First Lady Frances Wolf Visits Radcliffe Learning Center, Highlights $75 Million Increase for Early Childhood Education in 2017-2018 Budget

first_imgLike Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf First Lady Frances Wolf Visits Radcliffe Learning Center, Highlights $75 Million Increase for Early Childhood Education in 2017-2018 Budget February 16, 2017 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Budget News,  First Lady Frances Wolf,  Press Release,  Schools That Teach Harrisburg, PA – First Lady Frances Wolf today visited with pre-kindergarten students and teachers at Radcliffe Learning Center in Bristol where she read to children and highlighted Governor Wolf’s commitment to investing in early childhood education. Over the past two years, Governor Wolf has made a new way for Pennsylvania. Instead of allowing schools to become the first casualty of our budget deficit, Governor Wolf has made them our first priority. In just three years, Governor Wolf will have increased funding by nearly two-thirds of those short-sighted cuts to our public school system.“Tom and I both feel strongly that Pennsylvania’s greatest resources is our young people and the schools, like Radcliffe Learning Center, that prepare them to be our future leaders,” said First Lady Frances Wolf. “That is why, since day one, Tom and his team have fought for improving education from preschool through higher education. If we want our children to get ahead, we must invest in our schools.”Studies show that children who participate in high-quality pre-kindergarten perform better in school, graduate at higher rates and earn more throughout their working lives compared to peers who do not have access to early learning programs. Additionally, children who were previously enrolled in Pre-K Counts outperform their economically disadvantaged peers in third-grade math and reading.Fair and increased education funding for all Pennsylvania schools continues to be one of Governor Wolf’s top priorities to ensure students are college and career ready.The future of Pennsylvania depends on making investments in what matters most. In this year’s budget, Governor Wolf is proposing an additional $209 million increase in education funding. Our commonwealth is facing a serious budget deficit, but by reducing government bureaucracy and finding cost-savings, we can continue to invest in our children’s futures so we can make Pennsylvania stronger.The 2017-18 budget investments in education include:$100 million increase in Basic Education Funding. Following $415 million in basic education and Ready to Learn Block Grant funding increases over the past two fiscal years, this increase will be distributed through the Basic Education Funding Formula, providing an equitable and predictable allocation to school districts across the commonwealth.$25 million increase in Special Education Funding. This increase, allocated to school districts through the formula adopted by the bipartisan legislative Special Education Funding Commission, builds upon a $50 million increase over the last two years.$75 million increase in high-quality early childhood education. Children who participate in high-quality pre-k programs perform better in school, graduate at higher rates and earn more throughout their lives compared to peers without access to early learning programs. Building upon $60 million in additional investment over the past two years, this nearly 40 percent increase in funding will allow more than 8,400 additional children to enroll in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program.$8.9 million increase for the 14 universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The governor will continue to work with PASSHE to develop individual college plans that address performance, affordability, and accountability, while partnering with employers to create structured career pathways.last_img read more

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Wolf Administration Now Accepting Applications for Solar Energy Grants After Hiatus

