First Posted: 4/8/2012

About 40 Lake-Noxen Elementary School third and fourth-graders often start their after-school program by shimmying and shaking to the beats of a few silly songs.

That’s because the after-school mentoring and tutoring program run by Misericordia University students can only be effective if students “get their wiggles out,” said senior Chelsea Mixon, of Bethlehem.

Mixon is part of a group of students that have “adopted” Noxen Township as part of a community outreach project sponsored by Misericordia. The project began in September, though it was planned before historic flooding rocked the township in 2011.

Since then, the group of students has donated books to the Noxen Library, provided food to the Noxen Food Pantry, sorted clothing at the community’s Clothes Closet and began mentoring young minds at Lake-Noxen Elementary on a weekly basis in December.

Mixon said the first half of the program, designed for students in grade 3 through 6, was dedicated to helping students having trouble in certain subject areas. The second half features fun activities to help students learn skills like team building and conflict resolution.

The third and fourth-grade students learned about community service on March 19 as Mixon led the group in creating scarves to donate to the Clothes Closet, located in the Old Schoolhouse Building on School Street, Noxen Township. The students also made bookmarks for the Noxen library.

Twenty-one-year-old Brittany Kneal, of Shavertown, got involved in the project due to a course requirement, but finds herself looking forward to spending time with the youngsters every Monday and Tuesday.

“Everyone’s got a different learning style so I can see there are different ways to help,” she said about tutoring.

Kneal also can see the way the program affects the children who participate.

“They love it,” she said. “They love being able to get their homework done while in school instead of worrying about it later, and they help one another.”

Alexa Harvey, 8, of Noxen, likes the program because of snack time. She’s already had some experience in community service, too.

“During the flood, the water was up to our door, but we stayed at my Pop’s on the hill,” she said. “My neighbor (got flooded) and she’s really old and needs help, so me and my mom go to help her.”

Zach Stuart, 9, of Sweet Valley, loves playing games and writing in a journal at the end of the day.

The students write in a journal at the end of every session and the mentors write back.


(Chelsea) Mixon is part of a group of students that have “adopted” Noxen Township as part of a community outreach project sponsored by Misericordia. The project began in September, though it was planned before historic flooding rocked the township in 2011.


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