Community Learning Hubs
In September, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services awarded the Highlands Partnership Network (HPN) a $50,000 grant from federal CARES Relief Act funds to launch three Community Learning Hubs in the Highlands School District.
These “Hubs”, taking place at the Salvation Army of Allegheny Valley in Brackenridge, Central Presbyterian Church in Tarentum and the Deborah D. Booker Community Center in Natrona Heights, provide teachers and learning aides during the school day for 36 students to receive academic support, social interactions, extracurricular and physical activity on their assigned remote learning days. Teachers and learning aides work in coordination with the students’ parents and teachers to improve attendance, increase Zoom time engagement and provide one-on-one tutoring in completing assignments and understanding class lessons. Covid-19 guidelines and safety precautions are followed, including limiting student enrollment to allow for social distancing, mask-wearing by staff and students, daily mitigation and sanitizing.
In 2020, Hubs staff incorporated career exploration, art exploration, home economics, outdoor activity and visits from school officials to create a well-rounded educational experience during a non-traditional school year. Students receive transportation and meals, and parents are connected to community organizations and resources, as needed.
The Hubs will receive continued funding to operate as-is with periodic review as schools make decisions on reopening. The Hubs are currently at capacity, with a waiting list.
HPN would like to thank the following for collaborating and supporting this important program: Allegheny County Government, Salvation Army of Allegheny Valley, Central Presbyterian Church, Deborah D Booker Community Center, Highlands School District, WL Roenigk Transportation and, of course, the Hubs staff, students and families who make it work week after week.