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After School Program Launches Kindness Movement in Troubled Neighborhoods

Posted on November 7, 2018

Johnstown, PA (Nov. 5, 2018) -  Children in grades K-7 from The Learning Lamp After School Outreach Program in Johnstown’s Moxham, Oakhurst and Coopersdale neighborhoods are learning to “Choose Love,” and they are sharing that message with friends and neighbors in the communities where they live.

During the week of November 5-8, from 4 to 6 p.m.,Outreach participants will begin work on “We Choose Love” banners that will hang in Johnstown Housing Authority community centers in Oakhurst and Coopersdale and the Park Avenue United Methodist Church in Moxham where the three sites are located. Activity time will also be devoted to creating messages of kindness and decorating homemade “kindness capsules” that will be hand delivered to family, friends and neighbors.

The Learning Lamp adopted elements of the “Choose Love Enrichment Program™for its series of free summer camps in 2018. “Choose Love” is an evidence-based program rooted in research on emotional intelligence, resilience, post-traumatic growth, neuroscience, mindfulness/focused attention and social-emotional learning. The program is part of an overarching initiative to provide at-risk children enrolled in The Learning Lamp After School Outreach Program with a trauma-sensitive setting.

Research has shown that when children are exposed to serious traumatic events such as domestic violence, neglect or loss of a parent from death or incarceration, it can dramatically impact the developing brain, hinder learning and lead to an array of physical and emotional health and behavioral problems later in life. The “Choose Love” movement at Outreach recently took on added importance in the wake of a murder and double shooting in Oakhurst last week and a hate-fueled massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in nearby Pittsburgh.

The Learning Lamp’s Trauma-Informed Teaching/Learning Strategies Initiatives is made possible by grants from Walmart, Lee Initiatives, United Way of the Laurel Highlands, PNC Charitable Trusts and Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.

For more information, please contact Prevention Programs Manager Lisa Stofko at 814-262-0732 extension 249.

The Learning Lamp is a nonprofit organization with a mission to engage all children in the support they need to succeed. We deliver high quality programs that are affordable and accessible to families of all income levels. The Learning Lamp served 37,197 children and adults from 52 school districts and 71 non-public and private schools and other organizations in 19 Pennsylvania counties and communities in Maryland and West Virginia in 2017.

Our programs include: one-to-one tutoring; before/after school programs; portable classrooms aimed at building math and science skills; alternative education programs for at-risk students; evidence-based prevention programs; online learning and credit recovery; SAT preparation; educationally-focused child care; literacy-based preschool programs; and grant writing and project consulting for schools.


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