps, the girls' mother. "One twin was the grantee, but both took part. Ava wanted to take the lead this time."

Kristin explained that the grants are awarded to children ages 5 to 18. "If the grantee is under 13, the parent is required to help complete the application and submit it on (his or) her behalf," said Kristin. "They give out 270 grants a year in the United States and only 14 in Pennsylvania, and two of them were given to children age 8 and under. Ava is one of the youngest students to receive this award and the only student in the Downingtown Area School District."

Ava and Olivia's third-grade class, along with their teacher, Gloria Burgos, assembled the baskets after school on Jan. 12 and made homemade birthday cards for each basket. Each basket contained about 15 items - everything needed to celebrate a child's birthday. "The baskets included cake mix, frosting and birthday candles, a (birthday) banner, balloons and a centerpiece," Kristin said, noting that plastic tablecloths and silverware, cups, paper plates and napkins were also included.

"One of my favorite things are party blowouts (noisemakers), and they are also in there," Ava added.

Two local grocery stores also donated gift cards. "Their gift card donations toward the event allowed us to add an additional item - a box of party straws - to each basket, as well as (purchase) construction paper for the cards and plenty of snacks for the third-grade class, which worked so hard to make the 30 baskets and cards," Kristin reported.

Additionally this year, local officials attended the basket assembling activity, including Sen. John Rafferty, Rep. Becky Corbin and Kori Walter, district director for Congressman Ryan Costello. "They made baskets and handmade cards for the children as well," said Kristin. "They got right to it and committed their service to the project." Rafferty also presented Ava with an honorary certificate.

Olivia, Ava, their mother and their younger sister, Cora, delivered the baskets to the Lord's Pantry on Jan. 15, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. "The Lord's Pantry has over 700 families in their program that live in the Downingtown Area School District," Kristin said, noting that celebrating a birthday is an important event that families should share together. "Hopefully it will create a strong family bond. There are other events to do to create positive memories, but (a birthday celebration) is just one example of that."

Kristin said that the family plans to apply for the grant again this summer, this time in Olivia's name. "It has been a pleasure working with Jan Leaf, the executive director of the Lord's Pantry," she added. "We received great feedback last year that the children (served by the Lord's Pantry) loved the birthday baskets."

For more information about YSA and other grants available for community service, readers may visit


Distinguished Honors Posted January 16, 2018

Dallastown Area High School recently announced its first trimester distinguished honor roll for 2017. The distinguished honor roll is achieved by earning a GPA at or above 4.0. Students in grades nine through 12 were recognized for their academic achievements.

Freshmen who earned placement on the distinguished honor roll are Carter J. Alwan, Jade M. Andrews, Telia S. Andrews, Grace N. Ashlin, Arnav H. Bal, Cassandra Beeler, Kyle P. Behlert, Andrew P. Bernacki, Alexandrea M. Bloss, Brittany N. Bodine, Gina E. Bolli, Tye E. Bowers, Haley Brackett, Kenly R. Brown, Lily E. Brown, Matthew V. Byczynski, Meghan G. Byerly, Makayla N. Calaman, My'Lan Canty, Gavin M. Connors, Ashton S. Crump, Gillian R. Cunningham, Chase K. Curran, Cassandra J. Dellone, Emily K. Dias, Emelia Diaz, Abigail E. Dolmetsch, Jenna N. Donohue, Ean M. Dudley, Lana Dumnich, Rocco C. Dumnich, Kaitlyn M. Durgin, Victoria R. Duvall, Noah B. Eberly, Taylor K. Edwards, Spencer C. Ehrman, Maya N. Eiben, Alexis Esher, Camryn P. Eveler, Jillian N. Fetrow, Emma N. Fitzgibbons, Gloria E. Fleming, Brooks R. Gable, Lauren E. Garcia, Mileena A. Garonzik, Acetria Graves, Christopher J. Groff, Joseph P. Hanuska, Zachary D. Hine, Jacob M. Holt, Michaela G. Hoover, Delilah R. Hughes, Carly A. Jackson, Berry Jiang, Dalani M. Johnson, Katy E. Jones, Anthony J. Kalligonis, Ryan M. Kauffman, Megan A. Kelly, Anna C. Kerns, Hanni Kim, Ryan J. Kluttz, Cameron L. Koons, Justin N. Kopp, Frank L. Koprowicz, Olivia L. Krone, Hannah M. Lancaster, Kaitlin M. Landis, Stephanie N. Lentz, Aidan Lese, Kamryn E. Linsenbigler, Kemoni A. Lloyd, Brittany A. Loken, Hunter W. Long, Ethan Maddox, Breanna R. Malle, Ameer-Uddin A. Maniar, John A. Marseglia, Laylah L. Mauler, Sophia G. McHenry, Jacob F. McLain, Ibnat I. Meah, Matthew M. Mikita, Eliza K. Miller, Kelly N. Miller, Nicholas R. Miller, Rachel N. Miller, Shaley R. Mills, Phoebe Monger, Mark D. Morton, Diana A. Murillo Lozano, Lora R. Nowak, Sydney R. Ohl, Christopher J. Pantano, Dylan Patel, Lian S. Peach, Lena Pham, Blake M. Pitzer, Jamie E. Pottman, Mark J. Pottman, Kathleen E. Queenan, Ella Rager, Astha Ray, Ricardo J. Rivas, Madelyn Rodriguez, Savannah Rodriguez, Elizabeth A. Rodski, Aryan Saharan, Addison R. Sands, Audrey Sarro, Peyton H. Scarborough, Macy Schaefer, Milana R. Schechtman, Alison N. Schmit, Alexandra P. Scott, Ethan Shaffer, Matilyn E. Shandlay, Sushant Sharma, Chloe E. Sharp, Riley N. Sharp, Allison M. Shirey, Haley M. Shuck, John M. Shue, Chadee L. Simms, Clarissa K. Simms, Allison A. Smith, Holden Q. Smith, Shaelyn R. Smith, Collin A. Snyder, Ryan J. Snyder, Savannah L. Stallings, Jessica E. Sutton, Alexander N. Szewc, Amelia H. Tolerico, Abigail G. Trembly, Samantha A. Trumble, Emily K. Tsai, Nathaniel T. Ward, Darius P. Watkins, Abigail V. Way, Ella D. Weary, Samantha R. Weinstein, Sydney M. Weinstein, Michael R. Williams, David J. Willis, Cooper P. Willoughby, Gabrielle Wilson, Brynn R. Winemiller, Elaina L. Winemiller, Madison T. Wise, Michail Wise, Joseph P. Wolf, Helen M. Zardus, and Joseph A. Zeranski.

