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Lehighton parents work to make transition to 1 elementary school easier for students

Combining four elementary schools into one can be a scary endeavor for students, but parents in Lehighton Area School District are hoping to make the transition less stressful.

The “One Book, One School” initiative is just one of the ideas several members of the Lehighton’s Title I parents program brought back from this year’s State Parent Advisory Council conference.

One of the Title 1 parents, Tonya Heckman, said the idea is for everyone at the individual elementary schools to read the same book, which would coincide with related activities to help bring the school together.

“In the example we heard about at the conference, everyone from the janitor to the students to the cafeteria workers read the book and each day there would be something related to the book that would happen in the school,” Heckman said. “The book they read was from the World According to Humphrey series and it really changed the culture at that school.”

Assistant to the Superintendent Tim Tkach said Lehighton is planning to try the exercise this year at the four schools and then again next year when everyone is under one roof.

“It’s a great way to open up the elementary center because it’s something all of the students would have in common,” Tkach said.

Heckman and fellow parent Christina Bravo received parent leadership awards at Lehighton’s school board meeting Monday night. Heckman said her main goal is to help make a difference.

“This was my third year attending the SPAC conference and I think it was the best year yet,” she added.

Gloria Bowman, board president and chair of Lehighton’s Title I advisory committee, said Heckman and Bravo are “very involved, engaged and creative” when it comes to Title 1 activities.

“We’re very fortunate to have parents like Tanya and Christina,” Tkach said. “We’re always trying to get parents involved and they have a lot of tremendous ideas for the district. Part of the plan is to have that elementary center humming every night and a lot of what they brought back goes hand in hand with that.”

Another idea from the SPAC conference included a family book night or a craft night,” Heckman and Bravo said in a Title I meeting this summer.

“We’re just really tipping the iceberg,” Tkach said. “They have another great idea about how to open up the elementary center that I think everyone is going to love.

“We’re kind of keeping that under wraps for right now, but it’s an idea that could really go a long way in breaking the fear of both the students and the parents.”