New community programs include art therapy, mock counseling, ‘Boro Little Learners, more

Category:  News
Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at 5:31 PM

Keeping with the theme, “For Those Who Strive,” Edinboro University launched five new community programs on Aug. 27. Looking to enhance the community, these new programs are up and running with aims to assist students, community members, employees and even children. All held in Butterfield Hall, there will now be Edinboro’s art therapy program, Edinboro’s mock counseling labs, ‘Boro Little Learners Academy, the Children’s Center and the Dr. Mary Jo Melvin Literacy Center.

“I am really excited by the prospect of being able to provide convenient, free, creative expression for mental health on our campus. I think providing students, faculty, staff and community members this resource will help us as a community be stronger together and support each other,” said Dr. Penny Orr, leader of the new art therapy studio. 

The art therapy program will include art supplies, board games, card games and therapy dogs. It will be held in Butterfield Hall, Room 200 and is open Wednesdays, 1-5 p.m., and Fridays, 2-7 p.m. Students, employees and community members are welcome to join to work through issues such as stress, depression and anxiety. 

The mock counseling labs will be a tool available to counseling students in order to practice sessions under the direct supervision of trained instructors. Sessions will include video and audio-taped interviews that will allow for thorough analysis.

‘Boro Little Learners Academy and the Children’s Center are two new preschool programs here on campus. 

“The program will help our students find affordable childcare for their preschool right on campus, without taking away too much from the Early Learning University, and students and employees have a discount offered,” said Robin Howell, director of ‘Boro Little Learners Academy.

‘Boro Little Learners will be opening in September and available for children ages 3-5, five days a week, from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The Children’s Center is a preschool program tailored to deaf children ages 3 to school age. It will be open Monday through Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. With this program, the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf will be providing tuition-free academic and extracurricular programs to deaf children ages birth to 12th grade.

Stated by Casie Lucas-Szumigala of the Children’s Center: “I am most excited for having a school for the deaf in Erie. This will be the first of its kind and will benefit all kids in Northwestern Pennsylvania.”

If you’re looking for literacy materials, you can go to the renovated Dr. Mary Jo Melvin Literacy Center. The center includes current children’s literature, curriculum materials, educational games, puppets and other teaching resources. Originally created in 2007, the literacy center is now located in rooms 304 and 305 of Butterfield Hall for all of your teaching material needs. 

There will be a full display open house on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. for those who are interested in learning more about the programs. You may also contact the following people for more information on each program:

— Edinboro’s art therapy program: Dr. Penny Orr, (814) 732-1684 or by email at

— Edinboro’s mock counseling labs: Dr. Adrienne Dixon, (814) 732-1932 or by email at

— ‘Boro Little Learners Academy: Robin Howell, (814) 732-1453 or by email at

— The Children’s Center: Casie Lucas-Szumigala, (814) 920-2578 or by email at

— Dr. Mary Jo Melvin Literacy Center: Dr. Mary Jo Melvin, (814) 732-2154 or by email at

Samantha Schaupp can be reached at

Tags: news, community

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