Sophomores who earned placement on the distinguished honor roll include Hannah O. Albrecht, Isha Amin, Isaiah A. Asah, Elise N. Baer, Gunnar A. Bakke, Macy E. Barker, Wyatt E. Bateman, Adam J. Beach, Grace E. Bernadzikowski, Ella J. Bernstein, Julia R. Beyer, Aaron L. Billings, Caio B. Bittencourt, Sarah E. Borger, Spencer Bowman, Casey A. Brady, Emerson P. Brockway, McKenna N. Brodbeck, Sarah Brooks, Kyle F. Bruner, Gabriel L. Buenaventura, Katelynn F. Clegg, Matteo Conigliaro, Skye M. Conners, Katherine M. Conroy, Matthew R. Conroy, Ryan M. Craig, William F. Cuculis, Brynn M. Darr, Nicole E. Daudelin, Kathryn S. Deitch, Emily M. Delp, Isha N. Dev, Megan E. Dubien, Tyler D. Dubien, Antonio C. Dumnich, Joel A. Dunnigan, Ethan Eckert, Alexander Ellerbee, Joseph Z. Emami, Jacob S. Feiser, Katelyn E. Figdore, Luca C. Fimmano, Leah A. Fleagle, Cade M. Fry, Laken M. Fry, Donivan M. Gardner, Georgi K. Georgiev, Bisman K. Gill, Abigail G. Godfrey, Adam C. Golden, Elizabeth M. Gunter, Shelby G. Hallett, Abigail L. Herbert, Brandon G. Herrin, Liana Hoffman, Jacob S. Horning, Jack A. Hotem, Benjamin Howell, Daniel Howell, Siena C. Howie, Julie A. Hulbert, Hannah I. Johnson, Mary H. Joyce, Emiley Kahl, Hannah E. Kaliszak, Kristopher A. Kniess, Russell L. Knight, Abigail F. Kowalski, Christine N. Kwon, Abigail G. Langmead, Alexis Lee, Katherine M. Leidy, Donghang Li, Ethan J. Lilie, Marissa A. Locondro, Jack Lynam, Brady P. Maitoza, Madison E. Markel, Tia R. Mathias, Edward L. Mattiko, Aeryn McClain, Nicholas R. McGlynn, Hannah N. Miller, Kristen E. Miller, Juhi M. Modi, Sarah T. Mtimet, Olivia M. Mumma, Erin S. Nelson, Riley N. Ness, Olivia J. Newcomer, Nautica M. Nolden, Alec C. Norris, Katherine L. Norton, Clare O'Brien, Emma Ockenhouse, Logan M. O'Shea, Benjamin H. Parde, Amani D. Patel, Audrey E. Peri, Kayla J. Peters, Michael E. Pierce, Tyler D. Rakerd, Dylan J. Rexroth, Jaden G. Rivera, Michael T. Roberto, Ashley N. Robinson, Kathleen M. Ronald, Jacob W. Rondeau, Karin M. Ruser, Sami A. Saarinen, Meghan B. Salaga, Eva M. Salyers, Larisa M. Samryk, Isabella M. Scarcelli, Emily M. Schuler, Chloe Seace, Tianna J. Seitz, Danielle M. Setzer, Michael S. Shirey, Jack E. Shuchart, Karissa A. Silar, Jocelyn E. Simpson, Georgios D. Skouras, Olivia K. Smeltzer, Haley A. Smith, Ryleigh Sowers, Joel T. Staub, Emily C. Stoner, Sara N. Stoolmaker, Haley A. Strayer, Alexander J. Suit, Hunter D. Sweitzer, Tyler M. Sweitzer, Claire N. Teyral, Joshua C. Thaler, Abigail G. Trauffer, Joshua D. Trout, Kade A. Warntz, Caroline G. Wentz, Collin Willett, DeAnna N. Williams, Christian M. Williamson, Taylor P. Witmer, Carson P. Wolf, and Wilson J. Zheng.

