"Outreach to Teach"

Tuesday Apr 12th, 2022

McKinley Elementary, a United Way community school, welcomed more than 150 Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) volunteers through their doors this past Friday, April 8, in support of the “Outreach to Teach” community service project.
Every year PSEA hosts a conference in a different city, this year being Erie. After the conference is complete PSEA connects with a local agency to carry out a service project. 

In 2022, PSEA volunteers had "opportunities to connect, grow and make a difference” at McKinley. 

Dana Suppa, McKinley’s Principal, Jackie Bull, McKinley’s Vice-Principal and Amy Grande, McKinley’s Community School Director knew it was a no brainer when PSEA presented the opportunity. 
Grande mentioned, “We were so excited to welcome the students and staff of PSEA to our building and are so grateful to be the chosen site. Our school is a happy place for students, staff and families. We learn, we laugh and we have fun together every day.”

But what exactly does this project look like? Each project, every year, looks different with the needs and desires of the receiving agency. McKinley proposed mural-based projects to be painted across the school.  
Grande said, “This project gives us the opportunity to brighten up our space and help make our building look the same way it feels when you walk in!” 

Beginning in Fall 2021, Amy, McKinley leadership, Chris Clayton, Director of Education Services for PSEA, United Way, Erie Public Schools, Edinboro University (EU) of Pennsylvania and more met monthly to work through the planning process for “Outreach to Teach.” In response, volunteers came out days and weeks prior to the main event to stencil, tape and even begin painting.

Clayton pointed out, “This project is happening with a lot of partnerships, dedication and hard work.” 
All efforts came to life on Friday when hundreds of volunteers walked through the front doors of 933 East 22nd Street. Amy and Mike Jaruszewicz, Vice President of Community Impact at United Way helped kickstart the event with remarks before deploying the volunteers to their respective projects. 
Jaruszewicz commented, “Students will be able to walk in here every day, and for years to come, and remember how the community surrounded them with arms of support."
The various projects ranged from the community schools logo to a butterfly, colorful pencils and paintings, portraits, words of affirmation, phrases and more.  
Jessica Borchert, an art therapy student from EU said, “Seeing beautiful colors can do something to your brain where it releases endorphins so, we are hoping this project helps support our community and them being part of the art.” 
We cannot wait to see the Mariner’s reactions when they return to school after their Spring Break. Stay tuned for pictures in a future Weekly InBrief!