WVIA to Expand Learn at Home Opportunities for Students

Beginning on May 4, VIA Public Media will expand its Learn at Home weekday television schedule to present 6 hours of programs that can provide learn-at-home opportunities for students as well as include on air lessons from educators and IU school districts from across WVIA TV’s 22 county viewing area.

These changes include the addition of programs airing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. which have curriculum and additional resources that parents and educators can use for students in grades PreK-3. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. VIA will continue to air curriculum-based programming geared toward students in grades 4-12. All of the programs have educational resources that can be found free of charge at wvia.org.

In addition to the expansion of on-air programming WVIA is partnering with regional Intermediate Units including BlaST IU, CSIU, LIU, NEIU and Colonial IU to provide on air lessons from educators throughout the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. time block. This includes Special Needs lessons every Monday in May at noon with Jim Rinehimer, Special Needs Educator & Educational Consultant, BLaST IU and many more. All lessons are coordinated to programming on WVIA TV and are aligned to Pennsylvania State Learning Standards.

“WVIA is committed to bridging the equity gap in education during this difficult time. By providing lessons on our TV channel, we can reach thousands of students and families regardless of access to the internet and computers. It is an opportunity to provide content rich lessons with teachers from all around NEPA and provide a much-needed connection between teachers and students.” said Kirsten Smith, Grants & Education Officer at VIA Public Media.

“Learn at Home TV offers an awesome opportunity for students across NEPA to see and learn from their teachers,” remarked Alexandra Konsur-Grushinski, NEPA STEM Ecosystem Leader and NEIU 19 STEM Services Coordinator. “Students unable to access the internet or without computing devices now have direct access to high quality educational programming and engaging lessons from our area’s dedicated teachers right through their televisions.  It is our sincere hope that students tune in and learn on with their local PBS station.”

Dr. Christina Steinbacher-Reed, executive director, BLaST IU states “With the support of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, WVIA, and our member districts, we are making every effort to overcome obstacles and geographic boundaries to provide students and families with educational opportunities in remote learning. Our educational community is working together to develop teacher-directed lessons that will air on WVIA daily for offline instruction efforts. Plus, we have a number of guest readers for Storytime with WVIA which is streamed every weeknight at 7 p.m. This is a true example of the power of community and the ongoing efforts to support learning outside the walls of the classroom.”

“These unprecedented times have really brought some unexpected shifts in education. While some of these shifts may be viewed as challenges, I see them as opportunities. As a result of these times, this strong partnership has been created. Now, BLaST Intermediate Unit 17 and its member districts are collaborating with WVIA to think outside-the-box to provide educational opportunities to our students through teacher-led broadcasts, story time with WVIA and Learn at Home opportunities. We are problem-solvers, who are finding creative solutions to reach our students, and I look forward to continuing to serve students in our region” said Rebecca Gibboney, Curriculum and Online Learning Specialist, BLAST IU 17 – Williamsport.

Richard Mackrell, Assistant Director of STEM & Innovative Practices, LIU states “As families across the commonwealth make great efforts to ensure their children’s education is maintained, partnerships like those forged between the public-school system, intermediate units, and civic-minded agencies like WVIA are more vital now than ever. I look forward to working alongside these teams in order to ensure all students have the opportunity to learn.”

“This is one of the most valuable services VIA can provide during this crisis, and I’m proud to see the enthusiasm and teamwork with which this is all coming together to support the schools and families of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Central Susquehanna Valley” said Chris Norton, Senior Vice President of VIA Public Media. “Across the state all of the Pennsylvania PBS stations are working with the Pennsylvania Department of Education to serve students as part of the continuity of education plan.”

The upcoming schedule and curriculum can currently be found at wvia.org with future weeks’ schedules and resources being posted to the website within the coming days. Information on the other Pennsylvania PBS stations educational outreach initiatives is available at www.learningathomepa.org.

WVIA-TV can be found on over-the-air antenna on channel 44 and on all major network providers in Northeast Pennsylvania and the Central Susquehanna Valley. WVIA carries PBS Kids programming all day on its second channel 44.2, corresponding educational resources for PBS Kids programming can also be found at wvia.org.