Juniors who earned placement on the distinguished honor roll are Keira L. Andrews, Dennis M. Andrus, Marissa L. Ashley, Emma G. Ashlin, Christina N. Baker, Stosh E. Beeler, Lauren D. Beharry, Emily L. Bender, Henry A. Bernstein, Samuel F. Betz, Alexandria M. Bielecki, Drew D. Binkley, Alec Bogash, Taylor D. Brackett, Ashleigh H. Brady, Makayla L. Braham, Ryan C. Breighner, Kelly E. Brosey, Andrew R. Brown, Travis M. Bubb, Kiley N. Buser, Kylie B. Calloway, Evan M. Carroll, Tatum M. Cassidy, Melody A. Chilcoat, Raymond J. Christas, Mitchell Clapsaddle, John M. Conner, Jordan R. Cook, Grace E. Coyne, Emmary R. Craun, Kristine Dadufalza, Ricky L. Dean, Kamryn A. Delaney, Zachary E. DePorter, Ayden J. Desenberg, Vignya Dontu, Danielle R. Dubois, Campbell E. Eckenrode, Yael N. Eiben, Jamal S. Evans, Derek L. Felton, Edwin E. Filpo Diaz, Alexa P. Fisher, Peyton N. Fox, Savannah L. Frankovitch, Isabella C. Fredo, Katie Fureman, Carly B. Gable, Ryan P. Getz, Emily A. Girouard, Piper E. Glattacker, Hannah Groft, Julia M. Hagen, Chloe J. Hale, Allison Hameier, Gavin N. Harvey, Megan V. Hastings, Alexa N. Haynes, Margaret L. Helmer, Ashley N. Henry, Austin J. Herbst, Gabriel C. Hiestand, Jacob R. Hogan, Paige T. Hohman, Brandon L. Hole, Alyssa F. Holmes, Sydney A. Hoover, Malachi Hughes, Marissa L. Hunt, Helaina J. Imhoff, Olivia A. Jackson, Kelsey M. Jacobson, Lillian P. Jamison, Samuel D. Jeffers, Kristina J. Jenkins, Taylor M. Jones, Necla E. Kara, Nevin E. Kara, Morgan N. Kistler, Alexa L. Knaub, Holden K. Koons, Jenna K. Krieger, Ashan M. Kumar, Elizabeth S. Kurian, Cole D. Larson, Hannah E. Larson, Dylan Lawson, Aaron Lee, Emma R. Lerch, Jordan F. Lese, Isaiah A. Lewis, Paul D. Lipinski, Benjamin G. Little, Ian C. Loughlin, Carter I. MacDonald, Maha Madapoosi, Ireland M. Maher, Michel J. Malda, Tatiana Matuszewski, Alexzander J. Mauler, Madeline R. McDermott, Aaron S. Merriel, Madison M. Miller, Samantha D. Miller, Natasha M. Milner, Madison B. Moore, Hannah C. Moose, P. Chase Morton, Caroline D. Muth, Olivia J. Myers, Amaya J. Nolet, Karoline A. Nyland, Dakota L. Oak, Olivia E. Orendorf, Matthew Y. Pak, Kush Patel, Jacob T. Plowman, Gabriella K. Pollak, Nylani L. Powell, Mary C. Price, Rebecca E. Rehrey, Aaron J. Reisinger, Lillian M. Ritz, Jasmine M. Roman, Robert M. Ross, Maximos J. Sacarellos, Emily N. Sarro, Nicole A. Sartalis, Melissa J. Sawor, Emma R. Schmitt, Abigail P. Schreck, Brooke A. Schwartz, Darren L. Sciortino, Zachary W. Scott, Joshua D. Sebastian, David W. Shird, Justin A. Sindelar, Lauren Smith, Morgan P. Smith, Jan A. Smolinski, Taylor Spinnicchio, Joshua Stefko, Evan R. Stein, Jordan E. Striebig, Lydia C. Stump, Tristan N. Swartz, Alexander D. Tolerico, Lyndsay R. Torkar, Donovan A. Trauger, Cindy Tsai, Caitlin A. Turnley, Alana R. Urban, Nicholas B. Vallari, Jonathan M. Vasold, Vincent A. Villani, Charlotte M. Weinstein, Alexis N. White, Emily M. White, Isaac D. Wilkins, Meghan L. Williams, Nzinga-Noni T. Williams, Skyler B. Wise, and Eva L. Wolfe.