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Energy,  Environment,  Innovation,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that the Solar Energy Program (SEP) guidelines have been updated to include grants in addition to loans. The program is open and accepting applications, offering almost $30 million in funding to promote the use of solar energy in Pennsylvania.“The Solar Energy Program is vital in our efforts to make Pennsylvania a leader in clean energy,” Governor Wolf said. “Developing new renewable energy sources including solar is critical to ensuring Pennsylvania has a balanced and diverse energy mix that maintains our position as a major energy producing state.”The SEP provides financial assistance in the form of loans and grants that are used by eligible applicants to promote the generation and use of solar energy and the manufacture or assembly of solar equipment in the commonwealth. The program is administered jointly by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) under the direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA).The updated guidelines expand the program from only offering loans to now offering both loans and grants. For solar equipment manufacturing projects, SEP will offer up to $40,000 in loans or $5,000 in grants for every new job created within three years. For energy generation or distribution projects, SEP will offer loans up to $5 million or $3 per watt, whichever is less, and grants up to $1 million or $1.50 per watt, whichever is less. SEP loans will be repaid over a period not to exceed 22 years for equipment and 15 years for real estate. Applicants must provide matching funds of at least $1 for every $3 of loan funding awarded, and at least $1 for every $1 of grant funding awarded.Applicants eligible for SEP funding include:Businesses – A corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, limited liability company, business trust or other CFA-approved commercial entity. The term also includes not-for-profit entities.Economic Development Organizations – A nonprofit corporation or association whose purpose is the enhancement of economic conditions in their community.Political Subdivision – A municipality, county, or school district.The SEP is one of several ways that the Wolf Administration is promoting solar energy in the commonwealth. Last week, Governor Wolf signed new legislation to bolster solar energy in Pennsylvania known as Act 40. This legislation requires that for a renewable facility to generate credits, the electricity the facility generates must be delivered to an electricity distributor operating within the commonwealth. Prior to Act 40 taking effect, Pennsylvania allowed these credits to be generated anywhere in the PJM region, which stretches from North Carolina to Illinois. This resulted in an oversupply of credits, and Pennsylvania consumer dollars going to support solar facilities in other states. The passage of Act 40 will help ensure that Pennsylvania is receiving the environmental and other benefits of solar development here in the commonwealth.The first approvals are expected in early 2018. For more information about the SEP or to apply for funding, visit dced.pa.gov. Wolf Administration Now Accepting Applications for Solar Energy Grants After Hiatuscenter_img November 21, 2017last_img read more

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Ron Green

first_imgI want to wish Ron Green, WRBI’s general manager from its inception, on his upcoming retirement.  Ron directed the startup of the station 40 years ago from its humble beginnings on Boehringer Street to its current location in PNC Bank building.I have enjoyed working for and with Ron over most of those 40 years.  Enjoy your family, Ron.  You deserve it!last_img

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Liverpool edge Arsenal on penalties after 10-goal thriller

first_imgRelatedPosts Thiago Alcantara completes Liverpool move Liverpool reach agreement to sign Thiago from Bayern EPL: Salah nets hat-trick as Liverpool beat Leeds in seven-goal thriller Anfield debutant Curtis Jones scored the winning spot-kick as Liverpool beat Arsenal on penalties after an astonishing 5-5 draw to reach the English Football League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday. The 18-year-old kept his cool in front of the Kop to send Liverpool through after the hosts has trailed 3-1, 4-2 and 5-4 before a stoppage-time equaliser by Divock Origi. On a crazy evening it had appeared as though Joe Willock’s screamer had earned Arsenal victory, but Liverpool proved irrepressible as their barnstorming season continued. Both Juergen Klopp and Unai Emery changed their entire lineups from the weekend’s Premier League action. Liverpool took the lead in the sixth minute as Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi scored a comical own goal. Arsenal levelled after 19 minutes when Mesut Ozil, given a rare start by Emery, picked out Bukayo Saka in space and after his shot was saved, Lucas Torreira tapped home. Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli scored his first goal of the night seven minutes later to put Arsenal ahead, scooping in from close range after a save by keeper Caoimhin Kelleher. Liverpool self-destructed as Harvey Elliott’s poor pass went to Ozil who played in Saka to square for Martinelli to make it 3-1. However, in the 43rd minute Elliott tumbled in the box at the other end and James Milner tucked away a penalty. Milner’s dreadful back pass allowed Ainsley Maitland-Niles to make it 4-2 but Arsenal old boy Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain crashed home a beauty shortly after to close the gap. Liverpool equalised in the 62nd minute when Jones played in Origi who turned superbly to fire into the roof of the net. Willock’s goal sent Arsenal’s fans into raptures again but Origi scored with almost the last kick of the game. Reuters/NAN.Tags: Arsenal FCEnglish Football League CupJurgen Kloppliverpool fcUnai Emerylast_img read more

