Johnson College was awarded a $3,500 grant from the PPL Foundation

Johnson College was awarded a $3,500 grant from the PPL Foundation to support its STEM Energy Outreach Program. From left, Dr. Kellyn Williams, Johnson College’s chief academic officer, holding a solar powered vehicle students will build; Alana Roberts, regional affairs director at the PPL Foundation, and Dr. Katie Leonard, Johnson College’s president and CEO, holding a Solar Energy Program T-shirt participating students will receive.

Geisinger hosting free flu clinics

As the coronavirus pandemic continues in Northeast Pennsylvania, experts say it is more important than ever to get a flu shot.

Geisinger’s health and wellness team is hosting communitywide drive-thru clinics throughout central and northeast Pennsylvania. These drive-thru events are open to the public and are only for people older than 18. The flu shots are available at no cost.

Geisinger primary care offices are also hosting drive-thru clinics for patients and Geisinger Health Plan members ages 3 and older. These will take place in September, but patients can visit their Geisinger primary care office anytime for a flu shot.

It’s recommended that everyone age 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Caregivers for children between 6 months and 3 years old, who can’t be vaccinated at the Geisinger primary care drive-thru events, should make an appointment with their pediatrician’s office for a flu shot.

While the flu vaccine won’t protect you against COVID-19, it can help keep you out of the hospital.

“This year it’s critical for everyone to receive a flu vaccine,” said Stanley Martin, M.D., Geisinger’s director of infectious diseases. “By getting a flu shot, you’re helping to lessen the chances you end up hospitalized with the flu. Keeping unnecessary flu hospitalizations to a minimum allows our health care heroes to treat patients battling other illnesses and be ready for any possible spikes in COVID-19.”

Flu season generally begins in late October and runs through May. Getting vaccinated early in the season is the best defense to keep yourself and those around you flu-free, Martin said.

“The flu and COVID-19 viruses spread in similar ways,” Martin said. “The same measures you take to protect against COVID-19 — wearing a mask, social distancing and good hand hygiene — can also help stop the spread of the flu. The bonus here is we have a safe and effective vaccine to add to these successful measures.”

Locally, Geisinger’s public drive-thru flu shot events are:

• Sept. 26, at Geisinger CenterPoint, Pittston, from 9 a.m.

to 2 p.m.

• Sept. 27, at Geisinger CenterPoint, Pittston, from 9 a.m.

to 2 p.m.

Geisinger primary care offices are offering the drive-thru flu shots to patients and Geisinger Health Plan members from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at:

• Geisinger 65 Forward Health Center, Scranton

• Geisinger Mt. Pleasant, Scranton

There’s no need to preregister to get a flu shot. Remember to wear a mask and loose-fitting clothing that allows easy access to the upper arm.

When arriving at a drive-thru vaccination site, follow all directional signage. You will need to fill out a short electronic form before receiving your flu shot. Remain inside your vehicle next to an opening window, and be aware that staff will not enter vehicles to provide flu shots.

In addition to the drive-thru flu clinics, Geisinger primary care and pediatric offices offer flu shots during regular office hours, with many locations open until 7 p.m. Geisinger Pharmacy locations offer flu shots for patients, and those age 9 and older can get a flu shot at Geisinger Convenient Care locations any day of the week, with no appointment necessary.

For a full list of flu shot locations, as well as helpful tips on staying flu-free this season, visit geisinger.org/flunews.

College receives grant for STEM program

Johnson College was awarded a $3,500 grant from the PPL Foundation to support its STEM Energy Outreach Program in five northeastern Pennsylvania school districts.

The program will introduce at least 50 middle and high school students to green, renewable energy through solar concepts using an interactive, hands-on demonstration.

Students will participate in the interactive learning experience by assembling K’nex Education Renewable Energy sets during a live Zoom class with Johnson College Chief Academic Officer Dr. Kellyn Williams. They will also watch online presentations featuring Richard Fornes, Johnson College’s electrical engineering program director, and Cole Hastings Goldstein, Johnson College’s advanced manufacturing program director. The completed K’nex kits will be shared with additional schools as part of future Johnson College STEM Outreach Programs.

“The PPL Foundation grant gives local middle and high school students the opportunity to experience the real-world, hands-on learning our amazing faculty provides students on the Johnson College campus” said Dr. Katie Leonard, Johnson College president and CEO. “Our STEM Outreach Programs provide local students an introduction to careers within essential industries throughout northeastern Pennsylvania and the country.”

Johnson College previously presented STEM Outreach Programs at Carbondale High School, the Forest City School District, the Scranton School District and Weatherly Middle School.

To participate, schools must email Williams at knolan@johnson.edu. Space is limited.

Valley Community holds picture fundraiser

The Valley Community Library is hoping patrons will say cheese for charity next weekend.

The Fall Photo Fundraiser will be held at the library, 739 River St. in Peckville, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 26 and Sept. 27. Pictures are $10 and can be taken with you, your child or your family.

There are two different digital backdrops to choose from: a fall theme or a solid blue background. Please note, the event will be using a green screen and officials recommend against wearing the color green.

A digital copy of your picture will be emailed to you within three business days. Registration is required by calling the library at 570-489-1765.

Payment will not be taken in advance and we will be accepting only cash or check on the day of the event.

The Valley Community Library, which is a member of the Lackawanna County Library System, serves residents in Archbald, Blakely, Dickson City, Jessup, Throop, and Olyphant. The library is open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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