Erie Mayoral Candidate Republican John Persinger announces his 'Great Schools Initiative' today, while passing along gifts to the Erie School District.
While a lot of public and private partnership with the Erie School District is ongoing, Republican John Persinger says more needs to be done from the mayor's office and today, he set an example.
Persinger has a list of priorities to push in this final week before election. Today, one platform of importance is building stronger schools. To do so, he says if elected he plans to recruit a team of corporate sponsors and volunteers for each public school in the city. These private sector partners working with principals, teachers, parents and students to identify the schools' needs and ways to address them.
He says, "our schools play such a vital role in getting people to move to the city and get businesses to invest here, so the mayor needs to make sure the schools have the resources they need that our teachers and students are getting the technology they need directly into their hands".
To kick-start the initiative, Persinger's campaign donated 30 Amazon Kindle E-Readers to the district. The Kindles will benefit the kids in the before and after school program helping them to grow and develop a love for reading. Nick Price, leader of the before/after school program, tells us, "last year, we got 350 kids to read 240,000 extra pages with the incentive of a Kindle Fire for the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students who read the most".
These Kindles will be given to students at McKinley Elementary School to implement the same kind of literacy program. Price, overwhelmed by all the support from the community. "It just seems like the community is rallying around and bringing the community together based on the school district so we are very grateful."
Meantime, Persinger's Opponent, Democrat Joe Schember, says with all the community involvement already happening within the Erie School District, it may be premature to announce new programs. Schember says, "these programs exist and before we announce things we need to think them through, we need to be talking to existing programs and before we announce things, we need to figure out how we are going to pay for them. I helped the city when it was basically bankrupt and I don't want to see us back in that situation again".
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