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Rojo hints at Man Utd move

first_imgArgentina defender Marcos Rojo has suggested his move to Manchester United is imminent, describing it as a ‘dream’ to play for the Old Trafford club. Press Association The Sporting Lisbon player has emerged as a key target for United manager Louis van Gaal, with reports suggesting United will pay £16million for Rojo while sending Portuguese winger Nani back to his former club on a one-year loan deal. In an interview with the radio station Continental in his homeland, quoted in several national newspapers, Rojo said: “It’s a dream to play at Manchester United and I am very proud of having the chance of working with [Louis] van Gaal. center_img “I spoke with Juan Sebastian Veron about Manchester United when we were at Estudiantes. I have always liked English football, and I should adapt to this new playing style easily.” United’s move for Rojo has been complicated by a row between Sporting and his a third-party ownership group, while the 24-year-old player upset his employers by initially refusing to train in a bid to push through the deal, although he later apologised and returned to work. “There was a misunderstanding, I never wanted to do something wrong at Sporting as I have always been very thankful to that team that gave me many chances for playing in Europe,” Rojo said. “If I made a mistake, I have already apologised because I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of anyone at the club.” last_img read more

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Maguire weighs up Rocker options

first_img Press Association Adrian Maguire is undecided as to whether to let Two Rockers tackle Sunday’s Ladbrokes Ireland Boyne Hurdle at Navan. The eight-year-old achieved a rating in the 140s over hurdles when trained by Alan King, but disappointed in Britain last season and joined Maguire late in 2014. He has made a fine start for his new trainer in the point-to-point sphere, winning three of his four starts, and is as short as 8-1 for the Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. “He’s also won three of his four points and was just touched off in his other,” said Maguire. “He was a good second to Prince De Beauchene in Thurles. There’s nothing wrong with that and Prince De Beauchene doesn’t qualify for Cheltenham. “The third from Thurles (Aurora Bell) won in Down Royal on Wednesday, so the form is good. “He could go to Cheltenham and, if he does, Declan Queally would ride him.” Maguire has warned, however, that his charge is far from certain to head to Prestbury Park next month. “We’re just sitting tight and we’ll see what’s likely to turn up in the Navan race before we make a decision,” Maguire said. “He’s run in four point-to-points for us, he’s won three and was unlucky the last day at the last when it looked like he would have won (unseated rider). “He has an engine, but he’s obviously had a few problems along the way as well. He’s in good heart at the moment, though. “It’s all a bit up in the air at the moment. There are a few options coming up for him and we’ll just wait and see what we do. “I have another horse for the Cheltenham race.” The horse in question is Seventh Sign, who like Two Rockers is owned by Masterson Holdings and was formerly trained by King. He chased home Prince De Beauchene in a hunter chase at Thurles last month and won his third point-to-point last weekend. last_img read more

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Some 500 runners turn out for Bridge the Gap race

