AU Press Releases

Children's Learning Initiative reaches 600-plus students during academic year

As its first year of partnership with the ACCORD (Allegany County Community Opportunities and Rural Development) Corp. of Allegany County draws to a close, the Children and Youth Learning Initiative (CYLI) at Alfred University reports it has offered 29 programs to more than 600 middle and high school students from Allegany and western Steuben counties.

Students from seven area schools and programs visited the AU campus for three-hour, educational “field days” that emphasized the advantages of college attendance and making sound educational choices through a wide variety of activities ranging from a visit to the Equestrian Center to a program on Chinese culture and language.

CYLI is a grant-funded venture that provides after-school programming to students in Allegany and Western Steuben counties, free of charge. The program’s goal is to encourage students to attend college after high school graduation.

“Our impact has not only been on the surrounding community,” said Katie Wall, an AU student enrolled in the master of science in education degree program and CYLI grad assistant. “We have also given a huge number of AU students an opportunity to volunteer in their adopted community.”

CYLI was joined by 39 AU students giving their time to the program and logging 308 hours of service. Wall singled out the efforts of Nick Rampersad, an education and history major who will be a senior this fall, who single-handedly volunteered over 100 hours.

Christopher Romanchock, CYLI program director, said he is pleased with the partnership’s first year, noting, “in 2009-10 we should have some money in place to give faculty stipends for their trouble, as well as some incentives for student volunteers that will hopefully make recruitment easier.”

Program offerings ranged from the popular hands-on chemistry demonstration offered by Dr. Garret McGowan, associate professor of chemistry, and Drawn to Diversity program with Dan Napolitano, director of Student Activities, to several new programs developed this year including Photorama with Dr. Corrie Burdick, instructor in education, and Robot Armageddon offered in partnership with the AU Robot Club.

CYLI programming is on hiatus until September. The office will remain open through the end of June if you would like more information; it will re-open in August. To contact CYLI, please call 607.871.700 or e-mail