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    Spitz Foundation Grant Supports Summer Program

    The University of Scranton received a $8,000 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation to support its SPARK Program, a week-long summer camp for area teens designed to foster teamwork, self-esteem and acceptance of others through interactive educational and outdoor activities. Pictured is Patricia Vaccaro, director of the University’s Center for Service and Social Justice, who founded SPARK with Scranton alumnus Danny Marx, a Scranton graduate and teacher at Scranton Prep. The Scranton Area Community Foundation serves as the administrator of the Robert H. Spitz Foundation.
    November 5, 2020

    The University of Scranton received a $8,000 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation to support its SPARK Program, which a free, week-long summer enrichment camp for Scranton-area teens offered through a collaboration between The University of Scranton and Scranton Preparatory School. Area students aged 12-16 who participate in SPARK are recruited through the Nativity Miguel School, the United Neighborhood Centers and Friends of the Poor.

    SPARK is designed to foster teamwork, self-esteem and acceptance of others through interactive educational and outdoor activities. The program is run by students from the University and Scranton Prep under the supervision of University staff and faculty. SPARK takes place at the University’s Conference and Retreat Center at Chapman Lake one week in July.

    SPARK also provides mentoring training and opportunities for service for University and Scranton Prep students who volunteer to help run the program.

    SPARK was founded in 2012 by Patricia Vaccaro, director of the University’s Center for Service and Social Justice, and Danny Marx, a graduate of the University and Prep, who is now a mathematics teacher at Scranton Prep.

    Support from the Spitz Foundation will allow planning and recruiting for SPARK’s mentors and participants to begin early 2021, so that the camp is ready to continue this summer when the danger from the pandemic has passed.

    The Robert H. Spitz Foundation is a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization that supports initiatives and programs serving the residents of Lackawanna County and Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Scranton Area Community Foundation serves as the administrator of the Robert H. Spitz Foundation.

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