first_imgVERONA ISLAND — Some 500 runners turned out for the fifth annual Bridge the Gap races on Sunday.Runners took off from Fort Knox and crossed the Penobscot Narrows Bridge before splitting off to complete one of three courses: the one-mile Fun Run, 5K or 10-miler — all of which ended at the Verona Island Picnic Area.Spencer Boonstra, age 20, was the first male finisher in the 5K with a time of 17:46. Sarah Mulcahy, 30, of Baring Plantation was the first female finisher in 20:47.In the 10-mile race, Erik McCarthy, 34, of Old Town was the first male finisher in 54:09. Laura Overton, 26, of Saco was the first female in 1:12:47.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text5K RESULTSThe top division finishers in the 5K are listed below:Female age 1-12: Ava Dowling, 12, of Newburgh, first in 27:29; McKenzie Murray, 10, of Bucksport, second in 27:37; Dana O’Connell, age 10, third in 28:32.Male age 1-12: Owen Conner Self, 10, of Orono, first in 25:42; Harry Foster, 11, of Bucksport, second in 26:07; Nigel Tall, 10, of Clifton, third in 28:07.Female age 13-17: Mary Brenna Catus, 15, of Stockton Springs, first in 21:57; Sarah Shea, age 13, second in 25:30; Cassie Roberts, age 16, third in 26:22.Male age 13-17: Matt Shea, age 14, first in 18:57; Patrick Tyne, 13, of Orono, second in 20:04; Colin Stewart, 14, of Appleton, third in 21:22.Female age 18-29: Molly Frankenburger, age 23, first in 23:04; Tara Jordan, 27, of Holden, second in 24:12; Meaghan Geroux, 25, of Holden, third in 24:53.Male age 18-29: Revaz Boukia, 29, of Bangor, first in 20:05; Andrew Rogers, age 20, second in 20:35; Steven Applebee, age 27, third in 21:20.Female age 30-39: Katie Wadsworth Buckley, 37, of Searsmont, first in 23:12; Erin Rhoda, age 31, second in 23:51; Rachel Pelletier, 38, of Bar Harbor, third in 26:11.Male age 30-39: Darren Winchenbach, 34, of Auburn, first in 19:58; Ed Hawes, 36, of Mount Desert Island, second in 21:52; Clifford Watson, age 33, third in 21:54.Female age 40-49: Tricia Brown, 42, of Cherryfield, first in 23:43; Amy Nyberg, 40, of Castine, second in 25:35; Kimberly Formby, 47, of Steuben, third in 25:52.Male age 40-49: Wade Boudreau, 40, of Gardiner, first in 18:39; Emil Pazdziorko, 48, of Gardiner, second in 20:08; Jim Hunt, age 49, third in 20:28.Female age 50-59: Margaret Jones, 52, of Bucksport, first in 24:22; Kelly Havlin, 52, of Hampden, second in 27:33; Regina Marquis, 51, of Old Town, third in 29:38.Male age 50-59: Tim Formby, 52, of Steuben, first in 24:50; Mark Pazdziorko, 50, of Trenton, second in 27:09; Peter Collins, age 56, third in 27:12.Female age 60-69: Joanie Rhoda, age 62, first in 27:14; Robin Emery, 69, of Lamoine, second in 31:21; Nancy Reichow, 61, of Hampden, third in 31:50.Male age 60-69: Thomas Murphy, 63, of Ellsworth, first in 24:00; Glenn Montgomery, 68, of Belfast, second in 27:42; Stephen Fay, 66, of Ellsworth, third in 29:05.Female age 70-79: Mary Alice Bruce, 77, of Corea, first in 36:32.Male age 70-79: Lloyd Harmon, 75, of Ellsworth, first in 27:59.10-MILE RESULTSThe top division finishers in the 10-mile race are listed below:Female age 13-17: Emma Bragdon, 17, of Eddington, first in 1:29:35; Margaret Peckenham, 16, of Orland, second in 1:33:58.Female age 18-29: Meg Kelly, 28, of Bar Harbor, first in 1:19:27; Veronica Wentworth, age 25, second in 1:23:04; Kaley Kokomoor, 25, of Groton, Conn., third in 1:25:47.Male age 18-29: Ken Akiha, age 29, first in 56:14; Victor Skorapa IV, 21, of Freeport, second in 1:03:38; Evan Hutchins, 28, of Swanville, third in 1:08:33.Female age 30-39: Jala Tooley, 36, of Camden, first in 1:16:15; Laureen Libby, 39, of Frankfort, second in 1:17:11; Dara Knapp, 37, of Columbia Falls, third in 1:17:34.Male age 30-39: Andrew Kephart, 30, of Ellsworth, first in 1:01:00; Ian Fraser, 32, of Brewer, second in 1:02:19; Thomas Sherman, 36, of West Greenwich, R.I., third in 1:09:24.Female age 40-49: Katherine Collins, 45, of Winterport, first in 1:15:10; Pam Lattin, age 41, second in 1:15:54; Barbara Daggett, 46, of Thomaston, third in 1:23:07.Male age 40-49: Rob Shea, age 42, first in 1:03:13; Eric Petley, 45, of Holden, second in 1:04:12; Greg Dean, 42, of Levant, third in 1:09:40.Female age 50-59: Julie Millard, 52, of Albion, first in 1:24:06; Mary Smith, 50, of Cushing, second in 1:25:50; Lisa MacQuinn-Tweedie, age 54, third in 1:27:35.Male age 50-59: Chris Jones, 52, of Bucksport, first in 1:10:46; Andrew Tiemann, 58, of Ellsworth, second in 1:13:20; Shane Martin, 53, of Orono, third in 1:14:15.Female age 60-69: Christy Stout, 61, of Holden, first in 1:29:38; Donna Kausen, age 62, second in 1:30:03; Debbie Ambro, 63, of Sullivan, third in 1:46:56.Male age 60-69: Robert Ciano, 61, of Castine, first in 1:03:49; John Hough, 61, of Edmunds Township, second in 1:20:21; Tony Santiago, age 62, third in 1:21:22.Male age 70-79: James Tolles, 71, of Owl’s Head, first in 1:25:25; Tony Swebilus, 71, of Morrill, second in 1:26:31; David Jones, age 75, third in 1:45:24.last_img read more

