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Learning Hubs Support Students and Parents Through Pandemic

Posted on March 2, 2021

Johnstown, PA (March 2, 2021) – Deeply impacted by the pandemic and ever-fluctuating in-person, hybrid and all-virtual instruction at area schools, nearly 100 families turned to The Learning Lamp’s Learning Hubs for help. The Learning Lamp’s child care and after school programs quickly shifted from traditional models to Learning Hubs, where school work was at the forefront. The hubs helped, and continue to help, children and parents navigate virtual learning platforms and complete and submit school assignments.

“We were already there providing care for school-aged children. That included ensuring children completed homework. Establishing Learning Hubs was a natural progression. It’s what families needed us to do to help them manage the pandemic,” explained Erica Ponczek, The Learning Lamp’s Director of Child Development and Early Learning.

“My children’s needs were met and they were able to get their work completed. I’m very thankful for The Learning Lamp’s help with virtual learning,” said Bethany Zawisza, parent of two children enrolled at The Learning Lamp. Another mom from Richland who doesn’t get home from work until 6 p.m. appreciated that school work was mostly done, allowing her to have more quality time with her child.

The organization’s Learning Hubs for school-aged children have served more than 100 students since the start of the school year at locations including Johnstown, Richland, Somerset, Westmont, and Jennerstown. While in a virtual mode, a program housed at Cambria Elementary in Ebensburg also hosted a hub for students.

The Learning Lamp’s free After School Outreach Program in Johnstown’s Oakhurst and Coopersdale neighborhoods continue to serve as hubs operating during after school hours. They are a critical help to parents and students in the Greater Johnstown School District.

“I have had several parents approach me during this time of remote and hybrid learning to thank me for the extra help in getting their kids caught up on work, as their children were falling behind simply because parents were overwhelmed,” said Amanda Peretin, The Learning Lamp’s Outreach Coordinator.

The Learning Lamp’s Learning Hubs will continue ongoing at locations across Cambria and Somerset counties as long as they are needed. For more information about The Learning Lamp’s programs for school-aged students, visit www.thelearninglamp.org. 


The Learning Lamp is a nonprofit organization with a mission to engage all children in the support they need to succeed. We deliver high quality programs that are affordable and accessible to families of all income levels. In 2020, The Learning Lamp served 28,938 youth/adults from 51 public school districts and 36 other schools and organizations in 13 Pennsylvania counties. 

Our programs include: one-to-one tutoring; before/after school programs; portable classrooms aimed at building math and science skills; alternative education programs for at-risk students; evidence-based prevention programs; online learning and credit recovery; SAT preparation; educationally-focused child care; literacy-based preschool programs; and grant writing and project consulting for schools.

The latest on Instagram:

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