Upward Bound benefits Special Olympians

For immediate release: July 2, 2010

BLOOMSBURG – Students from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s TRiO Upward Bound program will hold a Penny Olympics to benefit the Columbia/Montour Special Olympics program Saturday, July 10, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on the lawn adjacent to Lycoming Hall. The Penny Olympics is the second part of a two-day Service Information Series that will begin with a Non-Profit Agencies Fair Friday, July 9, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the Kehr Union Multicultural Center. The rain location for the Penny Olympics is Centennial Hall gymnasium.

The annual service project supports each summer’s educational theme, said Jennifer Cughan, academic coordinator of BU’s TRiO Upward Bound program. This year’s theme, “Invest U,” addresses financial literacy.

Through this service project, students are learning to invest in local people and projects that can transform lives. The Columbia/Montour Special Olympians will receive all money earned during the Penny Carnival, she added.

TRiO Upward Bound serves students in nine high schools from Columbia, Northumberland and Schuylkill counties. Students are chosen based on their academic potential and need, demonstrated enthusiasm toward learning, and other eligibility requirements as determined by the U.S. Department of Education.

TRiO Upward Bound at Bloomsburg University is in its 32nd year and is composed of two parts: a summer residential program and an academic year program. During the summer, the high school students attend a six-week residential program designed to simulate a college experience – from the classroom to meeting new roommates to eating in the campus dining facilities. It combines concentrated academic work with structured activities, both on campus and in the community.

During the school year, TRiO Upward Bound students have an academic tutor at their high school. Along with TRiO UB program faculty, the academic tutor is responsible for weekly meetings with the students to provide individualized tutoring, homework assistance, guidance and counseling in academic, career, college or personal matters.

Of the 90 students the grant is written to serve, approximately 50 are able to participate in the summer residential program. Last year the TRiO Upward Bound students worked with the local Fishing Creek Watershed Association and United Water of Pennsylvania to clean up several areas along Fishing Creek and beautify Kocher Memorial Park.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 9,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.