Cranberry board hears reports on summer reading, sports fields

Cranberry School Board members heard reports Monday on the success of the summer reading program in the district and the condition of several sports fields.

“Outdoor sports in our school district are affected by the weather and the condition of the fields,” said Martin Coe, a Cranberry High School softball coach and the owner of a landscaping company.

Coe said there were several cancellations for the softball team last year, including two due to the weather and two due to temperatures.

“We had nine home games and four of those games were moved to DuBois,” said Coe.

He proposed a three year-plan to get the fields into a condition where “they can handle the water.”

He said the biggest issue is the grass.

“The infield may be playable after a rain but the outfield is not,” he said.

“If the field had drainage it is past its prime,” high school principal Ritt Smith said.

The plan covers fields one, two and three but not four. He said the indications are that the tee-ball field will not be used.

School board president Tom Neely said he would give the proposal to the school district’s grounds supervisor.

Meanwhile, librarian Jina Gaddess and teacher Jen Stevenson provided a review of the summer reading program in the district.

“We started in 2019 and we had one aide and one teacher. We were open six weeks and we hoped to grow the program,” said Gaddess. “We wanted to close that summer gap when they were not reading.”

“Then we had COVID and lost two summers,” Gaddess said. “This year we changed things. We had people come in and do programs. In 2019, we had 47 people attend the library. This year we almost tripled that. It was very well attended.”

“Our dream for next year is to take the books to the children,” said Gaddess. “We want to run a bookmobile. We want to take the van out for one day and use a table to do the craft projects. I would like to stretch the library program.”

It was also announced at Monday’s meeting that an open house in the school district is scheduled Oct. 13.


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