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MDI boys down Orono for first regional championship since 1995

first_img Bio BANGOR — The last time the Mount Desert Island boys’ basketball team won what is now the Northern Maine Class B championship was when it defeated Orono in 1995. Twenty-two years later, history has repeated itself.No. 2 MDI defeated No. 4 Orono 42-34 on Saturday to claim the Northern Maine title and a spot in the Class B state championship game Saturday at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. The Trojans controlled the game more than the low final score suggested and never let go of the lead.MDI quickly ran out to a lead in the first quarter, scoring 10 points to Orono’s six. The Trojans gunned it from the beginning and went a 4-0 run before the Red Riots answered. Toward the end of the second quarter, Orono went on a roll and scored several unanswered points before MDI head coach Justin Norwood called the team’s first timeout of the game. MDI tipped the scales back in its favor for a brief stretch, but the Red Riots nipped at the Trojans’ heels all the way until the buzzer sounded for halftime. MDI went to the locker room ahead 20-17.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textGood performed a reverse layup for two points seconds into the third quarter, and the Trojans would keep up the momentum. Derek Collin and Good scored four points each, and Swanson sank a 3-pointer. The Red Riots closed the gap with a series of free throws and a 3 of their own from Evan Kenefic with seconds remaining in the third to cut MDI’s lead to 31-28.MDI (18-3) didn’t allow Orono to stay close for long and increased the intensity to widen its lead throughout the final eight minutes of the game. Yet Orono managed to cut the lead to two on a 3-pointer with less than two minutes to play before the Trojans regained control.Players on the sidelines and fans knew they had clinched the win when an Orono player was called for an intentional foul on Kropff, who made both free throws. Orono (17-4) then fouled Swanson, who hit both of his foul shots to put the Trojans up eight for good.Swanson led the scoring for MDI with 12 points, and Good and Snurkowski had seven points each. Kropff scored five, Collin scored four and Mac Shea had two. Collett and Nate DeSisto led Orono with eight points each.Norwood was nearly speechless following the game and said that the experience was “all a blur.” What was clear was the pride and joy he felt for his MDI team. He had sat in the stands as a freshman MDI basketball player when the varsity team won its first and only regional title as a consolidated school in 1995 and is now 32 minutes away from coaching his team to a truly historic championship.It will be a rematch of sorts for an MDI team that will face Wells, which defeated the Trojans last fall to claim the state’s Class C football championship. Phelps, Rich, Good, Gus Reeves and Jimmy Carroll played on that MDI football team, and five of the 12 players on the Wells roster were members of the title-winning squad.Wells (16-5) scored an upset Saturday by beating the top-seeded and favored Yarmouth Clippers to earn the Southern Maine title and a trip to the state championship. Yet if the Trojans came out like they did last weekend — dogged, determined, energetic and fearless — the Warriors had better not underestimate their strength and speed.The Class B championship game is set for 7:45 p.m. Friday, March 3, at the Augusta Civic Center.Correction: The original version of this headline said MDI faced Central in the Class B North championship game. The Trojans faced Central in the Class B North semifinals and faced Orono in the title game. Sea urchin subject of aging research – July 30, 2017 Latest Posts Town Hill Takeout serves up inventive tacos – August 18, 2017center_img Taylor Bigler MaceReporter at Mount Desert IslanderTaylor covers sports and maritimes for the Islander. As a native of Texas, she is an unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan. tbigler@mdislander.com Latest posts by Taylor Bigler Mace (see all) MDI man reaches 41 straight years of daily runs – July 31, 2017last_img read more

