First Lady Susan Corbett Highlights Opening Doors Initiative During Visit to Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Erie County

Apr 26, 2013, 14:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the First Lady

ERIE, Pa., April 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania First Lady Susan Corbett today toured Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Erie as part of her Opening Doors initiative.

She observed the school's "Activity Period" which offers more than 25 clubs and activities designed to keep students engaged in school. Mrs. Corbett spoke with middle school students, teachers and administrators.

The visit officially kicked off the First Lady's Opening Doors initiative in the region.

Opening Doors aims to identify middle school students who are likely to drop out of high school and then provide them with guidance and support to stay in school.

"Woodrow Wilson Middle School has successfully developed a school-day program that keeps students engaged while providing opportunities for them to explore new interests," Mrs. Corbett said. "Programs like this inspire and motivate students, increasing the odds that they will stay in school to graduate."

Students in grades 6-8 participate in the bi-weekly "Activity Period."  The program promotes positive relationships between teachers, students and peers who share similar interests.  Clubs and activities are led by teachers and change each semester.

"Wilson's Friday activity period has really helped students develop a deeper connection to the school and their peers through shared interests," Donald Orlando, principal of Woodrow Wilson Middle School said. "The more connected our students feel to school, the more likely they are to succeed."

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 is traveling across the state, talking with school administrators and students and visiting schools and programs that are making strides in identifying students in middle school who are at risk of dropping out and helping them to stay on track to graduate.

To learn more about the Opening Doors initiative, visit  

Media contact: Kirsten Page, Governor's Press Office; 717-783-1116
Ashley Mostek, First Lady's Office; 717-787-1965

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the First Lady