Community center to again operate after school program



The Hazleton One Community Center will operate an after-school enrichment program in conjunction with Penn State University for students in thrid through eighth grades beginning Sept. 15.

For the second consecutive year, the Hazleton One Community Center will operate an after-school enrichment program in conjunction with Penn State University.

Students enrolled in third through eighth grades can now apply. Applications are available at the Hazleton One Community Center, 225 E. Fourth St., Hazleton.

The program will begin Sept 15 and it is filling up quickly. Remaining slots will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.

Last year, the centerbegan a unique, technology-based pilot program with PSU’s main campus in University Park.

Utilizing computers outfitted with Skype, 16 students from the center received individual lesson plans from education majors at the University Park campus.

This year the virtual tutoring program will be offered twice a week, effectively doubling the number of students who can participate.

In addition to traditional homework help, members of the Penn State University faculty in partnership with the community center have devised an enrichment curriculum focusing on math, literacy, science and the arts. Recreational activities will also be part of the program.

Arrival time is immediately after school and the program ends at 6 p.m. There is no fee to attend the program and children will also be served a hot meal, provided by the Commission on Economic Opportunity.

For more information regarding volunteer opportunities or to register a child, call the Hazleton One Community Center at 570-861-8081 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



Unity in Our Community Day Aug. 23

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In partnership with the City of Hazleton, Cargill Meat Solutions and Giant Market, the Hazleton One Community Center to host Hazleton’s First Annual, Unity in Our Community Day. Despite early showers and some unusually cool weather throughout the day more than 1,200 people took part in the celebration.

Eugenio Sosa, Executive Director of the Community Center said, “It was truly gratifying having so many people enjoy the day despite the weather. I think it shows just how much our community needs inexpensive, family oriented events like this where everyone gets a chance to participate. That was our goal going in, and I think everyone feels it was a great success.”

The highlight for many in attendance was the appearance of former Heavyweight Champion Tim Witherspoon who is working to establish a boxing instruction program at the Community Center.

Unity Day also featured a full kids’ carnival with a variety of games, a free bounce house, face-painting, balloon animals and many other fun activities

Giant Market gave away more than 500 packs of back-to-school supplies giveaway to kids about to start the new school year, and Cargill handed out free clear-plastic backpacks.

The Hazleton Fire Department offered ladder-truck bucket rides for kids of all ages and a lesson in spraying with a real fire hose. The Hazleton Police Department conducted K-9 demonstrations and the Special Forces Team demonstrated rappelling off the top of the Community Center building.

Bob Curry, President of HIP,  summarized the day this way, “We are so grateful to our partners who joined with us to make the 1st Annual Unity in our Community Day such an overwhelming success. Without their support we simply could not do these kinds of events, and we are so grateful to them.”


Boxing legend ready to launch local program

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Former WBC and WBA World Heavyweight Champion Tim Witherspoon            


BY TOM RAGAN Published: August 24, 2014


A group of local people behind former heavyweight boxing champion Tim Witherspoon are getting ready to begin a boxing program at the Hazleton One Community Center in September.

Witherspoon, two-time former boxing champ, was a featured guest at the annual Unity in Our Community Day at the Hazleton Integration Project Center on Fourth Street on Saturday.

He said he is excited about bringing a boxing program to Hazleton.

“I can’t wait to get started,” Witherspoon said.

Witherspoon wants to help young men get on the right foot by teaching them to box and to respect themselves and others.

“I want (to) teach them to be gentlemen and help others out,” he said.

Jim Clement and Tony Scarcella are supporting Witherspoon in trying to get the boxing program.

About 61 youngsters have signed up, according to Scarcella.

“We’re trying to promote boxing,” Scarcella said.

Bob Curry, president of the Hazleton Integration Project, believes in Witherspoon they have the perfect guy to teach boxing and get it started in the Greater Hazleton Area.


HIP receives PSEA award

Published: May 17, 2014


 Bob Curry, center, president of the Hazleton Integration Project, holds the Pennsylvania State Education Association's Award for Human and Civil Rights that the organization received Thursday in Philadelphia. At left is Michael J. Crossey, PSEA president; at right is Elaine Maddon Curry, program director, Hazleton One Community Center.


The Hazleton Integration Project (HIP) received the Pennsylvania State Education Association's (PSEA) Award for Human and Civil Rights during the PSEA's Celebrating Excellence banquet held Thursday in Philadelphia.

The statewide award recognizes the organization that has done the most for human and civil rights.

Bob Curry, president of the HIP board, said the organization was both "humbled" and "delighted" by the award.

"I believe every single person in Hazleton should take pride in this award as it is possible only through the outpouring of support, both financial and through volunteerism, we have received from our community," he said.

Curry accepted the award on behalf of the group after a videotaped message from HIP supporter/founder Joe Maddon was played. Maddon is a Hazleton native and manager of the Tampa Bay Rays.

"Let me say up front as clearly as possible that without Joe Maddon and his wife, Jaye, we would not be standing here tonight. Because without them there would simply not be a HIP, or a Hazleton One Community Center," Curry said.

According to information from PSEA, the annual award recognizes those who have expanded educational opportunities for minority or disabled students; advanced the cause of human and civil rights within the schools or the community, or promoted health and safety within the schools and the community.

"No one who begins the process of teaching or working with children does so to collect awards," Curry told those at the banquet. "Like you, we are dedicated to our work because it is so critically important to our children's future. But this is different. This award means everything to our organization because it forms a signpost that tells us that we are going in the right direction."





Hundreds take part in Hazleton's first ever Unity Walk



Published: May 19, 2014

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Priests, a judge, softball teams, area companies and organizations, elected officials and local residents all came together for Hazleton's first Unity Walk Sunday afternoon, which began and ended at the Hazleton One Community Center on Fourth Street.

Some carried signs showing their unity as they walked the 1.1-mile course along city sidewalks. The staggered line of walkers stretched for blocks with safety patrols stopping them at intersections to allow traffic to continue to move.

Bob Curry, board president of the Hazleton Integration Project which organized the walk, estimated upwards of 500 people came out to walk and nearly 50 people volunteered to help.

"We're actually thrilled at this point with the interest we've generated in the community," he said, as people registered, bought walk T-shirts and mingled on the sidewalk. "We're thinking this might be the single best symbol of the community - it is truly coming together.

"We're embracing our diversity and moving ahead as one people," Curry said.

Victor Guerrero, who hails from the Dominican Republic and works at Amazon in the Humboldt Industrial Park, said he supports the effort to Hispanic and American residents together in the community.

"We're trying be better neighbors and trying to be friends with one another," he said.

Guerrero expected a bunch of his co-workers, who formed a self-sponsored, traveling softball team, La Liguita, to participate as well. About 10 minutes later, he stood with his teammates - all wearing their softball jerseys.

Another Amazon employee, Joseph Kochenderfer of Hazleton, stood outside the community center with his wife, Deborah, waiting for the start of the walk. Both support the idea behind the Unity Walk and the community center.

"This community needs to come together," Joseph Kochenderfer said.

Drugs have given the city a bad reputation, Deborah Kochenderfer said, and she's glad the community can come together and support the community center, which gives young people a place to go and something to do.



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If you wish to volunteer your time, experience or money to the Hazleton Integration Project, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 570-861-8081.


Your contribution is needed!

Make checks payable to "Hazleton Integration Project" and mail to:

Hazleton One Community Center
225 East 4th Street
Hazleton, PA 18201