Franklin Township Elementary leaders share successes; GASD renews Vida Charter School

Franklin Township Elementary School’s success was on full display at the Gettysburg Area School District Board of Education meeting on Feb. 5. 

Dr. Shelly Lappi, principal, brought several teachers, parents, and children to the meeting to tout the school’s accomplishments. Lappi’s presentation was part of an ongoing series of visits from school administrators at board meetings designed to help directors better understand what happens at the schools.

Franklin Township Elementary School

Reading Specialist Ashley Kunkel highlighted the benefits of the school’s Celebrate Reading program, which provides free books to children. The program, Kunkel said, is intended to encourage reading at home. Students receive books about three or four times a year, she said.

Donations from the Gettysburg Optimist Club, Gettysburg Area Education Foundation, Cashtown Community Lions Club, and the school’s Read-A-Thon fund Celebrate Reading. In December, the school raised $5,446 from 31 supporters through the Read-A-Thon, Reading Specialist Lauren Naylor said.

Parent Fred Falk sang the school reading program’s praises as part of the presentation. Falk said his children overcame challenges solely thanks to the teachers at Franklin Township Elementary School.

“The support my children receive at Franklin Township has been massively positive and had a profound effect on their lives at all levels,” he said.

Several students read comments from their teachers about how they have worked to improve this school year. Several board members thanked the presenters for sharing the information.

“I am always struck by how communal that particular school is,” Board Member Alice Broadway said.

Vida Charter School

Also during the meeting, the board unanimously approved the five-year renewal of Vida Charter School. Vida Charter School is a bilingual school for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. It opened in 2010 and the district must vote on its charter renewal application every five years.

Vida Executive Director Christine Miller thanked the board for its support of the school and invited members to visit the facility.

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​Alex J. Hayes, Editor, has spent almost two decades in the Adams County news business. He is heavily involved in the community through his volunteer roles at the Rotary Club of Gettysburg, Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, United Way of Adams County, and Healthy Adams County. Alex is also a freelance writer for several other publications in South Central Pennsylvania.
Alex encourages readers to contact him at

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