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 Blog Post

A Strong Start to 2024 in the Waymart Education Department

Tags: Waymart
May 22, 2024 12:00 AM
By: Michelle Lipko, SCI Waymart School Principal

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​​2024 has provided inmates at SCI Waymart with various unique learning opportunities. Recognizing that not all learning occurs in a traditional classroom setting, the staff at Waymart coordinated to provide the following:

February/Black History Month: The History of Blacks in Film

Professor Thomas Shubilla from Luzerne County Community College presented a 4-part series to interested inmates called “The History of Blacks in Film.” From the silent film era to the present, participants learned about the roles, obstacles, and successes of black actors in the film industry. As always, inmates were respectful, engaged and appreciative of a post-1600 learning experience.

March/International Women’s History Month: Race and Religious Syncretism in Cuba

Dr. Michelle Maldonado, provost at University of Scranton, lectured on an esoteric topic; nonetheless, her fascinating lecture was understood and enthusiastically embraced by the participants.  A few even had first-hand experience with Santeria and Orishas.  Dr. Maldonado masterfully explained how the roots of West African religions influenced religious beliefs practiced today in Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Southern Florida.  Audience participation in this lecture was phenomenal!

April/Financial Literacy Month:  Lectures for O Blockers by Local Bank Manager

A three-part Financial Literacy lecture series was presented to O-Block residents so that they could learn about banking, credit and small business loans. Many of the participants will be leaving Waymart soon and need to be careful not to fall victim to financial scams.

Craaig Grimm, Waymart Branch Manager for Wayne Bank covered topics including online banking, documentation needed for loans, how co-signing an account impacts one’s credit score and businesses with low start-up costs. Residents of O Block typically work in the garage, maintenance, warehouse and powerhouse. Grimm arranged his schedule so that he could present on O Block once these residents returned from their workday. He patiently and thoroughly answered many questions from participants throughout the presentations.

April/National Poetry Month/Second Chance Month: Second Chance Poetry Contest

Education collaborated with Reentry on Waymart’s Annual Poetry Contest.  This year’s theme was Second Chances, and the contest was open to all inmates. Participants typed poems specifying how reentry will provide them with a second chance to contribute positively to society. Thirty-three entries were received.  All participants received a $5 account credit, and the winner received $25.

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