Lackawanna College’s R.O.C.K.E.T. Project helps children prepare for school

By Ben Freda - For Abington Journal
Volunteers wait as the trailer of backpacks pulls in the parking lot of Lackawanna College’s Tobin Hall. - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Volunteers take backpacks out of the trailer to bring them inside Tobin Hall. - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Volunteers from Parker Hill Church have been supporting Lackawanna College’s R.O.C.K.E.T. (Registrar’s Office Connecting Kids with Educational Tools) Project by donating more than 1,500 backpacks. From front, Audrey Dilullo, 8, of Eynon; Candi Bucheri, paramedic program instructor of Lackawanna College; and Audrey’s mother Heather Dilullo, of Eynon bring backpacks inside Tobin Hall. - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Victor Mitchell,left, and Anthony Brinson, both of the Lackawanna College football team, place backpacks down inside a room of Tobin Hall. - - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
A large number of donated backpacks filled the room in Tobin Hall. - - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

SCRANTON — It’s nearly Back to School time. Almost time to hit the books again. What better way to carry those books than with backpacks. Unfortunately, underprivileged families can’t afford backpacks for their children. But fortunately, volunteers from Parker Hill Church have been supporting Lackawanna College’s R.O.C.K.E.T. (Registrar’s Office Connecting Kids with Educational Tools) Project by donating more than 1,500 backpacks.

“This is our third year,” said Jared Brandon, Parker Hill’s communications director. “Each year, it gets bigger and bigger. It’s great to see the church community reach out to the broader community and demonstrate love and compassion.”

On Wednesday, Aug. 15, many volunteers gathered in front of Lackawanna College to transport the backpacks from the back of a trailer to inside Tobin Hall.

“It’s a good way to help the community realize that Jesus loves them,” said eight-year-old Audrey Dilullo, of Eynon, who was among the many volunteers from Parker Hill Church.

Other volunteers included the Lackawanna College football team.

“I enjoy helping out with the community,” said football player Elijah Moore. “If it has to do with kids, I’m always down for it.”

Another player, Anthony Brinson, was also glad to assist with the project.

“I enjoy giving back to the community to those who don’t have and helping out any way we can,” Brinson said.

Lackawanna College head coach Mark Duda was proud of his team for participating in the project.

“When they realized it’s for children, they stepped up like an army. We’re always proud of them.”

Dr. Sharon Nazarchuk teaches social sciences to some of the football players in Tobin Hall, where the backpacks were placed until delivery.

“As big as they are, that’s how nice and respectful they are in the classroom,” he said.

The backpacks filled the room in Tobin Hall. They will be given to many schools in the district and also satellite centers including ones in Hazleton, Sunbury, Towanda, New Milford, and the Lake Region area. Backpacks were also distributed to Friends of the Poor, Angel’s Attic at the United Neighborhood Center, Keystone Mission, Women’s Resource Center, and Seven Loaves Soup Kitchen.

The R.O.C.K.E.T. program was started by the registrar’s office at Lackawanna College.

“This is one of the most fun days we have,” said Theresa Scopelliti, registrar of Lackawanna College. “We’re able to see the kids faces when they receive them. It’s one of my favorite days of the year.”

Volunteers wait as the trailer of backpacks pulls in the parking lot of Lackawanna College’s Tobin Hall.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_ABJ-Backpack-1.jpgVolunteers wait as the trailer of backpacks pulls in the parking lot of Lackawanna College’s Tobin Hall. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Volunteers take backpacks out of the trailer to bring them inside Tobin Hall.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_ABJ-Backpack-2.jpgVolunteers take backpacks out of the trailer to bring them inside Tobin Hall. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Volunteers from Parker Hill Church have been supporting Lackawanna College’s R.O.C.K.E.T. (Registrar’s Office Connecting Kids with Educational Tools) Project by donating more than 1,500 backpacks. From front, Audrey Dilullo, 8, of Eynon; Candi Bucheri, paramedic program instructor of Lackawanna College; and Audrey’s mother Heather Dilullo, of Eynon bring backpacks inside Tobin Hall.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_ABJ-Backpack-3.jpgVolunteers from Parker Hill Church have been supporting Lackawanna College’s R.O.C.K.E.T. (Registrar’s Office Connecting Kids with Educational Tools) Project by donating more than 1,500 backpacks. From front, Audrey Dilullo, 8, of Eynon; Candi Bucheri, paramedic program instructor of Lackawanna College; and Audrey’s mother Heather Dilullo, of Eynon bring backpacks inside Tobin Hall. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Victor Mitchell,left, and Anthony Brinson, both of the Lackawanna College football team, place backpacks down inside a room of Tobin Hall.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_ABJ-Backpack-4.jpgVictor Mitchell,left, and Anthony Brinson, both of the Lackawanna College football team, place backpacks down inside a room of Tobin Hall. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

A large number of donated backpacks filled the room in Tobin Hall.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_ABJ-Backpack-5.jpgA large number of donated backpacks filled the room in Tobin Hall. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

By Ben Freda

For Abington Journal

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.