Last updated: February 19. 2013 4:16PM - 766 Views

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HARRISBURG ‚?? Pennsylvania First Lady Susan Corbett today visited Abington Heights Middle School in Clarks Summit as part of her Opening Doors initiative.

She observed the after-school activities program which has helped make Abington Heights a ‚??School to Watch‚?Ě by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform.

Mrs. Corbett spoke with middle school students, teachers and administrators during a school-wide assembly. She also observed clubs and activities including, TV studio, Science Olympiad, jewelry making, mural club, open gym, Math Counts, glee club and rock band.

The visit officially kicked off Mrs. Corbett‚??s Opening Doors initiative in the northeast region of Pennsylvania. Opening Doors aims to identify middle school students in Pennsylvania who are likely to drop out of high school and then provide them with guidance and support to stay in school.

‚??Abington Heights Middle School has successfully developed an after-school program that keeps students engaged while providing opportunities to explore new interests,‚?Ě Mrs. Corbett said. ‚??I applaud school administrators and faculty for their commitment to ensuring promising futures for Pennsylvania‚??s youth.‚?Ě

The Abington Heights Middle School after-school activities program offers 41 different activities and clubs with more than 400 students participating.

‚??Our after-school program strongly contributes to students feeling valued, supported, empowered and inspired,‚?Ě Michael Elisa, principal of Abington Heights Middle School said. ‚??Due to these feelings, students report a willingness to try new things, an increase in self-efficacy and worth, and a better overall satisfaction during their middle school years.‚?Ě

Mrs. Corbett launched the Opening Doors initiative in the summer of 2012 to increase the number of students in Pennsylvania who graduate from high school on time. Mrs. Corbett travels across the commonwealth, talking with school administrators and students. She also visits schools and programs that are making strides to keep students in school.

To learn more about the Opening Doors initiative, visit www.pa.gov/firstlady
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