and APRIL FEAGLEY

Platinum and gold are a priceless elements which convey its wealth to those lucky enough to find them. The platinum and gold partners of The Daily News Newspaper in Education (NIE) do precisely that by supporting local school students with an opportunity to stay informed on what happens in their county.

Platinum partners are ACCO Brands, Alexandria, Comfort Inn, Huntingdon, Juniata College and the John B. Brown Funeral Home, Huntingdon. The gold partners include Brumbaugh Lumber, LLC, Shirleysburg, F&M Trust, Orbisionia, Holiday Bowl, Mill Creek, Huntingdon County Commissioner Jeff Thomas, Uhring’s Hearing & Balance, Huntingdon, and Valley Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc., Huntingdon.

Additional gold partners, 504 Law, Bumgardner & Flasher Oil, Inc., CBT Bank, F&M Trust, Hoss’s Steak and Sea House, Huntingdon Fiberglass Products, LLC, J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital, Kyper Insurance and Standing Stone Coffee Co. will be featured in a future article.

“For me personally, I have grandchildren in elementary school and I hope they participate in the program,” said Polly Williams, office manager at Brumbaugh Lumber, LLC. “Overall, the company views the NIE program as a good asset to the schools.”

Juniata College provides support to the program as it underscores the importance of education within the community.

“Juniata College is proud to partner with The Daily News to support the NIE program because it fosters two important attributes,” said Gabe Welsch, vice president of advancement and marketing at Juniata College. “First, by providing young people with a means to discuss, evaluate and understand information and news, the NIE program helps teachers develop the critical abilities of their students. Second, newspapers, particularly those that provide community news in a condensed and collected manner that no other medium can match, help students see the challenges and strengths of their community and consider their roles as emerging citizens.”

While newspapers may not be a resource students readily access independently, by bringing them into the classroom NIE opens windows and doors to the wider community surrounding them.

“The NIE program is something we are honored and happy to support,” said Doug Hallinan of the John B. Brown Funeral Home, Inc. “Bringing newspapers into the school system, is a great idea. To bring a newspaper in and for teachers to be able to use that as a tool and to bring current events into the schools is great. I think it’s wonderful.”

Through NIE, horizons are expanded and students learn about potential career paths available to them locally.

“These are some of the folks we are going to be looking at for future employees. For the up-and-comers in the community, it helps them get a leg up,” said Jerry Rucker, general manager of ACCO Brands, Alexandria. “They get to hear the terminology and the issues in play in Huntingdon County so they can form opinions and know where they stand.”

Whereas people use to grow up reading the paper daily to stay up-to-date, technology has made getting access to news sites convenient and fast. However, information can be overlooked, misleading or false, which leads to jumping to conclusions about events and missing local facts.

“Teens and children can get their information from the computer,” said Jim Shuck, owner of the Holiday Bowl. “But, often times, they don’t see anything local. They need to know what’s going on in their hometown.”

Uhring’s Hearing & Balance also partnered with the program with the children in mind.

“We want to help continue to growth of education in youth,” said James Uhring, owner of Uhring’s Hearing & Balance. “It’s a great gateway to educate the school students.”

The NIE program helps establish a connection between students and the newspaper as they read on current events but, it also provides a relationship between the partners and schools.

“This kind of program enables companies to become sponsors and give back to the community,” says Ethan DeVore, temporary manager at Valley Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. as current manager is on military leave. “Thanks to this program, we’ve actually been able to visit schools, give presentations on electrical safety and build relationships.”

With these connections, companies feel like they have a bigger impact on their community, especially with the youth.

While the NIE program is another teaching tool in high school, it can also impact students’ futures.

“We enjoy giving back to our community and we appreciate being part of this opportunity, but it’s more than that,” said Bertha Peffer, community office manager at F&M Trust. “This program helps prepare the youth for the future. We don’t want to see our youth leave high school and enter the world unprepared.”

Jeff Thomas, Huntingdon County Commissioner, also looks into the future and how the NIE program can be an asset.

“It’s a great learning opportunity for the youth,” Thomas said “Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders. Keeping them informed about politics, world and local news and events helps prepare them for their future careers. It’s a great benefit for Huntingdon County and everyone involved.”

Staying updated on news, both locally and nationally, can give a better perspective of the world and how events affect everyone.

“A lot of the youth don’t know what’s going on in the world,” Peffer says. “They get their information from the internet, but that’s not always the best source. Relying on a credible source is how people stay up-to-date on facts. Without this program, I’m afraid that the youth wouldn’t pick up a newspaper and wouldn’t know the different events going on that’s likely to impact their futures. This program can help prepare them for the world.”

Kirsten can be reached at kbilger@huntingdondailynews.com.

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