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Country Life Programs Success Center launches summer student learning program in Springville

UNDER CONSTRUCTION — The church house has gotten new siding and a new roof, with a grant from the Erie County Rehabilitation Program. Labor was done by Cirbus Contracting. Photos submitted by Jeannine Klock.
SPRINGVILLE — For the Country Life Programs Success Center, it’s all in the family.

Jeannine Klock, Nina Benz and Stacy Grigsby, great-grandchildren of Mark and Edna Bobseine’s, are working together, along with Boys & Girls Club Director Andy Bobseine, to enact community-oriented education programs in Springville, this summer. They are following in great-grandmother Edna Bobseine’s footsteps. She taught in a one-room schoolhouse, in the early 1900s.

“It’s in our blood,” Benz explained. We have been blessed with the greatest teachers of all and it is our time to make a difference in children’s lives, by what we can teach and share with them.”

Klock, a teacher, said she first got the idea for the CLPSC in 2003, when she decided to renovate the former Assembly of God Church, located at 79 Smith St. in Springville, as a home and future tutoring center.

“It had no windows and no heat,” she said. “But I had a vision, to open a tutoring center.”

UNDER CONSTRUCTION — The building now known as the church house has gotten new siding and a new roof, with a grant from the Erie County Rehabilitation Program and labor courtesy of Cirbus Contracting.
Work on the building she and her family dubbed “the church house” began, and her son’s friends started coming over, to watch the construction’s taking place. Reading with a few of the middle schoolers, on the front porch, turned into tutoring 20 students in reading, math and exam preparation.

A series of personal injury accidents waylaid Klock from her goal, for several years, although she managed to write and publish a children’s book, during that time.

In 2009, she and her “adopted family member,” Lisa Miskell, opened a tutoring center in Grand Island. That facility was subsequently forced to close, 6 months later.

Despite a succession of obstacles, Klock has still not given up on her dream.

“We’re making this happen,” she said. “We’re doing it on a zero budget. We’re trying to help the children, here in this community, and we have had so many volunteers; so many people who want to help us.”

A grant from the Erie County Rehabilitation Program has contributed to the property’s construction, as well as donations from Joe Gugino of B&B Homes and Bryan Cirbus of Cirbus Contracting, who have both helped with the renovations.

Klock said that she hopes to have a grand opening of that facility, in the fall, since the interior of the building still needs work.

“We’re always looking for help,” she added. “If any high school students are interested in helping; if they need something to do, our contractors have offered to teach them [carpentry] skills and help them learn.”

UNDER CONSTRUCTION — The building now known as the church house has gotten new siding and a new roof, with a grant from the Erie County Rehabilitation Program and labor courtesy of Cirbus Contracting.
In the meantime, the CLPSC will run its summer program out of The Crossing Church, located at 23 East Main St. in Springville, starting shortly after July 4. The program, which will utilize project-based learning that gets students involved in the community, is aligned with common core standards and designed to get students engaged in their own learning process.

A number of local businesses have partnered with CLPSC, to enact their projects, including Julie’s Pizzeria, which has offered to show the students how to make pizza; Kempo Karate, which will provide a karate demonstration and Yarn-It, which will teach the students how to make a craft to donate to senior citizens at local nursing homes.

The students will also have the opportunity to visit local businesses and learn how the owners undertake their daily operations, according to Klock.

“We want them to come back and collaborate, using higher-level thinking, to offer ideas about how the businesses could be better run, ‘out of the mouths of babes,’” Klock explained.

Through what it has dubbed “the young authors club,” CLPSC will help students write and publish their own books, with the opportunity to have their books sponsored by a local business and illustrated by a high school student partner.

“We want students to experience how it feels to be an author,” Klock explained. She is planning a “book crawl,” in which each student will set up in a local business and read his or her story to community members.

The group also has plans to teach students how to manage money, by undertaking a fictitious career, shopping for and financing a house, with the cooperation of local realtors.

The CLPSC uses a program called Project Child as a delivery model, for 20 – 25 students, in small group settings.

Miskell called that method “learning in a fun environment.

