The Cooperage Project is pleased to announce the expansion of Pop-Up Club, their free after school program, to Wallenpaupack Area Middle School in the fall of the 2019-2020 school year. This development is made possible through partnership with Lackawanna College and Wallenpaupack Area School District.

Lackawanna College Lake Region Center, located in the Hawley Silk Mill, will serve as the facility site for the new branch of Pop-Up Club. Every Wednesday starting October 2, 6th grade students from Wallenpaupack Area Middle School will be given the opportunity to join this free program after school. Participating students will be bussed to the Silk Mill where they will experience a wide array of rotating activities, topics, guest presenters, and occasional field trips to local businesses.

Though initially only offered to 6th graders once a week, The Cooperage Project and Lackawanna College aim to expand the programming to three days a week for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students by the fall of 2020, replicating the program model that currently exists for students from Wayne Highlands Middle School.

Pop-Up Club began in the spring of 2017 when a group of administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, and parents approached The Cooperage Project about starting a new program for middle school students not already engaged in social or athletic after school activities.

With kids spending only 20% of their waking hours in school, how they spend the other 80% of their time outside of school also has a big impact on their success.

As a pilot program in spring 2017, Pop-Up Club began to meet the after school needs in our community and in the 2018-19 school year, Pop-Up Club expanded to three times a week.

For the past two and a half years, Pop-Up Club has connected students from Wayne Highlands Middle School (as well as cyber and homeschool) with local businesses, artists, makers, educators, and professionals to share knowledge, teach them entrepreneurial skills, open their minds and eyes to potential work opportunities, and engage in a safe atmosphere.

Each day of Pop-Up Club brings a new topic, idea, or career to explore that promotes skills such as innovative thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration.

Pop-Up Club provides the opportunity to try something new, maybe even fail, and then overcome that failure with support and critical thinking.

Further, introducing students at a younger age to potential jobs, many of which they can work during high school and college, further solidifies the workforce pipeline. Such immersive STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) ultimately provides these young adults with a more efficient and effective entry into the workforce.

In the 2018-19 school year, we have partnered with a wealth of local businesses and organizations.

Such community collaborators include local cartographers, tech entrepreneurs, graphic designers, brand illustrators, farmers, coffee roasters, artisan chocolatiers, improvisational instructors, screen printers, 3D print experts, manufacturers, radio operators, app developers, bankers, culinary artists, physical therapists, computer programmers, musicians, academic scholars, and National Park Service employees.

In the few short years of Pop-Up Club, The Cooperage Project has received an overwhelming amount of support for the impact that this program has had on the community. In regards to Pop-Up Club, Wayne Highlands Middle School Principal Dr. Peter Jordan stated: "Pop-Up Club’s creativity and dedication has clearly brought many of our students together to give them a sense of purpose and belonging, an incredible social experience, and educated them with opportunities that go far beyond what could be provided in any classroom or at home."

For more information about Pop-Up Club or if you would like to sponsor the program, please contact Arrah Fisher at arrah@thecooperageproject.org or call 570.253.2020.