Students in the senior class named to the distinguished honor roll include Kennedy A. Akpeneye, Kimberly N. Allen, Hannah K. Bachism, Sarah E. Baker, Rumaysaa O. Balleth, Jordann A. Beach, Madison Beard, Ellen E. Beechey, Taylor R. Bemisderfer, Brooke A. Bergman, Ephraim Berthold, Spencer M. Bertok, Eli A. Bitner, Brian J. Bixler, Alyssa M. Blouse, Sadie A. Bowman, Justine N. Boyle, Logan S. Brockway, Ryan W. Brown, Blake T. Bruner, Zoey T. Bruton, Brittany Burns, Madison S. Clapsadle, Rebecca M. Conroy, Wyatt G. Cunningham, Anthony S. Cuomo, Cade M. Curran, Dalton J. Daugherty, Sarah V. Deller, Kaitlyn A. DeStefano, Rebekah E. Dodson, Ryan T. Dodson, Chase A. Donelson, Austin G. Doutrich, Cara M. Druck, Marlena J. Dunnett, Katherine L. Easterday, Mary L. Emami, Mason E. Figdore, Lydia J. Fimmano, William J. Fitzgerald, Jasmine M. Floyd, Robert W. Fogle, Julia Fort, Gavin R. Franz, Christian A. Gideon, Carsyn N. Gold, Zachary B. Grant, Aaron D. Graser, Sarah L. Groetz, Victoria Gruen, Nathan W. Guess, Eion J. Hackett, Daniel J. Hanuska, Christine A. Harney, Zachary A. Hartman, Katelyn N. Herrin, Shane M. Hobbs, Allison G. Holt, Dennis R. Hopper, Anna S. Howie, Caroline R. Jennings, Garrett R. Johnson, Paige C. Jordan, Gaitlyn X. Key, Cali L. Kiessling, Kyle B. Kline, Wilson Knaub, Elyse G. Kohler, Hannah E. Langmead, Sarah M. Leader, Paul-Amaury R. Leclerc, Olivia G. Leiphart, Alyssa M. Magness, Anthony Manzo, Hannah G. Marshall, Janitha J. Martin, William J. Mathias, Chase A. Matthews, Brandon M. McGlynn, Olivia G. McLain, Ryan A. Menchey, Jonah C. Miller, Jordyn N. Miller, Thaddeus K. Miller, Ross A. Murog, Isabelle M. Myers, Kevin D. Myers, Megan E. Myers, Wyatt A. Myers, Ethan P. Nace, Neeharika Nallapati, Neilly C. Ndjee, Julianna H. O'Brien, Lindsay T. O'Rourke, Carlos Ortega, Riyana A. Owens, Kirsten E. Pace, Noah M. Pak, Nicholas J. Parker, Madeline C. Patton, Rachel A. Petree, Sydney M. Phillips, Ethan A. Pickett, Miranda C. Pinder, Nicholas J. Polli, Sara K. Preller, Georgia I. Prindle, Divya L. Rajachandran, Shreya J. Rajachandran, Michael V. Raucci, Gabriella M. Ream, Rachel L. Rehmeyer, Nathaniel B. Renner, Mia B. Rexroth, Jackson G. Rock, Victoria N. Romero, Caidan M. Rowe, Lauren E. Russell, Caleigh E. Rutledge, Themistokles G. Sacarellos, Luca Sanchini, Danielle C. Schoeppner, Rebecca L. Schweitzer, Aaron C. Scofield, Wesley A. Sechrist, Brandon Secret, Jordan T. Shaffer, Steele G. Shaffer, Robert E. Shue, Ryan T. Shuey, Quinten B. Slyder, Brett C. Smith, Ian M. Smith, Hannah P. Snowden-Rothwell, Violet E. Spahr, Kyle L. Spencer, Sarah A. Stager, Chad M. Starner, Daniel A. Stayer, Zachary T. Stomberger, Emma E. Stoolmaker, Emily M. Swartz, Keyra N. Swope, Nathan R. Tabb, Kaylee S. Thomas, Julia W. Thornton, Trevor N. Trout, Kenneth B. VanDoren, John F. Wang, Benjamin M. Ward, Megan E. White, Jordan E. Widdowson, Laura N. Willis, William M. Wise, Benjamin A. Writer, Cambrie E. Wynegar, Alyssa L. Yoder, John R. Zardus, Amy Zhong, and Dylan T. Zubkousky.


Thibodeau Earns Academic Honor January 16, 2018

Maranda Thibodeau of Chester Springs has been named to the fall 2017 president's list at Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, N.H.

Eligibility for the president's list requires that a student accumulate an academic grade point average of 3.7 to 4.0 and earn 12 credits for the semester.


Donations Pay Off Lunch Debts January 16, 2018

In December 2017, two anonymous donations paid off more than $800 of student lunch debt at Penn London Elementary School and Avon Grove Intermediate School, as well as the more than $1,600 lunch debt of Fred S. Engle Middle School (FSEMS) and Avon Grove High School students. Avon Grove students have received yet another random act of kindness, this time in the form of an ongoing donation. The donor, a local business owner, has committed to providing $250 per quarter to help ensure that all FSEMS students can move into high school without a lunch debt.

When asked what inspired the donation, the good Samaritan shared that the inspiration for the donation arose from partaking in an event at FSEMS. The donor wanted to help families in need and make sure all children are fed.

The Avon Grove School District policy provides full meals for all students. For students who are unable to pay, a negative balance is recorded, and weekly invoices are sent home. All students are eligible to receive meals regardless of their ability to pay. Twenty-seven percent of FSEMS students are enrolled in the free or reduced-price meal plan.


OMPH School Sets Open House January 16, 2018

Our Mother of Perpetual Help (OMPH) School, 330 Church Ave., Ephrata, will hold an open house on Sunday, Jan. 28, from 10 a.m. to noon. The community is welcome to attend. Visitors will have a chance to tour the school and meet teachers from preschool through eighth grade. Registration forms for the 2018-19 school year will also be available.

OMPH School offers a preschool program for children ages 3 and 4, as well as a full-day kindergarten program and classes for students in grades one through eight. The school strives to provide an excellent education in an environment that reinforces the Catholic identity. An on-site after-care program and financial aid are also available. Busing to OMPH School is provided by eight local school districts.

OMPH School welcomes children from the local Catholic churches, as well as interested members of the general community. The school is accredited through the Middle States Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. For more information, readers may call 717-738-2414 or visit


Center To Open Enrollment January 16, 2018

The Parent and Preschool Center, located at Mellinger Mennonite Church, 1916 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, provides opportunities for both parents and students. The school will begin accepting student applications for the 2018-19 school year starting on Monday, Jan. 29.

The center will also hold an open house for prospective families to visit the preschool from 9:15 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 7 and 8. Other hours of visitation can be arranged by calling 717-397-5717.

Classes are for children who will be ages 2 through 5 as of Saturday, Sept. 1. The school offers half-day sessions on one, two, or three days per week for children ages 2 through 5. In addition, a full-day prekindergarten program is offered from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on two or three days per week. Financial assistance is available depending on need.

The school strives to provide a loving and caring environment where students develop social skills, learn Bible stories, and become prepared academically for kindergarten. Keeping a close working relationship with the local schools is a priority as the center helps the children transition into the next stage of their education experience.

The center also provides a parent group called Connections on Tuesdays at 9 a.m., with child care for infants through kindergartners provided. A total of 40 or more women of all ages meet to enjoy fellowship, food, speakers, crafts, and learning while their children are cared for under the supervision of the Kiddie Korner and Story Hour staff.

Since 1977, the center has welcomed hundreds of parents and children from various religious and cultural backgrounds. More information is available at and on Facebook. Applications may be downloaded from the website and mailed with the registration fee. Interested individuals may also contact Christine Stahl, director, at 717-397-5717 or for more information or to schedule a visit.


