A former Somerset County man has donated a total of $31,500 to North Star Central Elementary School’s academic and schoolwide positive behavior, or PAWS, programs.
The donations from Carl Schrock, of Pittsburgh, have been used to improve the school’s STEM program and supply the school with various items, including Chromebooks, headphones, robotic and Lego kits, and dry erase tables.
Schrock attributes his success in the coal service business to his mother and being raised in the small community of Gray. His mother, whom he described as the “most caring, kindest person that I ever knew,” was involved in the PTA, Red Cross, World War II canteen, Girl Scouts, Beam church and local school board.
“Back in the ‘30s and ‘40s money was scarce and people donated their services,” he said.
According to Principal Renee Lepley, the Chromebooks and headphones help bolster students’ computer skills and enhance learning in math, reading and science. The Chromebooks allow students to use the internet for research and to collaborate, learn and create. The whiteboard tables are used in math classes from kindergarten through fourth grade. The STEM program has seen the most benefit from Schrock’s donations, Lepley said.
“I firmly believe our science, technology, engineering and math classes in the elementary will provide a strong foundation and motivation as our students progress through their learning years,” Lepley said. “The STEM class strongly focuses in teaching problem-solving, computer science, technology and robotics skills by using Cubelets, Dot and Dash, Ozobot Bits and Lego kits.”
With money donated last year for the PAWS program, the school was able to bring in Hogue’s Fun Factory for an end-of-the-year incentive. Students enjoyed bounce houses, snow cones, cotton candy and dunking their teachers in the dunking booth.
“Words cannot describe how appreciative we are of Mr. Schrock and his willingness to help the Little Cougars,” Lepley said. “He definitely has a heart of gold and love of the community.”