Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the State of the Art Esports Arena at Lebanon High School

press release Feb 19, 2020
New Esports Arena at Lebanon High School

The Lebanon School District has been selected by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for a PAsmart Targeted K12 Computer Science and STEM Education grant in the amount of $35,000. These grants represent the next phase of Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative – an innovative approach to expanding access to high quality computer science and STEM education across the commonwealth. The PA Smart Grant funds enabled the creation of a custom designed facility specifically for esports. This grant in collaboration with the Emerald Foundation, a nonprofit organization, will serve to support diversity, equity and inclusion. Emerald esports' in collaboration with their strategic partner North America Scholastic Esports Federation’s (NASEF) mission is to provide opportunities for all students to use esports as a platform to acquire critical communication, collaboration and problem solving skills needed to thrive in work and in life. NASEF and Emerald esports strives to ensure that all students possess the knowledge and skillsets to be society's game-changers: educated, productive and empathetic individuals.

“Supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in esports” will infuse STEM learning into a passion students currently embrace: video gameplay. Esports was created to provide opportunities for ALL students to use esports as a platform to acquire critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to thrive in work and in life. This new program in Pennsylvania will bridge the gaps between the highest and lowest performing students through highly engaging instruction, ongoing opportunities for team collaboration, creative problem-solving, and competitive fair play.

This esports initiative, launched as a scholastic club, will engage middle and high school students in Lebanon School District. All clubs will have the opportunity to compete virtually with others across North America, as well as gain free access to educational toolkits, webinars, virtual coaches, and other support. The grant also provides funding for a traveling esports arena enabling schools to host regional competitions.

The Emerald Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2010 by Emerald Asset Management CEO & Founder Joseph Besecker and Martha Besecker. The Emerald Foundation has historically contributed funding to worthy charitable, non-profit organizations that focus on education, youth, and healthcare research. Learn more at

Founded in 1991, Emerald Asset Management subsidiaries provide equity-focused portfolio management services to institutional investors and to individual investors via separate account management and the Emerald Mutual Funds. Learn more at “Our Foundation’s main initiative is to empower youth through education,” said Joseph E. Besecker, Founder and Chairman of the Emerald Foundation. “By providing Lebanon High School students with brand-new computer equipment and access to an innovative scholastic esports platform at no cost, they now have engaging opportunities to increase their critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as heighten their career knowledge and engagement."

TIME: 3:30 PM

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