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United Way Announces Support of Ice House Pilot in Erie Middle Schools

L to R: Bill Jackson, United Way of Erie County president, Bea Habursky, Erie's Public Schools assistant superintendent, Beth Zimmer, Innovation Collaborative managing director, County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper and Dean Maynard, IU5 Executive Director

United Way of Erie County has announced support of the Innovation Collaborative and Erie Public Schools pilot program Ice House Entrepreneurship Training, developed by the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (ELI). ELI’s main focus is to instill an entrepreneurial mindset to expand each individual’s potential.

Every seventh grade student (850+) in Erie’s Public Schools will receive a copy of Who Own’s the Ice House? written by Pulitzer Nominated Author Clifton Taulbert and Gary Schoeniger, Founder of the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative. Students will read Who Own’s the Ice House?, and will participate in whole and small group discussions and classroom exercises to learn and understand the “eight life lessons from an unlikely entrepreneur.” All seventh grade social studies teachers and select administrators will receive training on October 9, 10 and 11 to learn how to best approach the new curriculum.

In addition to United Way’s funding support, the Intermediate Unit #5 (IU5) will take a leadership role in the pilot Ice House program. IU5 will be measuring outcomes and plans to take the program to other districts beyond Erie’s Public Schools. The program’s outcomes will include, but are not limited to, increased career exploration and engagement in students’ future, growth in humanistic outlook, and development of 21st century skills. Funding will be used to accredit two master trainers in Erie County, faculty training, license for the curriculum, cost of 850 books for seventh grade EPS students and access to technical assistance online.

Gary Schoeniger will be speaking in the Erie area about his success as an author and entrepreneur at a keynote address entitled “An Entrepreneurial Mindset for Student Success” scheduled for October 9 at 5:30pm at the Blasco Library. Based on Schoeniger’s 15 years of research, he has developed an entrepreneurial education and training program to ingrain an entrepreneurial mindset in individuals.