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National U-17 team departs for regional tournament

first_imgGUYANA’S National Under-17 team departed these shores for Cricket West Indies Regional tournament in Trinidad and Tobago this morning.The team will commence their first game against the Windward Islands on Tuesday, the first of five rounds as they aim to lift the championship honours this year.Below is the 14-man squad along with manager/assistant coach Nazeer Mohamed and coach Orin Bailey.National Under-17 squad: Alex Algoo, Sachin Singh, Orlando Jailall, Junior Sinclair, Kevin Christian, Kevlon Anderson, Lance Roberts, Alphius Bookie, Ashmead Nedd, Pradesh Ballkishun, Gevon Schultz, Reyaz Khan, Qumar Torrington and Kelvin Umroa.last_img read more

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Clubs, campus activities navigate student engagement amid virtual format

first_imgPhotography Club is also turning to more unconventional methods to share its work. In addition to a semesterly virtual zine, the club is working on launching a Minecraft gallery to simulate an open house for members to showcase their photos, according to club president Fiona Pestana.  “One of the things we’re going to teach is how to take people’s  new and do portraits on Zoom,” Pestana said. “In this way, we can still use human subjects, and we’re encouraging members to, of course within [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines, go out and shoot in the area, shoot people they’re living with and meet up with people from a distance with masks on and take photos.”  Daria Yudacufski, executive director of Visions & Voices, said during the USC Student Experience Webinar on July 28, they are able to take advantage of the online format because virtual events allow them to speakers who would normally be unable to travel to campus to deliver live performances. “You know it’s awkward at times like every time someone new pops into the room, you have to reintroduce what the club is, so it’s a little bulky that way but it was still really fun to feel like we were meeting people at the involvement fair,” Corrigan said. “We’re also hosting weekly Zoom sessions to give everyone access to us and make sure that people know that, ‘Hey, we may not be doing this in person, but we have these videos for you to learn from,’” said Nuñez, a graduate student studying communication management.  “Being outside for anyone who enjoys the outdoors is such a source of mental health and therapy,” Corrigan said. “And it’s tough because as much as … I don’t want people to feel like now that there [aren’t] organized trips happening that they can’t try to organize them with their friends.” To address this concern, Corrigan said that the club is looking to provide resources and host webinars that teach students wilderness survival tips, offer advice on what to bring and recommend their favorite hikes in the area in hopes of encouraging remote students to continue to explore the outdoors. She also admitted that she is grateful to have this time to focus on providing useful resources and tips to anyone who would want them.  Valenzuela said he hopes students will find events they are excited to participate in and meet new people through the ExperienceSC virtual hub, prioritizing personal connections over physical space. Campus Activities has been exploring platforms outside of Zoom to bring students together in alternative spaces and avoid fatigue.  The virtual involvement fairs, held during the first and second weeks of classes, will also provide an opportunity for registered student organizations to meet potential members. For Trogons president Aaron Sha, a junior majoring in health and sciences, member engagement over virtual platforms may be the most challenging aspect of this semester.  As campus activities and clubs continue to adapt to the virtual semester, they hope they can still emulate the valuable in-person experiences that students would get on campus. “Our assignment by the provost was initially to create a set of rich extracurricular experiences for students who wouldn’t be able to have a traditional, on campus experience and to communicate the value of the USC experience that was not tied to our physical space or physical place.” Bay said. However, there are still some things that cannot be accomplished over Zoom and while remote. For an organization that is based on performance, like GFU, practicing at home has limitations. Ana Mata contributed to this report. “There were quite a few freshmen coming in, so I think they were seeing this as an opportunity to start their college experience with people with similar interests,” Pestana said. “I was really excited that people showed up, which is definitely encouraging right now because hopefully, that means they’ll be staying in the future.” Corrigan, a senior majoring in human biology and NGOs and social change, also said she hopes students continue to go on outdoor adventures even without the Peaks and Professors’ in-person programming.    