Veterans Visit Memorials January 16, 2018

On Nov. 18, 2017, more than 100 veterans of the World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War eras gathered at Northeastern High School for the 12th Honor Bus trip. The trip was sponsored by the Northeastern High School Honor Bus Project, a group of students that escorts local veterans on all-expenses-paid trips to Washington, D.C., to visit the various memorials dedicated to their service.

During the recent trip, veterans also visited Arlington National Cemetery to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. All participants were treated to breakfast, a bag lunch, and a banquet upon return to Northeastern High School.

The 13th Honor Bus trip is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 28, and is open to all veterans of the following time period: World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War, Gulf Wars, and War on Terror. Anyone who has ever served in the military is welcome to take part.

For information and an application, readers may contact Duane Swartz at Northeastern High School at 717-266-3644, ext. 81307, or visit


School Posts Upcoming Events January 15, 2018

York Catholic High School has scheduled Catholic Schools Week activities.

To learn more, readers may contact Heather Hoffman, director of admissions and enrollment management, at 717-846-8871, ext. 220.

York Catholic will join the nationwide celebration of Catholic Schools Week from Saturday, Jan. 27, to Saturday, Feb. 3. Students will honor service to the community, faculty and staff, and religious life throughout the week with a variety of activities, including reading to children at partner schools, delivering gift bags and thank you notes to bus drivers and teachers, and helping the cafeteria staff serve lunch.

The public is invited to attend a family Mass on Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. in the auditorium to kick off the week. Afterward, the Battle of the Buildings will take place at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium. The friendly, inter-partner school competition will consist of games in the style of of "Minute to Win It." Teachers from St. John the Baptist, St. Joseph Dallastown, St. Joseph York, St. Patrick, St. Rose of Lima, and York Catholic will compete, and the families and students are invited to be spectators.

Later in the week, on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 1:30 p.m., York Catholic students and their grandparents may sit together at the Catholic Schools Week Mass. To register for the Mass, readers may contact Jennifer Sabo at or 717-846-8871, ext. 222, by Monday, Jan. 29.

The annual Student Talent Show will take place on Friday, Feb. 2, at 1:30 p.m. Students will have an opportunity to showcase their talents for their peers and teachers.

Through these events, York Catholic will seek to emphasize the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to the church, local communities, and the nation.


Penn State York Posts Graduates January 15, 2018

Penn State York recently announced students who received degrees during the December commencement ceremony. The event recognized graduates from fall 2017.

Students receiving associate degrees include Jason Gehris, Reading, mechanical engineering technology; David Gortman, Narvon, mechanical engineering technology; Jeffrey Parthree, York, information, sciences and technology; Justin Richard Smith, Ridgeway, business administration, magna cum laude; Kyle David Sprenkle, Red Lion, information, sciences and technology; and Dmitry Vasyanovich, Ephrata, electrical engineering technology.

Students receiving baccalaureate degrees are Angela Baker, Hellam, communication arts and sciences with a minor in business; Scott Burnett, Hanover; Ashly Decker, York, human development and family studies; Abigail Doniecki, Fawn Grove, biology; Ethan D. Fair, York, human development and family studies; Rebecca L. Gembe, York, human development and family studies; Christopher Hadfield, Hanover, business, magna cum laude; Marti Joines, Stewartstown, business; Bobbie Kaensokhamsaen, York, human development and family studies; Jacob Kissling, York, English; Michael Lynch, York, business, cum laude; Tyler McNamara, York, business; Nina Merson, York, communication arts and sciences; Leah Jo Mol, York, human development and family studies; Roberto Morales, York, information sciences and technology; Urmil Parikh, York, information sciences and technology with a minor in business; Goral M. Patel, York, science; Rachel Patz, York, human development and family studies; Clinton R. Pettey, Red Lion, science with a minor in business; Stacy Rae, New Freedom, human development and family studies with a minor in business; Peyton Smith, Red Lion, business; Sarah E. Stetzer, York, biology; Aradhya Tandon, York, information sciences and technology with a minor in business; Stephen Toms, Stewartstown, information sciences and technology; William R. Vaughan-Geib, Lancaster, business; Courtney Weibley, Manchester, psychology, magna cum laude; and Amanda Zech, York, English with a minor in business.

Several students received a Master of Education degree in teaching and curriculum. Those students include Christine Bean, Mount Joy; Douglas Gorham, Red Lion; Thomas Kramer, York; and Kristen Nowak, Dallastown.

In addition, some students attended other Penn State campuses, but participated in the Penn State York commencement. They include Kristyan Gates, Hanover, Associate of Science degree in Business Administration; Rachael Langford, York, Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing; and Robert Noble, New Cumberland, Bachelor of Science in science with a minor in kinesiology.


Catholic Schools Week Event Planned January 12, 2018

Resurrection Catholic School will join Catholic schools in Lancaster County and throughout the nation to celebrate Catholic Schools Week from Sunday, Jan. 28, to Saturday, Feb. 3. To celebrate, the school will host a Share the Light ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 11 a.m. The ceremony will bring together volunteers, families, donors, students and staff to share how Catholic education offers a strong academic curriculum that includes a spiritual component. Attendees may stay for a lunch with students in the cafeteria.

The school will also accept donations on Jan. 30, which the National Catholic Education Association has designated as a day of giving to Catholic education. Called "Many Gifts, One Nation: A Day of Giving to Catholic Schools," the event places special emphasis on social media, philanthropy and camaraderie. It invites people across the country who have been impacted by Catholic school education in ways big and small to financially donate at a local level.

