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District Begins Year Two of ABC’s of STEM Program with Support from Pathfinder Bank

More than 25 North Syracuse Central School District teachers spent their afternoon on November 21 gathering information about a fun STEM program they are bringing to their grade K-2 students.

The teachers are implementing the ABC’s of STEM Student of the Week Early Education Classroom Literacy Program in the North Syracuse Central School District. This is the second year for the program and the district’s second year of participation. Pathfinder Bank has once again stepped forward as a sponsor and will cover all costs associated with the program in the North Syracuse Central School District.

Developed by Karyn Burns-Gerling, the ABC’s of STEM program allows students to engage in and lead their family (or designated individuals) through a week-long set of activities around STEM education and awareness.

Karyn, who is the mother of three young children, came up with the idea for STEM literacy kits after struggling to help her own children with their homework. "I was literally in tears trying to help my fifth grader with his math homework. I realized that if I was having a hard time, others must be too," she said.

"I thought this was a fun way of encouraging students to share their learning experiences with their families. It puts them in the driver's seat of a fun, educational family learning experience. "The kits include a variety of STEM materials such as flash cards, a placemat, a family activity guide and much more.

On Nov. 21, participating NSCSD teachers received their grade-level specific kits with everything needed to implement the program. They will begin providing the kits, which include parent forms and permission slips, checklists, activity logs, and a fully stocked bag of activities, games, reading materials and experiments, to their students. If the program is challenging for students to complete in their home environment, the activities can be integrated during lunch or recess with friends and/or adults in their school building.

Once the activities have been completed, students will end their week by creating a poster reflecting on their experiences and will share the information with their classmates.  

Many thanks to all the district’s volunteer teachers and to Pathfinder Bank for supporting the North Syracuse Central School District’s educational efforts.
The following teachers are participating in the program:
  • From Allen Road Elementary School: Kathy Conese (kindergarten), Heidi Corwin (1st),
  • From KWS Bear Road Elementary School: Deborah Barbuto (2nd), Jacquel Donegan (2nd), Pam Fontanella (2nd), Katie Frost (2nd), Janelle Jacobsen (kindergarten), Amy Just (2nd), Jennifer Shaw (kindergarten), Maria Yakowec (2nd),
  • From Cicero Elementary School: Melissa Dickens (1st), Holly Lee (2nd), Laureen Norris (kindergarten), Sarah Slifka (1st), Bridgett Witz (1st),
  • From Lakeshore Road Elementary School: Jane Freeman (1st), Colleen Harbold (1st), Meghan Krupa (2nd), Kimberly Lupia (1st), Terri Persons (2nd), Laura Shore (2nd),
  • From Roxboro Road Elementary School: Susan Winn (1st),
  • From Smith Road Elementary School: Jeanne Bronner (Special Education), Lisa Courtright (1st), Karen DeSpirito (1st), Susan Guzzo (Behavior Specialist), and Melissa Marlow-Ahern (1st).
Click here to view this story on News Channel 9's Cool Schools.
Pictured: The NSCSD teachers implementing the ABC’s of STEM program, who were present at the Nov. 21 kickoff meeting to receive their kits, pose with their kits along with Randall Barnard from Pathfinder Bank (standing far right) and Karyn Burns-Gerling, the program’s founder (kneeling front row without kit.)