Back-to-School: Hair Affair: In preparation for the first day of school, the Berwick Area United Way teamed up with ten stylists from seven salons, to provide 50 Berwick Area School District students with fresh, clean haircuts in hopes of eliminating the financial burden from families and boosting students' confidence.
Berwick Farmers Market: Every year from June through October our market coordinator supports a number of local businesses as they set up for the Berwick Farmers Market. Local crafters, artisans, and farmers offer a wide variety of goods to our community. We ensure people of all incomes can eat healthy local foods by offering the ability to use SNAP, WIC, and Senior Vouchers at our market. If you are interested in being a vendor, contact our market coordinator Monica at email@example.com.
Book Drive & Distribution: Over 2,400 books were distributed to Berwick Area School District elementary students at no cost in 2022. Students choose books of their interest, within their reading level, to begin building at-home libraries. The book distributions were held in late spring to encourage students to read over summer break and avoid the "summer slide." The 2023 Book Drive will run April 3rd through April 28th. Please check our Facebook or the "Events" tab for more information.
Dolly Parton Imagination Library: Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age give, no matter their family's income.
Literacy Kits: Literacy Kits were distributed to 129 children ages three to five. They contained a variety of fun learning activities designed to support letter and number recognition, counting, and recognizing patters and provide caregivers tools to support a child's language, literacy skills, and creative thinking.
Little Free Pantries: These pantries, similar to the Nurse's Pantry, are filled with nonperishable foods, hygiene products, and warm clothing. The pantries are located around the Berwick area and available for anyone, to take anything they need, at any time.
Read Across America Day: Read Across America Day promotes reading for young children. United Way volunteers enter all elementary classrooms to read books and to discuss the importance of reading with students.
Read Across America Day is scheduled for Thursday, March 2nd. If you would like to be a guest reader, please contact Ayrin Shortlidge at Coordinator@BerwickAreaUW.Org.
Rested & Ready: This initiative is an effort to help school-aged children get off couches or floors and into a warm, clean bed. Consistently getting a good night sleep is imperative for school success. In addition to a twin mattress and bed frame, children also receive a pillow and bedding set of their choice.
The Nurse's Pantry: A simple concept with tangible results. The Nurse's Pantry is an in-school supply of clothing, hygiene items, and other wellness products to help children with immediate needs and prevent absenteeism.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA): This program provides free income tax return preparation to limited income families. 776 returns were completed for the 2021 tax year, returning $1,152,007 to area residents and saving $136,576 in tax return preparation fees.
Life’s Challenges: $16,500
AGAPE’s Life Challenges program provides clients with financial assistance for various life essential needs, including: rent/mortgage, heat and other utilities, temporary lodging, transportation, car repairs, gasoline, medical/prescription expenses and other miscellaneous expenses. This idea is to support community residents who are living paycheck to paycheck but may not qualify for other types of poverty assistance.
Early Childhood Education: $12,500
The Early Childhood Development program operates year-round from 6:30am-5:30pm. This program identifies and enrolls low income families in an effort to improve the pre-kindergarten education of children enrolled while allowing parents to work, thereby alleviating poverty and strengthening the family unit. Children follow an established curriculum that is aligned with the kindergarten curriculum provided by the school district to provide the best preparation for successful and seamless transition to kindergarten.
Emergency Shelter: $10,000
Breaking the Cycle: $10,000
It is important that Beyond Violence can continue to provide shelter for physically and/or emotionally battered women and children. The shelter provides a safe haven for women and children so they can reassess their lives and begin the healing process.
Beyond Violence, Inc. has presented the “Breaking the Cycle” program to the Berwick Middle and High School students since 2015. The three modules used include information on self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth; dating rights and responsibilities, understanding components of health relationships; and defining warning signs of unhealthy relationships. Through a partnership with Geisinger, they also include a module addressing the opioid crisis and how it parallels healthy and unhealthy relationships; further enhancing students’ skills for responsible decision making and conflict resolution, called Too Good for Drugs.
Preschool Vision Screening & Eye Safety Education: $1,000
Central Susquehanna Sight Services, Inc. offers preschool vision screenings (lay screening, not intended to take the place of a professional eye examination) and educational programming on good eye health and good eye safety for preschoolers and first graders. This program will help to identify those preschools that may be at risk for vision problems. Follow-up is crucial to this program should a preschooler be referred. Follow-up is made encouraging parent/guardian to seek the professional comprehensive eye exam.
Parents as Teachers: $22,500
With BAUW allocated dollars, the Columbia County Family Center served 8 families with the evidence-based Parents as Teachers Model (PAT). PAT has four components: personal home visits, group connections, screenings and connections to resources. During each home visit a parent-child activity was completed, developmental information was presented, parenting topics were discussed, and family well-being was reviewed. Enrolled children receive an annual health screening to make sure they are up to date on immunizations, no hearing or vision concerns are present, good dental hygiene practices are in place, etc. The group connections are held monthly and provide families with socialization opportunities and an increased awareness of community resources.
2-1-1 Help Line: $2,500
Help Line is an information and referral service and first response point for crisis calls in Bradford, Clinton, Columbia, Lackawanna, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne and Wyoming counties. It operates twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, staffed by trained caseworkers as a program of the Family Service Association of NEPA.
Education Expansion Development: $18,000
For The Cause Teen Center’s Education Expansion Development will include an extensive tutoring program, a formal schedule of youth counseling services, and a “How To” life-skills and soft-skills class. Tutoring services will be available for reading, math, science, English composition and comprehension, as well as the Spanish language. The “How To” Series will provide real-world skills/classes consisting of financial literacy, budgeting, goal setting, time management, organization, personal hygiene and self-care, coping skills, interview skills, resume building, mock interviews, food shopping, nutrition, car maintenance, social skills, survival skills, community resources, career fairs and workforce development workshops.
Comprehensive Emergency Services: $3,000
The Berwick Salvation Army’s Comprehensive Emergency Services program includes the food pantry and Tuesday and Thursday soup kitchens for people living in the Berwick area.