Partnerships help promote structure-building competition for youth in the community

For the fifth year in a row, the Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading is partnering with Performance Toyota to bring tthe annual YVC Canstructure Contest, a competition to build structures to fight hunger, in Berks County this spring.

Youth teams from Berks County will enter a competition to create incredible designs made entirely from tin cans that will be colat food drives over the next few weeks.

Structures will be built at each team’s location and video submissions will go live on Sunday, March 27 ( Following the competition, all canned food will be donated to the local food bank. The previous four years’ competitions have attracted hundreds of young participants and resulted in over 30 tons of food being donated to Harvest Aid Food Bank.

In addition to the partnership with Performance Toyota, the Canstructure The competition will also be supported by Penn State Berks Engineering Department.

Engineering Ahead, a summer transition program for freshmen, will spearhead the first PSU Canstructure Open Doors which will take place on Saturday February 26 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

The open house will follow Penn State’s Engineer Week, which celebrates all engineering disciplines for all ages, and will allow freshman engineering students to mentor young Canstructure teams for the competition.

During the Open House, Engineering Ahead students will lead breakout rooms, guide young participants through various activities that will benefit their own Canstructure built. Activities will focus on building structures, communication and creativity. Engineeringstudents also built their own Canstructure on campus, which will serve as the focal point for the open house. The event is currently closed to registrations.

Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading is a program of VOiCEup Berks, a local non-profit organization dedicatedd to connect people with meaningful volunteer opportunities in Berks County.

“Performance Toyota has been a fantastic partner for this event, supporting the competition with a company-wide food drive to help teams in underserved areas.” says Christi Terefenko, executive director of VOiCEup Berks.

“Additional collaboration with Penn State Berks engineers has elevated this youth STEM event to a new level. We are delighted to partner with such civic-minded organizations.

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