Work Worth Doing Takes a Great Team

Backpack and school suppliesA Message from the Executive Director

There’s just nothing like the start of a new school year! Excitement, anticipation, and the promise of new learning and new experiences are all around us as children head back to school – or start school for the very first time!

The start of a new year gives me yet another reason to reflect on how fortunate we are to have such a supportive community as part of our IU13 team. Just a few examples shine through, helping our students and classes prepare for an exciting year of learning:

  • This summer, IU13 launched a book bag drive to help children in need across our Head Start, Early Intervention, and school-age programs. This event was successful thanks to amazing community support, including Verizon’s donation of 50 filled backpacks, the Lancaster-Lebanon Education Foundation’s donation of $600, and a wide variety of school supply and personal care items generously donated by several individuals, including IU13 staff. In total, nearly 200 backpacks were prepared and distributed to families in need by IU13 social workers.
  • In addition, 300 young children served through our Lebanon Head Start program received backpacks purchased by the United Way through the Stuff the Bus Campaign and presented by Lebanon County Salvation Army.
  • Plus, Books-A-Million at Park City Center (Lancaster) hosted another book drive for IU13 classes this summer. Thanks to their efforts -- and the wonderful support of their customers -- hundreds of new books have been delivered to IU13 classrooms throughout Lancaster and Lebanon counties. I’m sure our students (and teachers!) will enjoy these additions to their classroom libraries throughout the year!

The new year also offers an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year. I invite you to explore some “Fast Facts” about IU13 to discover some of the highlights of our services and the scope of what we do in support of education. Here are just a few items we are pleased to share:

  • Served over 3,000 preschoolers (aged 3-5 years) through the Preschool Early Intervention program, designed to help students as they prepare for kindergarten
  • Helped 225+ school-age students receive competitive employment
  • Facilitated special education professional development opportunities for 10,600 participants
  • Initiated a new program with the PA College of Health Sciences to introduce students to health careers
  • Provided 16,000+ hours of assistance to schools and educators through the Pennsylvania Training & Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN)

In closing, I’d like to share one of my favorite quotes:

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” - Theodore Roosevelt

I am proud that IU13’s work is indeed “work worth doing,” and I encourage you to reach out to discover more about IU13 and to consider opportunities to partner with us in support of our students and our community. Happy New Year!

Brian D. Barnhart, Ed.D.
Executive Director