Filling a need created by the COVID-19 pandemic and already launching across school districts this fall, Solve-It Berks and Solve-It Berks Kids provide free career internship, mentorship and digital curriculum for all Pre-K to 12th grade students and teachers in Berks County.
The collaborative initiatives are offered through a partnership between the Berks County Intermediate Unit’s Career Ready Berks Alliance and Albright College’s Science Research Institute. Bringing the organizations together after recognizing potential difficulty for schools to meet PA Standards in Career Education and Work requirements, Adelle Schade, dean of pre-college and summer programs and director of the Science Research Institute at Albright College says the collaborative initiative is a perfect solution.
“Solve-It Berks (for grades 5-12) and Solve-It Berks Kids (Pre-K-4) were developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” explains Stacy Dunleavy, program administrator for Career Ready Berks at the Berks County Intermediate Unit. Curriculum for the programs will differ by age group.
“With the various restrictions in place, we knew students would not have opportunities to participate in in-person internships, job shadowing or field trips to businesses,” said Dunleavy. “In addition, business and industry representatives would not be able to visit schools in-person. Knowing the importance of these interactions, we developed a way to keep the important work moving forward and available for students.”
Live, online networking, and recorded sessions with career pathway specific professionals will help teachers and students adapt to diverse scheduling needs, and to develop “visionary solution proposals” for business or industry experts. Students will also participate in small group meetings with trained Albright College students.
“Because Solve-It Berks also provides intern experiences and job opportunities for college students, the initiative is a win-win for all involved,” adds Schade.