All Lancaster County Catholic schools are part of the giving day. Resurrection will direct donations toward an ongoing effort to provide laptops to upper grade students. Of $20,000 needed, a total of $4,580 was raised during the Extraordinary Give in 2017.

Resurrection Catholic School will be open for visitors on Jan. 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., but anyone may visit any time by contacting the school.

The school's theme this year, "Family of Faith - Let Our Light Shine," inspired the school to thank its supporters during Catholic Schools Week with the Share the Light event.


MTSD Program Connects Students And Senior Citizens Via Technology January 12, 2018

When two Manheim Township senior citizens took their places at the Cyber Seniors class that kicked off at Manheim Township Public Library (MTPL) on Jan. 9, they were not hesitant to chat about their experiences with technology. While one senior cradled a smartphone in a blue case, the man seated across the table from her admitted, "I still have a landline at home." Both seniors had signed up for the class to learn how to use technology more safely and effectively with the help of a few Manheim Township School District (MTSD) staff members and students.

Developing relationships between area residents and students is an important goal of the district, according to Sharon Schaefer, principal of Brecht Elementary School and coordinator of the administrative team that launched Cyber Seniors. "We recognize that the community does much for our schools, so this was initiated so we could give back to the community," said Schaefer, who noted that the program was an initiative of Dr. Robin Felty, MTSD superintendent.

Classes will continue at MTPL on Tuesdays, Jan. 23, Feb. 6, and Feb 13. About 30 seniors signed up for the class, which is held at MTPL because of accessibility. Schaefer noted that the district hopes to hold similar programs in the future. "We thought we'd start with (the question) 'How can we help seniors?'" said Schaefer, who added that the second question was "How can we develop that relationship between students and seniors to bridge the generation gap?"

The one-hour class tackled a number of important subjects, beginning with online safety information provided by Tony Aldinger, MTSD director of instructional technology. "We really want to help them understand safety as they use technology," said Schaefer.

Another step was for class members to complete a survey about their specific needs. Seniors brought devices, including laptops, tablets, and e-readers, so that students could help them discover ways to use the technology they own. "We want to differentiate this as much as we can to address needs," explained Schaefer.

Organizers worked with the Manheim Township High School Student-led Tech Team to develop a brochure and other advertising materials for the program. "We did a commercial for students to learn about the opportunity, and we had a lot of interest," said Schaefer, who added that students received training prior to being paired with seniors in the class.

Schaefer noted that in addition to helping seniors with specific questions, the class would include information on charging and caring for devices. Other proposed class topics included video chat, email, surfing the internet for information, using social media, and finding videos of interest. Specific goals for the first session included setting up an email address for each senior and helping connect each cyber class member with MTPL. "(Senior citizens) can come here to access the internet and other resources," said Schaefer.

Organizers are looking ahead to bringing Cyber Seniors to other areas of the community. "We are developing this program to be sustainable," said Schaefer. "We would like to send students to local retirement communities or The E to forge relationships and partnerships. It's such a privilege to be working with the seniors in our community."

Readers who would like more information about future Cyber Seniors programs may call 717-291-1733 or email


Donegal Intermediate School Recognizes Students January 12, 2018


PVSD Holds "Read Under The Lights" January 12, 2018

On Nov. 2, Lancaster County saw unseasonably warm temperatures, reaching 74 degrees during the day. The mild evening weather was just about perfect for Pequea Valley School District (PVSD) to host Read Under the Lights from 6 to 8 p.m.

At the Pequea Valley High School (PVHS) sports stadium, located at 4033 E. Newport Road, Kinzers, two volunteers wearing Cat in the Hat signature white gloves handed out reading station schedules to families that entered. The backs of the schedules provided a blank page where children could obtain athlete autographs. All preschool- and elementary-age children and their families in the school district were invited to the literacy event, which featured 14 reading stations where PVHS athletes read a variety of books, held question-and-answer sessions, and promoted both literacy and their chosen sports.

At one station, Kailey, a Paradise Elementary student, waited to hear PVHS cheerleader Brianna Ford read a pirate book with help from fellow cheerleader Belle Buczynski. "I am here to look at books, and they will read to me," said Kailey, gesturing to the cheerleaders who volunteered to read to district youngsters for two hours. Other reading stations featured adventure books, nonfiction animal books, books about American heroes, and tales of the great outdoors, along with humorous books, books about history and sports, and more.

According to Katie Beiler, birth to 5 literacy liaison with PVSD, the idea for Read Under the Lights stemmed from a Literacy Is for Life conference she attended in Hershey in June. Beiler, along with elementary reading specialists LeeAnn Wenger from Salisbury Elementary and Marie Johnston from Paradise Elementary, heard about another school district that held a similar event. "We (borrowed) the idea and title ... from the other district," said Beiler, who added that the trio re-created the program to fit their needs with regard to what the stations looked like and the structure of the evening. "The thought behind the event was to make a fun literacy night for families," she noted.

At another station, Paul Stoltzfus, a member of the PVHS football team, quizzed the group of children seated on the ground in front of him on the story he had just read. "Do you guys know what the moral of the story is? The lesson (of the story)?" he asked. According to Beiler, that kind of interaction was important to the goals of Read Under the Lights. She added that incorporating reading into a night with high school athletes was key to grabbing the attention of younger children, who often look up to high school students. "Our hope is that seeing high school athletes engaging in literature will encourage more children to read," she said, adding that she hoped the students who attended saw the athletes as positive role models.

To provide additional interest to the event, children could complete door prize entries at each station they visited. Beiler noted that a number of local businesses provided prizes to be given away. The concession stand at the stadium was also open from 6 to 8 p.m. to offer snack foods for purchase. Beiler expressed thanks to all the volunteers, adding, "We also couldn't have made the night work without the help from athletic director Mark Grossman, football coach Mike Choi, and concession stand contact Jodi Arment."

