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P: 570.501.2784

First Federal Charitable HIP 2017 1The Hazleton Integration Project (HIP) received a $5,000 grant from the First Federal Charitable Foundation that it will use to supplement the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum inside its Hazleton One Community Center at 225 East Fourth Street in Hazleton.

The grant money will be used to purchase STEM modules for students in kindergarten through eighth grades that HIP will utilize in its After School Scholars program. Bob Curry, founding president of the Hazleton Integration Project, said the modules are grade specific and built for collaboration among the students. They are all project-based and reusable so they can remain a part of HIP’s curriculum for many years. The STEM modules HIP plans to purchase consist of robotics items, construction packs, a littleBits Code Kit and a micro three-dimensional printer.

Curry said, “We generally don’t have the leeway to purchase items like these unless we budget far in advance for them. When we get something that’s unanticipated, like this grant, we find something to purchase that will be the most direct benefit for the scholar program students. Everything you can upgrade in the classrooms makes you create more excitement, curiosity and wonder among the students. That carries over from that moment into their regular school work and maintains the idea we have to explain to students how we are all lifelong learners.”

Curry emphasized that the curriculum that the Hazleton Integration Project implements is enrichment based and goes beyond simply offering tutoring services or help with homework. He said this is designed to “inspire a love for learning and make a connection for students between science and everyday life.” Curry praised the First Federal Charitable Foundation and the work they are doing throughout Greater Hazleton.

“We’re extremely grateful to the First Federal Charitable Foundation for their support. Without partnerships like that, we could not do the work that we do,” Curry said.

Megan Kennedy, executive director of the First Federal Charitable Foundation, said, “We are delighted to provide this grant to the Hazleton Integration Project. They have so many enriching programs for children at the Hazleton One Community Center and we are excited to see those offerings grow as a result of this grant. It’s always beneficial when you can add more outlets for STEM learning in the community. Qualified applicants for jobs in these fields are in high demand so it’s very gratifying that the Hazleton Integration Project is working to introduce the STEM curriculum to students at such a young age.”

The Hazleton Integration Project was established in 2011 to unite the people of different cultures living in the city of Hazleton and opened the Hazleton One Community Center in 2013. HIP’s mission is to provide educational, cultural and athletic opportunities for economically disadvantaged children. The ideas for both HIP and its community center were conceived by Hazleton native and Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon, a two-time World Series champion and three-time Manager of the Year.

HIP’s mission is to provide educational, cultural and athletic opportunities for economically disadvantaged children and adults at little or no cost to participants while fostering trust and respect among all of the region’s ethnic cultures through its Hazleton One Community Center.

Among the most noteworthy programs offered at the Hazleton One Community Center are the area’s only fully bilingual Pre-K program and the After School Scholars program, which has an enrollment of more than 80 students in kindergarten through eighth grades. Additionally, the center features Spanish and English classes as well as cultural discussions, cooking lessons, and dance and drama classes among its many program offerings.

The First Federal Charitable Foundation was established to support worthwhile community causes. It strives to nurture nonprofit institutions and programs that will effectively serve those in need from the community, empower nonprofit institutions and programs that will expand their presence in and services to the area, and promote opportunities for new nonprofit institutions and programs that will serve the unserved.

Nonprofit organizations with a 501(c)(3) IRS designation that are located in Luzerne, Schuylkill, Carbon and Columbia counties are eligible to apply. Any organization whose headquarters is in another county but services either Luzerne, Schuylkill, Carbon or Columbia counties may apply for a grant to be used in one of those counties.

For more information on the foundation or to obtain a grant application, visit www.1stfederalcharitable.org or call 570-501-2784.

CAPTION: Hazleton Integration Project Executive Director Ben Medina, second from the left, accepts a $5,000 grant check from First Federal Charitable Foundation Executive Director Megan Kennedy, second from the right. Also pictured are, from left: Bob Curry, Hazleton Integration Project founding president, and Anthony Cusatis, president of the First Federal Charitable Foundation Board of Directors.

First Federal Charitable Foundation

8 West Broad Street, Suite 208
Hazleton, PA 18201
P: 570.501.2784