This expansion of the Learn at Home initiative is the latest in a series of initiatives launched by VIA in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously announced initiatives include the Look for the Helpers series which highlights the good deeds of those in our region, the virtual Town Hall, Keystone Edition: Corona Crisis, additional news and updates on WVIA Radio, Nightly Storytime with VIA on WVIA’s social channels, opening up the entire WVIA original documentary catalog for free online at wvia.org as well as VIA’s partnership with the 6 other Pennsylvania Public Media stations as well as the Pennsylvania Department of Education on the Learning at Home initiative.

PennDOT Extends Expiration Dates on Driver Licenses, ID Cards, and Learner’s Permits

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, and learner’s permits, will be extended for Pennsylvania residents in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Effective April 30, 2020, expiration dates for driver licenses, photo ID cards and learner’s permits scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 through May 31, 2020, are now extended through June 30, 2020.

These extensions are in addition to those announced on March 27.

Additionally, all Driver License Centers and Photo License Centers and the Harrisburg Riverfront Office Center in Pennsylvania are closed until further notice effective close of business on Monday, March 16

As a reminder, customers may complete various transactions and access multiple resources via the Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov. Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and driver exam scheduling. There are no additional fees for using online services.

More COVID-19 information is available at www.health.pa.gov. For more information, visit www.dmv.pa.gov or www.PennDOT.gov.

NET Credit Union Continues to Educate Members on Personal Finances

Become educated about your banking by using our free tools to improve your personal finances. You can simply improve your credit score, budget for monthly expenses or even save more for retirement.  We have tools to help educate you on all aspects of personal finances.

Click here to get started: https://www.netcreditunion.com/educate

Personal Finance Education includes:

Money Basics

Need help saving or creating a monthly budget? You’re not alone. These money basics lessons will help relieve you from financial stress.


Are you looking to pay off credit card debt? Looking to refinance your car? Shopping for a new house? Your credit score determines how much money you’ll save. These tools will help you understand the different payment and payoff options.

Buying a Home

The home buying process can be stressful. These tools gear you into the right financial direction when purchasing a home.

Paying for College

Paying for a college education can seem expensive and overwhelming. These tools help you and your student understand the cost, financing and repayment processes.

Planning for Retirement

The earlier you start saving for retirement, the better. These tools will help you plan for the life you deserve after retirement.


From life insurance to monthly budgeting, use these tools to help calculate your funds to live a financially healthy lifestyle.

Start putting your personal finances first. Learn more: www.netcreditunion.com/educate.

Lackawanna College Offers Scholarship to 500 Local Students

The coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainty for college-bound students and their families about continuing their education this fall. To help keep local students on their educational path with the ability to stay close to home, Lackawanna College is providing a special scholarship to graduating seniors in the Class of 2020 who participated in the College’s dual enrollment program.

The scholarships will be available to nearly 500 students in 50 school districts across Northeastern and Central, Pa.

“This pandemic has been devastating to families in our region,” said Lackawanna College President Mark Volk. “It is more critical than ever that we do our part to offer members of our community access to a quality, affordable education.”

Scholarships will range from $1,200 to $10,000 or more, doubling or quadrupling a student’s tuition paid out of pocket for dual enrollment courses. The amount of the scholarship awarded will be determined by the number of dual enrollment courses a student takes in high school and if the student enrolls in a bachelor’s or associate degree program.

For more information, or to enroll in the Lackawanna College dual enrollment program, visit Lackawanna.edu/dualenrollment or contact the Admissions Office at (570) 961-7898.

Mohegan Sun Arena: Healthcare Heroes Suite Nominations Open May 10

Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Twp. will be honoring and thanking local healthcare professionals with luxury suite tickets for Mohegan Sun Arena events beginning this Fall (or whenever it is deemed safe for our venue to host public events). The “Healthcare Heroes Suite” will recognize healthcare professionals that have been on the front lines fighting against the spread of COVID-19 in our community and around the world.

Nominations will be accepted from our community during National Hospitals Week, which begins this Sunday, May 10 and continues through Saturday, May 16.