Led by Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Dean Willow Bay, the faculty-based Student Experience Working Group was tasked with creating high-quality extracurricular activities that meet the diverse needs of the student population and that can be accessed online. “People having questions at a live practice in-person versus getting sent a video and trying to wing it on your own with guidance provided [the greatest challenge we face],” Nuñez said. “Some people may be confused about a certain step, and some of our dance routines involve skirtwork. Some of our dances can be very technical, so that’s a challenge we foresee going into the fall semester.”center_img Grupo Folklórico de USC are prerecording their routines for new members. Normally the group would have been preparing for upcoming performances, such as their 2019 Día de los Muertos Showcase held at USC Village. (Daily Trojan file photo) Though Photography Club has tried to make meetings as engaging as possible by teaching members how to make and photograph mocktails at home, it is also trying to maintain the social aspect as best and as safely as possible. Club and campus activities will certainly look different this semester, but student organizations and supporting staff are making it a priority to replicate the college experience as best as possible remotely.  “It’s hard with these virtual events because you don’t want to induce any more Zoom fatigue than is already induced by just school online,” Corrigan said. “We want it to be something that people actually would gain … so we’re really trying to think about how to make it that kind of environment.”  “Normally, photo club is an opportunity for students to go out and shoot and find a community where we can learn photography skills together as well as go outside of campus on events, on excursions around L.A., to  have a group to shoot together and to learn from each other,” said Pestana, a senior majoring in journalism. “But right now, [Photography Club] is going to be a virtual community where we’re going to have streams and social sessions online … and help refine the skills and inspire people to go out and shoot.” “You don’t get the same member reaction when you’re talking to people over Slack. You’d be lucky to get a 50% reaction rate, so trying to connect with all the members is really hard.” Sha said. “I think in the future, this issue will become more prominent as the semester moves on, people are going to be more busy.” “College is a time where the relationships you develop are going to last you for an entire lifetime, and the biggest thing about remote learning is that you’re not able to see the faces that we’re used to seeing,” Sha said. “In order to try to maintain some normalcy, I just want to make sure that our members get to hang out with each other [and be social].”  Peaks and Professors president Colleen Corrigan also said she was pleasantly surprised by the turnout during the involvement fair sessions despite the limitations of meeting virtually. Despite the possible difficulty of keeping students interested in online extracurricular activities, Pestana said she has had promising experiences at the virtual involvement fairs so far. While student organizations are working hard to stay involved and engaged this fall, the USC administration also plans to host virtual events to engage the student body. Gabriel Valenzuela, director of campus activities, said in an email to the Daily Trojan that some of these virtual events will include game nights, craft events and trivia competitions.  Visions & Voices plans to host online programming and concerts focused on social issues and inspiring resilience throughout the semester, which are available on the organization’s website. The event schedule will include cooking with L.A.-based Asian American women chefs Cecilia Leung, Isa Fabro and Sonoko Sakai, and an evening with rapper Chuck D from Public Enemy. In addition to online member meetings, student organizations have also found creative digital alternatives to share their passions with the USC community. USC’s ten a cappella groups traditionally organize a semesterly show, All Hail A Capella, for the USC student body. However, due to the inability to hold in-person rehearsals and restrictions on performance venues, Trogons is working to make the performance virtually accessible through streaming platforms like YouTube and Facebook.  “There’s a lot that we can do online that we’d might not be able to do in person and there’s something really intimate about [remote experiences], which I love.” Yudacufski said.  For performance groups such as Grupo Folklórico de USC, this semester comes with challenges on how to maintain the quality of their club offerings for their members as well as the greater USC community. Another concern that student organizations are dealing with is maintaining member engagement because of growing Zoom fatigue.  In an effort to keep business as usual, Grupo Folklórico de USC, a Mexican folk dance and cultural group, has adapted its regular meetings to fit an online format. According to GFU president Samantha Nuñez, since most of the organization’s veteran members will be in the Los Angeles area, they will be able to pre-record dance tutorial videos for incoming members to learn. last_img read more

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