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Rockman Program Visits Elementary Schools

Slusser Brothers, part of the Mid-Atlantic Group of Oldcastle Materials Inc., is partnering with local schools to teach kids about the aggregate industry.

Slusser Brothers, part of the Mid-Atlantic Group of Oldcastle Materials Inc., is partnering with local schools to teach kids about the aggregate industry. The company recently presented the RockMan program ó an award-winning educational initiative designed to increase awareness of aggregate mining and its role in local communities ó to 450 third and fourth graders at Pittston Intermediate School in Pittston, Pa.

Spearheaded by Kim Eshleman, community awareness coordinator at Pennsy Supply, a sister company of Slusser Brothers, the RockMan program educates students in grades K to 5 about the positive contributions that aggregate suppliers provide to society. It also emphasizes safety on and off the road, introduces different pieces of equipment, and explains how each operates and contributes to the final rock product. The program is aimed at educating the next generation about the aggregates industry and careers available in that field.

ìNot only does RockMan benefit students, it also helps educators meet grade-level requirements,î Eshleman explains. ìTaught by Slusser volunteers, the educational content uses basic core-curriculum subjects through designed-lesson plans in mathematics, reading, science, social studies, art, physical education, music and writing skills development ó each of which present a specific concept used in the aggregate industry.î

A resident of ìAggregatetown,î RockMan and his fellow superheroes Big Daddy Dozer, Baby Dump Truck and Ray D. Mixer show students how Slusser employees safely mine natural resources and turn them into an active and vital part of their daily lives.

During each classroom visit, the Slusser team ìdresses for success and safetyî with hard hats, safety shoes, proper fitting work clothes, eye protection and a reflector vest. Next, an upbeat music video takes the students through the mining process, highlighting how aggregates are used to enhance living conditions. The current curriculum enables the Slusser team to visit six times without repeating lesson content.

The visit to Pittston Intermediate School marked the beginning of the RockMan program in northeastern Pennsylvania. After completing the curriculum, Pittston Intermediate School students had an opportunity to see the Slusser team in action while touring their Dorrance quarry.

ìWe are excited to be able to reach out to our local schools and share our knowledge in a fun and educational way,î says Patrick Bartorillo, the company's vice president/general manager. ìOur employees are always willing to do whatever they can to help the community. This is just one more way to reach out to some of the youngest members.î Adds Pittston Intermediate Principal Stanley Waleski: ìWe saw the RockMan program as an opportunity to create a community link and partner with a well-known business in our area. It is a perfect fit for our curriculum and our students.î

RockMan reportedly has earned national recognition, including the American Road and Transportation Builders Association's Pride in Transportation Construction Award for Community Relations; the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association's Gold Medallion for Community Relations; the Interstate Compact Commission Award; and the National Asphalt and Pavement Association's Community Involvement Award.

Slusser Brothers supplies aggregate, sand and asphalt to northeastern Pennsylvania. Serving the region for 40 years, the company operates two quarries, one sand and gravel facility, three asphalt plants and two crushing facilities.