WVIA to Air ‘Senior Salutes’ for Area High School Seniors

Beginning on Monday, June 8, VIA Public Media will air ‘Senior Salutes’ featuring videos highlighting graduating high school seniors from across WVIA TV’s 22 county viewing area.

The videos, grouped in features from their respective high schools will air at 4 p.m. on WVIA TV.

Participating schools include: Northwest Area High School, Jersey Shore Area High School, GAR High School, Loyalsock High School, Coughlin High School, Mount Carmel Area High School, Meyers High School, Pittston Area High School, Dallas Area High School, Warrior Run High School, Wyoming Area High School, Millville High School, Wyoming Valley West High School, Cowanesque Valley High School, West Side CTC, Crestwood High School, Shamokin High School, Wyalusing Valley High School, Old Forge High School and more TBA.

For up to date schedule information as well as Senior Salute videos on-demand, please visit wvia.org

“VIA Senior Salutes is a service we are offering all schools in our 22 county coverage area as a way to honor the hard work of their graduating students.” said Kirsten Smith, Grants & Education Officer at VIA Public Media. “With all that has happened in the past few months we want to help make sure these students receive the recognition they deserve.”

” Many seniors have missed proms, award ceremonies, commencement festivities, and graduation parties, so we’re proud to celebrate their achievements,” said Chris Norton, Senior Vice President of VIA Pubic Media. ” VIA is pleased to support the students, families, teachers, and schools of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Central Susquehanna Valley.”

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.

The VIA Senior Salutes program is the latest in a series of initiatives launched by VIA in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously announced initiatives include the Learn at Home initiative which featured 6 hours a day of curriculum based educational programming airing weekdays on WVIA TV as well as on-air lessons from area educators, 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.

Pennsylvania American Water and American Water Charitable Foundation Donate to COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Pennsylvania American Water announced today that it has selected the following organizations to receive financial contributions for their support of COVID-19 relief efforts in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Northumberland, Pike, and Union counties. Pennsylvania American Water and the American Water Charitable Foundation have together pledged $100,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts across the Commonwealth.

The company’s announcement includes $15,850 in funding to the following organizations:

  • Lackawanna County
    • Breadbasket of NEPA
    • Meals on Wheels of NEPA
    • Friends of the Poor
    • United Neighborhood Centers
  • Luzerne County
    • Commission on Economic Opportunity
    • Children’s Service Center
    • Dinners for Kids
    • Wyoming Valley Drug and Alcohol Services
  • Northumberland County
    • Warrior Run Neighbors Helping Neighbors
  • Pike County
    • Jo’s Outreach
  • Union County
    • Lewisburg/Milton Meals on Wheels

“There has never been a more critical time in our country to support one another or lend a charitable hand to our communities and our neighbors in need,” said Mike Doran, president of Pennsylvania American Water. “We know our customers, employees, and neighbors have all been personally impacted by this public health emergency. While we continue working to provide essential water and wastewater services to 2.4 million people across the Commonwealth, we also want to support the important work of the non-profit organizations helping people get through this challenging time through meals and social support services.”

Pennsylvania American Water serves more than 140,000 people through its Lackawanna and Luzerne county water and wastewater operations and nearly 6,000 in Pike County.  Pennsylvania American Water acquired the water and wastewater systems of Turbotville, Northumberland County in 2018 and serves more than 13,000 customers in Northumberland and Union counties.

“Just like many of us are checking on elderly neighbors and picking up supplies for those who are most vulnerable, our company also helps neighboring communities in need,” Doran added.

Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.4 million people. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The American Water Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides a formal way to demonstrate the company’s ongoing commitment to being a good neighbor, citizen, and contributor to the communities where American Water and its employees live, work and operate. The Foundation helps support American Water employee-identified nonprofit endeavors.

Marywood University Students Win Top National Awards from the Society for Collegiate Journalists

Marywood University’s Chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists (SCJ) took home ten awards in the national contest for students’ work at The Wood Word, Marywood University’s online news source, and TV-Marywood, the campus television station.

