New CarbonCorps to Provide In-School Support to Carbon County Children and Families

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United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley partners with Carbon County school districts to improve student performance through school-based mentoring program. 

Allentown, PA, July 6, 2020 According to the National Mentoring Resource Center, school-based mentoring models are most impactful when they are focused on goals such as increasing connectedness, improving youth self-esteem and self-efficacy, and simply encouraging students to grow personally and academically. Starting in Fall 2020, CarbonCorps, a new school-based mentoring program, is coming to Carbon County schools. The initiative, led by United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (UWGLV) AmeriCorps Program, will connect families to community resources to enhance learning outcomes.

“Removing barriers or obstacles so that students can achieve better outcomes in school and beyond is the goal of the new program,” states Jill Pereira, Vice President, Education and Impact, UWGLV. “After experiencing success with school-based mentoring models in Lehigh Valley schools, we anticipate similar positive developments for Carbon County students as well.”

The initiative strives to:

  • Increase school
  • Improve behavioral health related to trauma.
  • Improve physical health through diet and
  • Improve access to community-based health services and
  • Increase student and family connection to
  • Educate parents about on-time Kindergarten
  • Increase the number of 3rd grade students reading at grade


CarbonCorps is made possible by a grant from PennSERVE, Pennsylvania’s state service commission, in affiliation with the AmeriCorps National Service program. Recruitment for the positions is underway. More information is available at

“Making the CarbonCorps program a reality depends upon expanding partnerships and collaborative investments,” added Pereira.

Panther Valley School District and AMETEK Foundation are the first organizations to partner to bring CarbonCorps to Panther Valley Elementary School.

“Panther Valley School District and AMETEK Foundation have a long-standing partnership centered around supporting the education of Panther Valley Elementary School students,” affirms Robert Palazzo, Principal of Panther Valley Elementary School. “We are thrilled to announce the expansion of this partnership to underwrite the cost of an AmeriCorps member at Panther Valley Elementary School for the 2020-2021 school year. Together with John Mayernik, plant manager at AMETEK in Nesquehoning, we are eager to witness the expanded social-emotional supports and services for students and families in the Panther Valley community.”

To sponsor an AmeriCorps member, Carbon County host sites will invest between $2,500 and $11,000 per member, depending on the number of hours served. Along with AMETEK Foundation, Lehigh Carbon Community College’s SHINE After School Program has committed to hosting several part-time mentors. Community partners interested in learning more about opportunities to fund cost shares may contact Gina Nichols, Assistant Director of Rural Education, UWGLV at to learn more.

About AmeriCorps

PennSERVE, Pennsylvania’s state service commission, administers the AmeriCorps National Service program. AmeriCorps and Senior Corps engage more than three million Americans in results-driven service at 50,000 locations across the country. United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley’s AmeriCorps program is grounded in the School-Based Mentoring model which concentrates on building relationships with students to enhance the core conditions of learning.

AmeriCorps members are individuals enrolled in national positions who engage in community service. Members are recruited, trained, supervised, and managed by a funded organization, and often receive a living allowance and other benefits while serving. Upon successful completion of service, members are eligible to receive education awards for higher education or student loans. For additional details, click HERE.


Mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley

The mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley is to provide the leadership, convene the partnerships, and develop the resources and solutions that improve our community. We remain committed to these goals and sincerely appreciate the continued support of partners, program providers and donors throughout the Lehigh Valley.

Information provided to TVL by:
Laura McHugh    
Associate Vice President, Communications and Media Relations 
United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
Celebrating 100 years of service to the Lehigh Valley.
1110 American Parkway NE  Suite F-120  Allentown, PA 18109