Beiler noted that about 100 children and parents attended the first Read Under the Lights. "We hope to make this an annual event," she added.

More information about events in PVSD may be found at


Sophie's Garden Unveiled At Early Learning Center January 12, 2018

According to Jennifer Morales, academic and behavioral support coordinator at New Holland Early Learning Center (NHELC), student Sophie Stauffer loved birds, butterflies, the outdoors, and the center's kitchen. Sophie's mother, Amy, confirmed that one of Sophie's favorite activities was watching the birds and the butterflies out the bay window of the family's Narvon home and then looking for the creatures she saw in a nature book.

Sophie would have been 8 this year had she not succumbed to stage 4 brain cancer at the age of 30 months in 2012. Her brother, Jordan, still attends NHELC's summer camp program. For the last two years, Jordan and Jennifer have discussed ways to honor Sophie. "She was so little, but she touched each one of us in so many ways," noted Jennifer.

On Oct. 13, family members and friends of the Stauffer family gathered with students and staff members of NHELC to cut the ribbon that would officially open Sophie's Garden, a natural play area located in the center's playground. The garden area where the play area is located has been at the center for a few years, but in the last month or so, it was transformed into Sophie's Garden. "Now there is an outdoor kitchen, a tic tac toe log board, and a ladybug and caterpillar made from tires by staff member Danielle Walter that the (children) can climb on," said Jennifer. "There's a picnic table and hopscotch stepping stones."

NHELC is located in the New Holland Mennonite Church, 18 Western Ave., New Holland. Center staff members who worked on the project in addition to Jennifer and Danielle included Kylah Morales, Emina Hamzic, Karina Morales, and Bethany Crane Jacke, who donated all the flowers. Church members Lois Zimmerman and Mike Bortzel prepared the ground, and afternoon kindergarten students made the stepping stones for the garden. Church member Tim Martin and Martin Murrilo, who is a spouse of one of the NHELC employees, handled logistics. Church member John Heese built the outdoor kitchen playset.

When the group gathered at the garden, Jordan cut the ribbon, while his mother looked on with tears streaming down her face. "I wasn't allowed to look at (the garden before this)," said Amy. "I found out (about the garden) on my birthday, which was Sept. 28," she added. "My son kept it a secret for two years, and that is amazing."

"This has been my dream," said Jennifer. "I am excited it's finally happening."

NHELC is a nonprofit organization that provides care and learning activities for children from ages 6 weeks to 13 years. This year, for the first time, NHELC will be a participant in the Extraordinary Give. The 2017 Extraordinary Give event will take place on Friday, Nov. 17. This year, every dollar donated at will be stretched by funds from the Lancaster County Community Foundation and other local contributors. During the event, readers who would like to donate to NHELC may visit and search for "New Holland Early Learning Center."

Individuals who have questions about NHELC may call 717-354-4440.


Students Raise Funds For Winter Shelter January 12, 2018

Four ninth-graders from Elizabethtown Area High School recently teamed with the school's Student Council to raise funds for the Elizabethtown Winter Shelter. As part of the students' 20Time initiative, Alisia Alvarez, Taylore Bradley, Sophia Brinkman, and Makenna Heisey set a goal of raising several hundred dollars for the shelter. When all was said and done, they had exceeded their goal with a total donation of more than $1,505.

The four ninth-graders originally intended to raise the funds through bake and popcorn sales. However, they expanded their effort by seeking a partnership with the school's Student Council to donate a portion of the proceeds from every homecoming dance ticket sold. Led by Student Council president Logan Hoover and homecoming dance chairperson Erin Kraskewicz, the student organization agreed to donate $1 for every ticket sold and to give an additional $500 to the cause.

As part of the fundraising initiative to benefit the local shelter, the students took a tour of the shelter and learned about the services it offers local families in need of a place to stay. The tour was provided by Joanna Katherman, winter shelter coordinator. Accompanying the students on the tour were Richard Schwarzman, assistant to the superintendent, and Maura Hobson, high school principal.

The shelter is run out of the basement of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Elizabethtown. It provides a place for men, women, and children experiencing homelessness to get out of the cold and off the streets during the winter months.

20Time promotes real-world problem solving to achieve academic goals. It provides students the opportunity to work independently on a project that has a purpose.


Musicians Named To County Orchestra January 12, 2018

Lower Dauphin School District students will perform in the annual Dauphin County Orchestra Festival on Saturday, Jan. 20, at Hershey Middle School.

Performing in the Senior High Honors Orchestra will be Annie Dickinson, Aidan Ferguson, Ella Hickey, Olivia Kirsch, Nandini Patel, Allie Sassaman, and Faith Swanger, violin; Kailey Eldridge, Sarah Gingrich, and Abby Mauger, viola; Andrew Gilbert, cello; and Christian Gingrich, Vanessa Skidmore, and Ryan Pumo, string bass. David Pimentel of North Penn School District will conduct the orchestra.

The Junior High Orchestra will feature ninth-graders Katherine Foley, Angelina Smith and Rachel Steigerwald, violin; Maya Hoover and Anna Mauger, viola; Matthew Michalowski, cello; and Greyson Parks, string bass. Also performing will be seventh- and eighth-graders Stevie Clark, Audrey Meyers, Jacob Neithercoat, and Zoe Stoessel, violin; Jaiden Dissinger, Joseph Goduto, and Ava Kulp, viola; and Emma Dickinson and Ryan Stoe, cello. Brian Buterbaugh of West Shore School District will conduct the ensemble.