“It’s project-based learning that sparks an idea and gives it speed,” she explained. “We give students ways to ask questions, write about it and get their education, out in the community. It’s unique and innovative. A lot of kids spend their summers at soccer camp or art camp and that’s great, but ours is more a focus on academics.”

The tutors, who are all certified teachers, will assess each participant’s needs and strengths, incorporating music and the arts into math and reading instruction.

“For the most part, in today’s classrooms, teacher’s talk to the kids. They lecture,” Klock said. “We explain what we want them to do and facilitate their learning. We work by Ben Franklin’s quote, ‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’ That’s who we are. We encourage them to take ownership of their learning.”

Benz said that she will use her piano-playing abilities to help students learn both music and other disciplines.

“Music and art is incorporated into everything we do,” she explained. “It’s integral to the reading and math curriculum. Research shows that participation in music helps students comprehend better. It’s my way of sharing my gift.”

Although the CLPSC is geared toward students in kindergarten – sixth grade, Klock said that “we are here to help anyone.

“We’re getting out there, to reinforce the love of reading, in our community,” she added.

If high school students or adults want to learn how to read or improve their literacy skills, the CLPSC has devised a volunteer program, in which those older students can be assessed, to see what level would be most appropriate, for them. The older students, once they have been screened for participation, can then volunteer to help the children learn, while improving their own skills, at the same time.

In addition, the CLPSC has partnered with Seth Wochensky and the Springville Center for the Arts, to create a cybercafe for high school students, as a place for students to go, before or after school, to study or socialize.

“Eight students approached us and said that they’re looking for a place to call their own,” Klock said. “Seth has offered the Arts Underground, for this purpose. The students are going to meet, to design the space, create rules and decide how they want it to run.”

Miskell said that she thinks that program will empower the teens.

“When you’re a teen, you’re more inclined to take care of something, if you have ownership of it. They get to decide if they want to meet in the morning or the afternoon and if they want to do summer activities.”

Those high school students will also partner with the young authors club, to illustrate the kids’ books.

“We’re going to have the students read to a high school audience, and then the [high school] students will pick a child to mentor. That’s what we’re envisioning,” Klock said. “We haven’t forgotten about the high school students. We want them to be involved, as well.”

Because the CLPSC is classified as an educational service, it is only allowed to operate 2 1/2 hours, per day. For that reason, Bobseine has offered to partner with the CLPSC to offer a discount, to students who want to enroll in the Boys & Girls Club programs, in addition to the CLPSC, to keep kids occupied while parents are at work.

“It’s important to know that it’s cheaper than paying a private tutor,” Klock said, of the unique character of the program.

“They get 2 1/2 hours of instruction, instead of [the standard] one, plus all this community involvement, the opportunity to publish a book and raise money for the community.”

In addition to the summer programs, which Klock said she hopes to extend into the fall, the group has begun to install book boxes, around the area, with an eventual goal of constructing a book box in front of each Springville business, shaped like the business itself.

“It’s a free book exchange, where people are invited to take a book [from the box] and leave a book,” Klock said, about the program. “It’s not to take away from the library, because we want them to get their funding, too. It’s to support the library.”

The CLPSC also plans to open a pet food pantry, in conjunction with the Springville Trading Post.

“Pets play a huge part in the therapy process, even for struggling readers,” Klock said. “We want to show the children that simple joy that a pet can bring to your life.”

Although there have been many obstacles to getting the program off the ground, Klock said she “is not giving up yet.

“This is a passion,” she said. “It’s a passion for the children and for the future of Springville.”

An all-you-can-eat pancake dinner fundraiser for CLPSC will be held at McDonald’s on Cascade Drive in Springville on June 18, from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

To register or, for more information, call 592-2045 or 560-5832 or email countrylifeprograms@gmail.com.




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2013-06-17 | 18:55:19
Springville Fluoridation
What an absolutely fantastic and fact-filled article on fluoridation. Kudos to Mr. Rowley, Mayor Krebs, and Dr. Rumfola for supporting fluoridation based on the credible scientific research, and not listening to the fear-invoking anti-fluoride crowd. Your children and grandchildren will thank you for decades to come. Life is better with teeth :)
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