Mt. Pleasant Area School District, ABB partnership grows during second year of volunteer program
This afternoon, ABB Inc. and Rumbaugh Elementary School, in partnership with United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, concluded its expanded second year of “Companies in the Classroom,” a special volunteer effort from United Way's education department to increase childhood literacy in classrooms and homes and introduce students to local career opportunities.
Volunteers from ABB visited classes over several weeks to read to students, give out free books and talk to students about their jobs. Last year the project debuted in the school’s kindergarten classes. This year, it expanded to every class in Rumbaugh Elementary, working with over 150 kindergarten and first grade students.
“This project is all about getting high quality early reading materials into the hands of students,” said United Way’s education program manager Jesse Sprajcar.
“The more reading opportunities kids have, the more likely they are to succeed academically, and later, professionally. Plus, with ABB so close to this school and community, we have a great opportunity to introduce students to a local industry. Like reading, the more careers we can show students early on, the more interested they’ll be in their own career path.”
This week, volunteers read A Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo Willems to kindergarteners and Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin first graders. They also led classroom discussions and helped students complete a craft project. Before departing, they gave each student a copy of the day’s book to take home and donate one to each classroom’s library.
In addition to providing volunteer readers, ABB also donated $2,500 of school supplies to Rumbaugh Elementary, including highlighters, crayons, tissues, glue and cleaning supplies.
“These supplies arrived at a perfect time, during the second half of the year, when inventories and budgets are getting low,” said Sprajcar.
Eleven ABB volunteers began visiting classes bi-weekly in February. In total, volunteers have logged 90 hours of service and helped distribute 960 books to students.
Companies in the Classroom is coordinated by United Way, which supplies all books and craft materials, provides volunteer training, clearances and scheduling, and provides on-site support to volunteers and teachers at each session.