NEPA Scene Staff

NEPA Reading Association celebrates 50th anniversary with banquet in Scranton on Nov. 5

NEPA Reading Association celebrates 50th anniversary with banquet in Scranton on Nov. 5
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From a press release:

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Reading Association will be celebrating its 50th anniversary on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center in downtown Scranton.

A banquet is planned, and members of the Keystone State Reading Association are planning to attend, as well as local members and special guests. The speaker for the evening is Michael Soskil, the Wallenpaupack teacher who was a Global Teacher Award Finalist.

Soskil believes students need meaningful emotional connections to learn. He engages them in distance learning service projects and uses multimedia technology to link them to others who are passionate about real-world problems. He has helped students connect live with over 70 countries, as well as the International Space Station.

In one project, children from the U.S. and Greece connected with children in Nairobi’s Kibera slum and partnered with Vestergaard to raise over $12,000 for water filters to protect two schools and 3,000 slum residents against disease. Soskil’s students created videos to teach mathematics to the Kenyan children who, in return, taught them Swahili. The collaboration, featured at last year’s International Society for Technology in Education Conference, grew to include student-created videos from dozens of countries.

Soskil’s school has exceeded state averages in tests every year, despite great poverty in the area. His students achieved a 100 percent pass rate in state maths exams.

His work has been the subject of many articles in international publications. He is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (he co-authored the “Mystery Skype Notebook”) and NGO advisor. A speaker at the UN Social Innovation and Mashable/UN Foundation Social Good summits, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching and made the 2015 Global Teacher Prize Top 50. He is very active in teacher training and recruitment both in the U.S. and abroad.

Two Celebrate Literacy Awards will also be presented at the NPRA celebration to two individuals who have given exemplary service to the promotion of literacy. These awards are provided by the International Literacy Association and are a surprise announced that evening.

A 50th anniversary celebration is a major event for any organization, but this is especially notable because of the many ways that the association promotes literacy. Based in Dalton, NPRA is a professional organization serving Lackawanna, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming Counties devoted to the improvement of all aspects of reading. They provide extensive professional development opportunities and family programs on a variety of topics at different locations throughout the area, including over 30 school districts, colleges and universities, libraries, and child care providers.

Members are genuinely concerned with the improvement of reading programs and teaching procedures, both developmental and remedial, for children and adults, and with providing adequate guidance in all situations in which reading serves as a vital aid to learning.

To inquire about the banquet at the Hilton (100 Adams Ave, Scranton) or the organization itself, contact NPRA President Donna Salva at 570-815-6068 or 570-563-1455 or e-mail