PA Cyber's New 'Building Blocks' Learning Centers to Engage 'Children's Natural Love of Learning'

Jul 23, 2010, 16:47 ET from Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School

Announcement of first location at former Mt. Gallitzin Academy in Baden

BADEN, Pa., July 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School will launch a new service for its youngest students this fall with the opening of the first "Building Blocks Learning Center" in part of the former Mt. Gallitzin Academy.

Age 4 and 5 kindergarten students who are enrolled in PA Cyber may participate in any or all of daily activities designed to supplement the school's regular curriculum by engaging children's natural desire to learn, according to Dr. Nick Trombetta, CEO.

He anticipates an initial enrollment of 100 children at this site. Building Blocks centers are to be set up around the state if they prove to be popular and effective.

"Just as classroom schools are incorporating cyber courses into their curriculum, so we cyber schools are incorporating more bricks-and-mortar applications. This represents an extension of the education children receive through PA Cyber at home," said Dr. Trombetta. "Building Blocks offers 'learn by doing' sessions that will help children become excited about art, music, math, reading, and other subjects."

Andrew Oberg, the school's director, said, "We're going to turn kids on to education by engaging their curiosity and energy at an age that is so crucial for setting a pattern for their lives. Kids naturally love to learn and we will nurture that inclination."

Daily activities from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  will be divided into block sessions with imaginative titles including "Number Crunchers," "Mind Sparklers," "Sky's the Limit," "Fast Forward Reading," "Time Travelers" and "Fit and Fun." Playtime in the facility's gymnasium and playground, along with snacks and lunch for those desiring them, are part of the day's "menu" from which parents can select participation by their children.

Oberg said the center's full-time state-certified elementary staff is to be complemented with frequent activities offered by PA Cyber's art, music and world language staff. Activities will be geared toward using information instead of rote memorization, fostering critical thinking and problem-solving to lay a foundation for academic success.

A formal open house with tours and demonstrations is planned for 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 12. Beginning on a date to be announced, parents will be able to drop in for informal daytime tours. Individual enrollment interviews will be conducted by appointment at the facility on an ongoing basis.

Parents wishing to enroll their children in PA Cyber may call 1.888.PACYBER (888.722.9237), visit the school's website at, where they can learn about the school and its programs or engage in a live chat with an admissions counselor, or text "pacyber" to 313131 to have an admissions counselor call them. PA Cyber requires a face-to-face interview for enrollment.

The National Network of Digital Schools is leasing the former Mt.Gallitzin Academy building in Badento develop the first of a planned network of Education Innovation Centers. PA Cyber is subleasing portions of the facility for the Building Blocks program and also will utilize part of the building as office space for its elementary education department.

The "Building Blocks" program is sponsored in part by NCS Technologies Inc., a premier manufacturer of personal computers and other information technology.

PA Cyber, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is the state's largest and most successful online public school with an enrollment this past year of 9,000 statewide in grades K-12. As a public school chartered by the state, enrollment is open to any Pennsylvania resident at no cost to the individual. PA Cyber uses the best online curriculum and state-certified teachers, providing an academic program that meets or exceeds all state and national standards in a system that challenges students to excel while providing flexibility of schedule through self-paced and virtual online classes.

Contact Fred Miller, 724.777.5918,

SOURCE Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School