Performing in the Elementary Orchestra will be Lower Dauphin sixth-graders Austin Bechtel, Isaiah Bruce, Ella Clark, and Aaron Gingrich, violin; Abigail Foran, Sarah Gourley, Katie Mauger, and Marina Weidman, viola; and Silas Howard and Sarah Sells, cello. Fifth-graders performing include Conewago Elementary School's Lyla Kanode, violin; East Hanover Elementary School's Ellyana Snyder, violin, and Beatrice Yingst, viola; Londonderry Elementary School's Bethany Snavely, violin, and Virginia Huntzinger, viola; and South Hanover Elementary School's Lauren Gula and Chloe Chang, violin, Mason Dissinger and Chiara Mardegain, viola, Ada Hickey, cello, and Maddox Rooney, bass. Nye Elementary School fourth-grader Ada Howard will also play viola in the ensemble.

Krista Kriel of Gettysburg Area School District will be the conductor.


Students Participate In Hour Of Code January 11, 2018

Middletown Area School District students have been learning to code as part of the Hour of Code program. The global initiative aims to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming. It has become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with one-hour coding activities and expanding to all sorts of community efforts.

The coding enthusiasm began at Middletown Area High School and quickly spread to Middletown Area Middle School and Fink Elementary School. When Reid first-grade teachers Mrs. Pronesti and Mrs. Eppley heard about the global Hour of Code initiative being held during the week of Dec. 4 to 10, 2017, they challenged their 5- and 6-year olds to become coders. The challenge was accepted and conquered.

The young learners, who have been raised on cell phones, tablets, computers and video games, easily adapted to code language and were quickly completing simple programming tasks. On classroom electronic tablets, students were presented with challenges such as programming a critter to follow a specific pathway to reach an end goal such as food. The first-graders entered hundreds of lines of code to carry out specific tasks.

In addition to programming, the Hour of Code initiative also challenges students to tackle activities that do not use a computer. For their first project, the first-graders worked with Mrs. Moore's fifth-graders to build a paper ramp that could successfully support a rolling marble. In their second challenge, first-graders worked in pairs and used gumdrops and toothpicks to build a structure that would successfully hold a paperback book. The goal was to be persistent no matter how many times their structures failed.


Students Complete PULSE Program January 11, 2018

Two Middletown Area High School (MAHS) students, senior Richa Patel and junior Aayushi Patel, completed the PULSE course during the fall 2017 semester. Richa and Aayushi were grouped with other students from area high schools. Each group was assigned a specific infectious disease to research, study, and present as a final project.

Richa's group researched the West Nile Virus, while Aayushi's group studied the Chikungunya Virus, a mosquito borne virus similar to Dengue. Both groups researched the risk factors, pathology, symptoms, origin, economic cost, current research, treatment, public health protocol, and what can be done to prevent the spread of each virus.

Established in 2008, PULSE is the Penn State College of Medicine's educational outreach program for high school students who enjoy biomedical sciences. The PULSE program is a semester-long academic course taught at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. PULSE aims to cultivate interest in medicine, biomedical science, and healthcare systems science by introducing passionate learners to medical students, biomedical researchers, and practicing clinicians.


LCS Sets Open House Events January 11, 2018

Lititz Christian School (LCS) and Early Learning Center, 501 W. Lincoln Ave., Lititz, will host an annual open house on Friday, Feb. 2, at 9 a.m. New this year, an evening open house has been scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. Both events will include a brief welcome session followed by a tour of the school facilities.

Lititz Christian Early Learning Center is a Keystone Stars 3 establishment, providing care and instruction to children from 6 weeks of age through prekindergarten.

Lititz Christian School provides academics for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Partial-day and full-day kindergarten options are available. Smaller class sizes allow for increased hands-on, project-based learning and a STEAM educational approach.

Founded in 1978, the private, college preparatory school aims to partner with Christian families to provide a biblical, academic education that prepares students to honor Jesus Christ in scholarship, vocation, and lifestyle.

For more information, readers may visit or contact Niki Cadwalader, admissions director, at or 717-626-9518.


Conestoga Elementary Launches Composting Program January 11, 2018

Conestoga Elementary School students and staff are participating in a food-composting pilot program that is designed to cut cafeteria waste while creating compost for the school's garden. The "Kids Can Compost!" project has been undertaken by The Edible Classroom, which specializes in helping schools to develop learning gardens, with assistance from the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA).

To introduce students to the project and the importance of composting, Beth Horst of The Edible Classroom met with classes in grades one through six during the week of Dec. 3. In a compost bin, foods like carrots and banana peels can decompose in a few months, Horst explained, unlike food buried in a landfill, which may not decompose for many years due to a lack of oxygen to support the organisms that would break down the waste. The following week, students and parent volunteers, with help from Horst and Manor FFA members, implemented a new mealtime routine.

At the end of each meal period, students deposited their biodegradable fruit and vegetable scraps into composting buckets instead of trash bins. The food waste was weighed before it was pulled by wagon out to the three-bin composter in the school garden that was built by Penn Manor High School junior Matt Julian as an Eagle Scout project. In just one week, students diverted 145 pounds of food scraps from the waste stream. After the first week, a group of elementary students began running the composting program.

The project is not designed to just cut waste. Horst said that she hopes it motivates students and their families to practice good environmental stewardship.

"I hope students are inspired to know that even they can take part in reducing waste and transforming it into something useful, like compost," Horst remarked. "We want students to share what they've learned at home to open up the conversation about rethinking waste as a resource."

If there is enough interest from the school and parents, The Edible Classroom will offer a free home-composting workshop at the school's end-of-year picnic.

The Edible Classroom is seeking sponsors in addition to the LCSWMA so it can offer the program to other schools in Lancaster County.

For more information on the composting program, readers may visit

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