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is a reminder to parents whose children are attending GNA.
We do not carry
medical insurance on students, but do provide parents with the opportunity to
select a primary excess group insurance plan for students.
We have included
all the information and forms to fill out on the left navigation bar of the main
can get online for less
Comcast is offering new program for low-income households
that would save $31 off regular price.
Hundreds of low-income families throughout Luzerne County
are eligible to sign up for a new program offered by Comcast that would mean monthly
Internet bills of $9.95, a $31 savings off the regular service price.
Comcast serves a geographic majority of Luzerne County, it does not serve the
greater Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton or Mountain Top areas. It does serve most of the
West Side, the greater Pittston area, the greater Nanticoke area and much of the
Back Mountain. To see if your home is in Comcast territory, call 1-855-846-8376.
You can learn more about the program at www.InternetEssentials.com.
Called Internet Essentials, the program offers low-cost access to the Internet
and even fully-installed netbook computers for families in Comcast Internet territory
who have children eligible to receive free lunches through the National School
Lunch Program. The program launched earlier this summer and was a condition of
the Federal Communication Commission for Comcast to secure federal approval to
purchase NBC Universal. As part of the merger, Comcast agreed to increase
broadband deployment in low income households.
The Internet Essentials
program meets that requirement.
Anthony Perrone, superintendent of the Greater
Nanticoke Area School District, said the program comes at a good time, because
of the difficult economy.
With many families dealing with unemployment and
children affected by their parents loss of income, the Internet can become
an unaffordable luxury. But the lack of Internet service at home could negatively
impact a student.
I know how important they (computers) are, Perrone
said. Theres a reason we have them in every classroom. He said
letters will be sent home to all families with students in the district, along
with school bus schedules, detailing the program and information on eligibility
and how to sign up.
Perrone said 43 percent of the 2,250 students in his district
are eligible for the free lunch program, and all districts include families living
in poverty and suffering from economic hardships.
Comcast spokesman Bob Grove
said the company has known there is a digital divide in this country and
we see this as a way we can help to bridge that divide. He added that research
has shown that there are three barriers to people getting on the Internet: cost
of the computer, cost of the service and a lack of understanding of how the Internet
is relevant and useful. He said this program addresses all three.
In addition to the affordable internet, the program offers the opportunity to
buy a netbook computer for $149.99 plus tax and access to free digital literacy
training in print, online or in person.
diploma offered at LCCC
County Community College will offer a new Paraeducator Diploma for individuals
wishing to obtain a Special Education Paraeducators Credential in the Commonwealth
of Pennsylvania for employment as a paraeducator for kindergarten through grade
12. The completion of the 16-credit diploma program provides students with the
training and documentation to apply to the Commonwealth for the Special Education
be held at the Colleges main campus in Nanticoke and evening sections are
available for most classes. If a student decides to continue study, the 16 credits
articulate into the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Early Childhood Education
at LCCC. LCCC was able to make the Paraeducator diploma program available through
the Pennsylvania Department of Education State Personnel Development Grant: Improving
Student Results: A Focus on Highly Qualified Special Education Personnel.
more information, call LCCC at 740-0522 or (800) 377-LCCC, extension 7522.
tells of bullyings deadly toll
GNA students hear about tragic consequences
of physical, online taunting
before hundreds of Greater Nanticoke Area students in eighth through 12th grades,
John Halligan emotionally told the story of his son, Ryan, who committed suicide
in 2003 at the age of 13.
He detailed the story of physical and cyber-bullying
his son went through that ultimately led to him taking his own life.
cant fix everything with a speech, said Halligan, a nationally touring
speaker. But my hope is I can help at least one of you.
a few problems with the sound system, Halligans message seemingly came through
loud and clear to the students. Many asked questions after the presentation and
several remained to have one-on-one teary conversations with him.
and his wife, Kelly, have a website ryansstory.org
and they personally respond to emails to try to help wherever they can.
community, this school, has lost a few kids in recent years, Halligan said
after his presentation. A lot of the students are having a difficult time
finding their way through the experience of losing a friend. They asked me for
advice on how to move on after the loss of somebody.
Halligan will be
in Luzerne County for three weeks speaking to students in all its school districts
and to parents groups. The former IBM worker from New York has dedicated his life
to trying to eradicate bullying and to prevent suicide, especially among young
Personal story shared
Standing alone on stage, Halligan relates
Ryans story as pictures of his son and family flash on a screen behind him.
Halligan then tells the story of his sons tragic journey that began in the
fifth grade and ended at the start of eighth grade.
Halligan talks about the
his sons innocence his autism, his awkwardness, his failure in athletics
and his struggle to fit in with the cool kids. The hour-long presentation
takes viewers through the familys attempts to resolve the conflicts in Ryans
life, the guilt that followed his death and the forgiveness of those who directly
impacted Ryan and influenced his decision to end his life.
Beginning with the
frantic phone call Halligan received from his wife informing him that Ryan committed
suicide to struggling to answer the question, Why? Halligan painted
a clear picture of his son. There was the difficulty in accepting what had happened
and the self-blame for not being able to do whatever it would have taken to prevent
Among their considerations: self-defense lessons, possible home-schooling,
counseling, confrontation and computer safeguards.
Halligan said one his sons
supposed friends proved to be untrue she led Ryan to believe she cared
about him as a friend, when in reality she was talking behind his back. When she
called Ryan a loser in front of her friends, Ryan was distraught,
That and an untrue rumor Ryan was gay that
spread like wildfire in school, and on the Internet, eventually pushed Ryan to
his unfortunate end.
There is no greater pain than that of a parent who
has lost a child, Halligan said. All of you are loved beyond belief.
Dont ever believe for a second that you dont matter.
said there are no perfect families; that there are people in everybodys
life who truly care.
Ryans death was the result of a disease called
depression, Halligan said.
After Ryans death, the boy who was the
main bully was still spreading untruths about his son, Halligan said. He went
to the boys home and sat with him and his parents. I looked at him
and told him he had no idea the amount of pain he had brought into my sons
life, Halligan said. I told him there is no do-over here; my son is
Halligan said he hasnt spoken to the bully since
that day and he just wants to tell Ryans story to as many people as he can
with the hope that some will listen and change their ways or their intentions.
be a bystander, he said. Be an up-stander. This is not about throwing
punches; its about throwing words. Be a friend.
Halligan said he
and his wife still struggle with Ryans death, as do their two other children:
Megan, now 27, and Conor, who is in the 11th grade.
Halligan, who has spoken
at hundreds of high schools across the U.S., said telling Ryans story takes
its toll on him. By the end of the school year, Im physically and
emotionally exhausted, he said. Sometimes I wonder how much longer
I can do this.
For now, his mission to prevent further family and community
tragedies continues. These are all good kids, he said. They
just need to have the courage to talk to somebody.