The Carpe Diem Academy is an afterschool program for grades K-2 Elementary School students in the city of Erie.
This program is designed to provide a safe, nurturing and fun place for the students to continue to learn after the school day has ended. It currently serves about 250 students in the Erie City School District.
The Education department and students here at Mercyhurst University are heavily involved in running this program. A major part of this Academy involves an integration of the Arts, which many believe is very important for the students at Carpe Diem.
The City of Erie is considered highest at risk in the state for school failure and there has been a strong link between music and the arts and the classroom success of students. The Carpe Diem Academy is now competing to win a $15,000 grant which would provide the children with an opportunity to have free violin lessons for the rest of the school year.
Senior Education major Loren Olewnik said, “I think the students getting violins would be an excellent experience for them.”
The schools involved would be for students at Diehl, McKinley, Lincoln and Edison Elementary Schools. These lessons would typically be twenty minute lessons integrated into the Carpe Diem instruction, and the students would be able to take their violins home.
The Academy has paired up with the Greater Erie Youth Symphony Orchestra (GEYSO) to compete for this grant.
“I believe that winning the grant would provide the students with an opportunity that they would unlikely have,” said Leanne Roberts, Ph.D., associate dean of the Hafenmaier school of Education.
“I think it would be great for the kids,” said senior Mary Newara, who works at the Carpe Diem Academy.
To promote this grant, Mercyhurst University has turned to social media such as Facebook and YouTube. There have also been emails sent out to all of Mercyhurst students and faculty.
Voting online is through the link www.erieuchoose.com link under the acronym GEYSO, and only takes about three minutes or so. Voting ends on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at noon. The winners will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 13, at 8:30 a.m.