Success by 6, Big Gift, Enrollment Gains

Struthers Kindergarten Students Get Head Start
STRUTHERS, Ohio – Forty-five students in the incoming Struthers kindergarten class stepped into the classroom early as part of the United Way Success By 6 program.

The three-week program helped new students become familiar with classroom routines, learn school and teacher expectations, and practice some of the academic curriculum before they began kindergarten.

Activities focused on literacy, with rhyming and letter recognition, as well as math, with counting, grouping and shapes. Other activities expand students’ social and emotional learning.

“The United Way program is so beneficial for our kindergarten parents and students as they prepare for the most important year of their education,” says Joan Jones, Struthers Elementary School assistant principal.

“As the children acclimate to the building and our routines, they come in ready to learn when we begin school,” she says.

The school’s award-winning Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support program emphasizes the respectful, responsible and positive behaviors expected in the classrooms, hallways and at lunch, according to Jones.

Along with sponsoring Success By 6, the United Way continues its support of Struthers families throughout the school year with its Success After 6 program.

“We’re thankful for the support of the United Way in helping set children up for success in their education,” says Jones. “This sets a positive tone and creates a great foundation as they start their journey here at Struthers Elementary School.”

Kohlis’ Gift Will Keep Equipment Up to Date At YSU Training Center
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Just a few short weeks after Youngstown State University officially opened the Excellence Training Center, a new gift from longtime benefactors will ensure the space is kept up-to-date with new technology as the years go on.

On Aug. 23, Dr. Chander Kohli and Karen Kohli, his wife, were honored for their $3.9 million gift that will see the building that houses the training and workforce development center named in their honor – Kohli Hall.

The gift follows the couple’s $1.1 million donation made in 2017 that allowed the university to upgrade 17 classrooms with Cisco Spark stations, virtual learning environments and video conferencing tools. Combined, the two donations match the largest private gift in YSU history.

“The outside was finished but I don’t think they were wrapped up inside yet,” Chander Kohli said of his first visit to the Excellence Training Center about four months ago. “They brought us over here to show us what the building was because of the 17 classrooms of the future at the university and they wanted to add two more. We said, ‘Sure, we’ll do that.’”

PSU Shenango Campus Sees Gains in STEM, Career Placement
SHARON, Pa. – Fall enrollment at Penn State Shenango is projected to be very close to 2020 numbers, with admissions reporting about a 5% increase in new students year-over-year. STEM and health care are majors of interest, says a campus spokesman.

In recent years, the campus has seen steady enrollment growth in STEM students.

To meet the need for dynamic learning spaces, Penn State University last year invested $8.5 million in Shenango’s Forker Laboratory.

“Forker Lab is at the heart of our campus and this renovation will upgrade the building to match the high level that our faculty are already teaching at,” Campus Director Jo Anne Carrick said at the time. “This renovation allows us to offer more diverse STEM courses. We want to create jobs and keep people employed in the city of Sharon.”

Career placement is ingrained in the culture and curriculums at the campus, with many of its majors requiring or promoting internships and clinical experiences before graduation, officials say. This helps students build a network of connections with local employers and gain real work experience.

Pre-graduation surveys of Penn State Shenango seniors from the 2020-21 school year found that 78% had either secured local employment or planned to further their education.

Junior Achievement Golf Tourney Raises $42,505  
POLAND, Ohio – The inaugural Swing Fore JA Golf Classic raised $42,505 to support programming by Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley.

“We are thrilled that this year’s golf outing raised enough funds to ensure that more than 1,700 area K-12 grade students will receive Junior Achievement programs presented by local volunteers this fall,” says Brian Mellott, committee chairman and director of financial operations at Southwoods Health. The event was held at The Lake Club in Poland.

Junior Achievement serves more than 13,000 Mahoning Valley students annually, delivering 600 programs to area classrooms, says Mahoning Valley President Michele Merkel.

“The need to expose our youth to entrepreneurship, financial literacy and career exploration is now more significant than ever,” Merkel says.

Pictured: YSU President Jim Tressel presents Dr. Chander Kohli with the plaque recognizing the gifts made by him and his wife, Karen, to the university.