Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Reality Check

Sponsored by Tri-County Area Federal Credit Union, Citadel Credit Union and Diamond Federal Credit Union

On Wednesday, April 25, 2018, Tri County Area Federal Credit Union, Diamond Credit Union, Citadel and the Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation brought a Financial Reality Fair to Owen J Roberts High School!   This was the first Financial Reality Fair at the High School. The fair provided about 400 students with experiential learning and a hands-on budgeting experience to gain practical knowledge about personal financial management in a one-day, “real world” environment. 

This real world exercise instructs students to choose a career level and salary, and then budget their monthly expenses to make ends meet.   Students must find a place to live, obtain transportation, and pay for food and other essentials.  Students visited with Fair volunteers to “purchase” goods and services needed in everyday life.  As in the real world, entertainment opportunities and other non-essential services were also made available.  All students were required to spin the “Wheel of Reality” to receive one of life’s surprises, such as an unexpected cash gift or the expense of a flat tire.  Students document their income and expenses during the exercise and must balance their budget for the month before reviewing their final budget with a Financial Counselor.  Upon completion of the exercise, students were each given a “Keeping It Real” T-shirt, donated by Wrigley’s Office Supply.

John Faust, President/CEO of Diamond Credit Union, Thomas Bailey, Director of Retail Delivery at Citadel, and Andrew C. Pistoria, President/CEO of Tri County Area FCU agreed that the Financial Reality Fair is an excellent opportunity for the credit unions to join together and teach students the value of responsible spending.     

The Fair was coordinated by teams from all three credit unions and made possible with guidance and materials from the Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation.   Volunteers included employees from Citadel, Tri County Area FCU, Diamond Credit Union and Wrigley’s Office Supply, as well as, Owen J Roberts High School faculty members. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Working Together for Strong Communities

In the spirit of working together to nurture community, the Owen J. Roberts Board of School Directors Buildings and Grounds Committee made a goal to meet and open up dialogue with local municipality leaders and police chiefs. The committee held a gathering on April 5, 2018, with refreshments sponsored and donated by Chartwells. More than 20 community leaders were in attendance. Parties from the school and community were able to make introductions among neighbors and network toward strong school/community relations.

Middle School Students Shine in Letters About Literature

Mrs. Wheeler and Claire Venanzi
Claire Venanzi has won the Level 2, Grades 7 and 8, Letters About Literature (LAL) contest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Claire is a student in Mrs. Wheeler's Eighth Grade English Language Arts Class at Owen J. Roberts Middle School.

Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to the author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged on state and national levels. Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year.

In addition to Claire's first place, another student from Owen J. Roberts Middle School had a letter place in the top 5 letters. Elizabeth G. Geist, an eighth grade student in Ms. Colleen Hampton's Language Arts class, took this honor. Karla M. Schmit, Director, Pennsylvania Center for the Book, said in an email, "Outstanding to have two letters of excellent writing come from one school! Congratulations to the teachers, too!"

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Provocative, Inspired and Masterful Art

Don't miss the

Code RED

Wow! Congratulations to Ms.Gloria Razga Houseman's OJRHS Coding Crew for their amazing performance in Widener University's 12th Annual High School Programming Competition. The team not only placed FIRST, but completed all 8 problems with the best time of any team over the past 12 years! 

The contest invites HS students in the mid-Atlantic area to participate in a 2.5 hour competition. Students compete in teams of 2 or 3 demonstrating their programming skills and problem-solving abilities.

Go Wildcats! Ms. Houseman remarked, "Thank you to all of OJR for supporting these students' participation in this wonderful experience that was thoroughly enjoyed by all participants!"

1st place team: Ahmed Alveed, Andrew Kwiatowski, Michael Rauco
other participants:  Oscar Balan, Sriya Jonnadula, TJ Reynolds

Safety Bug Aims to Help Young Drivers Make Good Choices

The VW Beetle is one of only two cars of its kind in the state.

On Thursday, April 12, 2018, Owen J. Roberts teens were given a real-life impaired driving experience. Throughout the day, running continuously from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., the PA DUI Safety Bug, a Volkswagen Beetle custom-engineered to demonstrate the loss of control one would experience if operating a motor vehicle while in an impaired state, was operated by licensed student drivers. The key difference is that it’s the car – not the driver – who is “drunk.” The car is engineered to have up to a 2-second delay in reaction giving students the ability to experience what it is like to attempt control of a motor vehicle with as little as one alcoholic beverage.

While licensed teenage drivers are able to experience The Safety Bug from a vantage point behind the wheel, an equally valuable lesson is afforded backseat passengers. The youth who are “along for the ride” soon realize the helpless position they would be put in as passengers in the car of an impaired driver. Special goggles are available for passengers so they may also understand the lack of control.

Classroom driver training, behind the wheel driver training, and lessons learned from a teen’s experience with The Safety Bug are likely to have a positive impact upon the participant’s future decisions – and help prevent risky behaviors, hopefully saving lives. 

In early 2013, Owen J. Roberts was approved as a road testing site for students to complete PA licensing requirements. Classroom driver training is part of the curriculum at Owen J. Roberts High School and the school also offers Behind the Wheel driver training at a minimal cost to students.