Nominations may be submitted online on our website at www.MoheganSunArenaPA.com/HealthcareHeroes.

All nominees will have their names and photos posted on the Arena’s website and social media pages along with a Thank You message from the venue. After all nominees have been publicly recognized, Mohegan Sun Arena will conduct a lottery drawing from all nominations received to select the recipients of luxury suite tickets for a future Mohegan Sun Arena event. The lottery drawing will be aired on the Mohegan Sun Arena’s Facebook page and the venue’s website at a date to be announced.

Marywood University and First Friday Scranton: Online Graduate Art Therapy Exhibition

Marywood University’s Graduate Art Therapy Symposium will take on a different look this year. Similar to other in-person events, the Art Therapy Symposium faced the challenge of how best to display students’ works as a result of in-person events being postponed or cancelled. First Friday Scranton generously agreed to post the exhibition online.

The exhibition is co-curated by Dr. Ashley Hartman, assistant professor of art, and the graduate art therapy students enrolled in the museum-based Art Therapy course at Marywood University. The exhibition highlights mixed-media works that explore the narrative of graduate art therapy students in response to their development in professional identity and the aspirations they have regarding their future art therapy practices.

The mixed-media pieces include a component of handmade paper that was created during an open-studio creative art workshop, or independently by each student. This exhibition highlights the possibilities of co-curating an exhibition as part of creative interventions in the expressive arts. The stories and reflective writings of the students relate to their own self-exploration as they navigate the next steps in their art therapy training.

Marywood University’s master of arts degree in Art Therapy trains professionals in the mental health field to use art as a catalyst for healing and self-actualization. Art therapy aids human development through self-discovery, self-awareness, and personal growth. Marywood’s art therapy program exposes students to a variety of theories and approaches related to the practice of art therapy and the field of psychology. The master’s degree in art therapy at the University is approved by the American Art Therapy Association.

For additional information about Marywood University’s master’s degree in Art Therapy, please visit marywood.edu/art/graduate-programs/master-art-therapy.html, or call the Office of Admissions, at 570-348-6234.

Pennsylvania American Water Recommends Flushing Pipes to Maintain Water Quality

Pennsylvania American Water remains committed to keeping our customers informed as we continue to deliver, clean, safe and reliable water and wastewater services to you during the COVID-19 public health emergency. In light of the Commonwealth’s announced plans for phased reopening, the company encourages building owners and operators to adopt a proactive approach that includes flushing stagnant water from facility pipes.

As buildings reopen, businesses, school districts and property management teams will begin the process of restarting building systems that have been dormant for a significant amount of time. Extended periods of inactivity can cause lead leaching or legionella growth in a building’s water system, and taking proper steps can help minimize potential exposure to both of these contaminants. Proper reopening procedures will help in making sure water systems and equipment are in working order and in maintaining water quality.

Pennsylvania American Water encourages building owners and operators whose facilities have been closed to adopt a proactive approach that includes proper flushing procedures, assuring the presence of disinfectant residuals, adjustment of hot water temperature, and proper maintenance of building plumbing and heating/cooling systems. Proper flushing of plumbing before reoccupying these buildings is essential to maintain water quality and should be performed biweekly while the building is closed, if possible, and again the weekend before opening.

Consistent with EPA and industry guidance, Pennsylvania American Water recommends the flushing of pipes to maintain water quality, including:

  • Toilets: Flush at least twice (this will help to move fresh water through the plumbing)
  • Faucets: Run at full flow for at least 2 minutes
  • Showers: Run at full flow for at least 2 minutes
  • Other Appliances/Apparatus: We recommend flushing other appliances and apparatus thoroughly, at full flow, bringing fresh water into the system. Preferably run the water until you are able to smell the chlorine in the water. If you have an appliance, such as a refrigerator or ice maker that has a filter, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for replacing water filters upon completion of flushing.

For additional information on flushing, see American Water’s fact sheet; the Environmental Protection Agency’s Flushing Best Practices; the Center for Disease Control web page; or the American Water Works Association.