First place awards were bestowed to Emily Scholl, Quakertown, Pa., for her multi-media series, “Media That Matters;” and Stephanie O’Malley, Scranton, Pa., for her column of commentary, “Chanel Miller: A lighthouse in dark times.” Second place awards were conferred to TV Marywood for Online Broadcast Website Overall Excellence; The Wood Word for Social Media presence Overall Excellence; TV Marywood for Television Live Sports Broadcast; Brendan Murphy, Stroudsburg, Pa., for his sports column, “ANALYSIS: Legendary closer Mariano Rivera headlines the 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame Class;” and Katie Warnokowski, Islip, N.Y., for her television feature package, “Wonderfully You teaches women self-love and acceptance.” Third place awards were given to The Wood Word for Online News Website Overall Excellence; TV Marywood for Television Live Sports Broadcast; and Ellen Frantz, Camp Hill, Pa.; for her television news package, “Film festival returns to Marywood.”

The Society for Collegiate Journalists is a national society of collegiate mass communications. It is the nation’s oldest organization designed solely to serve college media leaders. Today, SCJ has approximately 100 active chapters nationwide and more than 1,200 members.

For additional information about The Wood Word or TV-Marywood, please visit the Multimedia Communication department, at marywood.edu/commarts/about-us.html, or call the Office of Admissions at Marywood University, at (570) 348-6234. For additional information about the Society for Collegiate Journalists, please visit scjnational.org/.

Lackawanna College Alum on the Front Lines of the Coronavirus Pandemic

After graduating from Lackawanna College in May, Drums native Jessica Hoffman began her career as a surgical technologist at the Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca, New York. In March– just a week after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a hold on elective procedures at hospitals– she began working at a COVID-19 drive-through testing site at Ithaca Mall.

“I really didn’t get a chance to think about it. I got a text message from my boss saying that I wasn’t needed in the operating room, but had about an hour to get to the testing site to start training,” said Hoffman. “It’s a job and you do what you need to do. That’s what makes my colleagues, healthcare workers and everyone on the front lines so special. Yes, there’s fear, but the more knowledge you have can help overcome that fear.”

As a surgical technologist, Hoffman is responsible for sterilizing and prepping operating rooms and equipment and helping doctors during surgeries.

“We are taught to be masters of aseptic technique and are skilled in preventing the spread of pathogens and cross-contamination, which are all critical skills when dealing COVID-19,” said Hoffman. “The expertise and knowledge I’ve acquired from working as a surgical technologist have been valuable for me while working at the testing site.”

The testing site is set up like an obstacle course that patients drive through with stations set up for registration, information and swabbing. According to Hoffman, the Ithaca testing site sees an average of 130-200 patients a day, sometimes double if a patient tests positive at an essential business.

Though the cases are still high, Hoffman is seeing the flattening of the curve, and hopes to return to the operating room soon.

“We are slowly being allowed to do more elective procedures as those holds are starting to be lifted,” said Hoffman. “We need to be smart going forward and take the lessons that we’ve learned during this pandemic and apply them to the future.”

Hoffman says that though people call healthcare workers heroes, they are just ordinary people doing jobs that they are trained for.

“In the healthcare world, you never know what you’re going to come up against. We have a love for treating and helping people, and we’re Just applying that passion to this really crazy pandemic,” says Hoffman. “Life is full of unknowns in the operating room and that’s how it’s been out there on the front lines. You need to go back to that reserve of training that you received all the way in the beginning, take everything you’ve learned along the way and provide the best care that you can.”

Host an NEPA Gives Business Fundraiser

As an NEPA business, you have a special opportunity to participate in NEPA Gives coming up on Friday, June 5.

NEPA Gives is a 24-hour giving day where more than 175 local non-profits will come together to raise money across seven counties. Businesses have a unique opportunity to support these non-profits by hosting their own fundraiser in support of NEPA Gives.

How does it work?

Your company hosts a fundraiser in support of an organization(s) already participating in the NEPA Gives initiative. (Or, you can just make a one-time donation on Friday!)

This is a great opportunity to help boost company morale with a little friendly competition, while inspiring and empowering your employees and customers to give back to our community when we need it most.

NEPA Gives has even put together a toolkit of resources you can use to help promote the fundraiser, with tips on how to make the most of your effort. There you can learn more about how to market your fundraiser, provide incentives for both employees and customers, social media and marketing prompts, and more.

Plus, if you a run fundraiser in support of NEPA Gives, your company will be featured on the NEPA Gives homepage all day on Friday, June 5.

Visit the NEPA Gives toolkit page to learn more.

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