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COVID-19 doesn’t stop South Side Stride

Donegan ES, Fountain Hill ES, and Broughal MS administrators, teachers, and community partners welcomed incoming students Aug. 7 with the second annual South Side Stride. BASD high schools Freedom and Liberty have traditionally visited incoming freshmen, and last year, Southside elementary schools adopted the idea. This year, Broughal Principal Rick Amato and district teachers visited incoming sixth-graders as well.

Although the visits to new kindergarteners and sixth-graders took place outside the students’ homes, and there was no literacy or fitness event due to coronavirus fears, event organizers worked to keep the South Side spirit strong.

PBS39 donated “smart sack” lightweight backpacks to all three schools; the local public TV broadcaster, along with Lehigh Valley Reads and the Junior League of the Lehigh Valley, also donated larger backpacks filled with supplies, including water bottles.

After the visits, Fountain Hill families were invited to stop by a drive-through to pick up back-to-school necessities donated by Lehigh Valley Reads and the Communities in Schools program. After the drive-through, staff were treated to an outdoor pizza lunch.

Donegan families will be able to pick up back-to-school supplies, donated by semiconductor manufacturer IQE and gaming resort Wind Creek, at a future event.

Laura Kaplus and Angela Zanelli from Lehigh Valley Reads prepare for the South Side Stride. LVReads is a literacy-promoting partnership between PBS39 and the United Way. The goal of the partnership is to have all local children reading on grade level by the end of third grade.
PRESS PHOTO BY THERESA O'BRIEN Corey, the mascot for Lehigh Valley Reads, with a Fountain Hill family. Isabella Breslin-Gallina, holding a backpack presented by the Fountain Hill visiting team, will be a kindergartener at the local elementary school this fall. More photos appear on page A2.
press photos by theresa o'brien Kindergarten teacher Christine Grasser reaches for a backpack as fellow teachers Lydia Stachina and Morgan Dell display two backpacks, equipped with water bottles, that students are being encouraged to bring to school this year.
PRESS PHOTO COURTESY PAIGE HOFFMAN Javon Colon, Jordan Colon, and Jemma Colon are excited to receive school supplies for the upcoming academic year.
005: PRESS PHOTO COIURTESY PAIGE HOFFMAN Isabella Breslin-Gallina and Brentley DiMenichi hold “smart sacks” from PBS39 as they post with Lehigh Valley Reads mascot Corey.