Carpe Diem Academy program starts in Erie

Carpe Diem is an after-school program in Erie for underprivileged children. The issue on everyone’s mind is the 2012 grant, which made it possible, will expire this September.

This grant was for $500,000 per year from 2012 until Sept. 30. The organization runs on this money to supply their students with food and education tools that rotate through the different schools this program has been implemented in.

The program runs four days a week from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The average schedule has students eating snacks and journal writing, physical activity and a period of reading or math.

The schedule also includes a break, bringing in a dance instructor from Spotlight Studio by Stacy, a fitness coach from JumpBunch, other activities and then a warm dinner before leaving.

The program is run by a site director who is a certified teacher enrolled in Mercyhurst’s graduate program and support teachers who are high standing Mercyhurst education majors.

Carpe Diem gives these students the ability to work in a real class environment.

Tom Gamble, Ph. D., President of Mercyhurst University, feels the students working at Carpe Diem, “will have the opportunity for hands-on engaged learning which will aid their employment prospects also they are living the Mercy mission to reach out in service to those on the margins of society.

Leanne Roberts, Ph. D., Associate Dean of Mercyhurst School of Education and founder of Carpe Diem Academy, hopes to not only continue the program in the future, but to expand it.

“The School District asked if we would be willing to explain the Academy to all of the Erie Public Elementary Schools. We would love to do so,” Roberts said.