Southside Stride Program

It's a house call to kick off the school year for part of the Bethlehem Area School District.

Dressed in bright blue t-shirts that read "Southside Stride," Fountain Hill teachers Corey Harvey and Amy Emrick are making sure kids recognize a friendly face when they walk into school the very first time.

"I think it's really important that we reach out into the community," said Emrick. "The families get to see the teachers firsthand and also to give the students something to look forward to and feel a little more prepared."

The Southside Stride program includes kindergarten students for Donegan and Fountain Hill elementary schools and sixth graders from Broughal Middle School.

As part of the meet-and-greet, kids get a backpack full of swag, school supplies.

In Fountain Hill backpacks, there's a furry little friend, a tiger named Phil, named after the school's mascot.

There's also some homework, a book to read the night before school to help them prepare for the year ahead.

Harvey and Emrick say these visits are priceless, because there's nothing like the smile of a kid who's excited to learn.

"I definitely think it's inspiring to remind ourselves how exciting this time is for the students to come back and remind them of all the great things we're gonna be doing this year," said Harvey.


By Jaccii Farris

Story by WFMZ 69 News


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