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“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” -Coretta Scott King

I’m pleased to give you this update on the impact you are making by supporting the Mental Health Matters Fund and to share opportunities for you to make a difference in 2021. Your continued generosity directly benefits SCASD students and families by fulfilling basic needs and providing essential services for mental health and well-being. Your gift will help to close funding gaps and make sure the district can meet growing needs in mental health services.


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Supporting Families in Need

In addition to providing Thanksgiving meals to 75 families, donations helped to distribute nearly $20,000 in critical support around the holidays, delivering gift cards for groceries and items like household products, personal care items and school supplies to families.

District Social Worker Morgan Bechdel said, “Families have expressed tremendous gratitude and some have been moved to tears by the support.” One family told her, “Knowing that there are people and a school that care about us, not because they have to, but because they want to—it means so much.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to stretch on, many of our neighbors still face significant financial stress. Your gifts to the Mental Health Matters Fund will support district efforts to fulfill basic needs for families.


Critical Mental Health Support & Services to Meet Growing Demand

According to Dr. Seria Chatters, SCASD Director of Equity & Inclusivity, the need for mental health services among students and families is increasing dramatically. The Mental Health Matters Fund is allowing the district to grow and improve its efforts to provide essential mental health support.

The Education Foundation recently helped to expand SCASD’s partnership with Penn State’s Herr Clinic, by funding a graduate assistantship role that will connect individuals and families to service providers more quickly. Dr. Chatters shared that the new graduate assistant role, now filled by Dr. Katie Kostohryz, has already proven critical.

“Dr. Kostohryz is an Associate Teaching Professor at PSU, a Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, and grief specialist,” Dr. Chatters said. “As the community knows, we were notified of a loss of a student due to suicide in January. Dr. Kostohryz was instrumental in supporting the district’s response to student needs. She also attended a meeting of the young man’s Boy Scout troop to guide the troop and community members in a support group meeting. Sixty community members attended, including the family of the young man.”

In March, Dr. Chatters and Dr. Kostohryz will be facilitating important professional development for school counselors on suicide assessment. Dr. Kostohryz is also improving processes that will make sure services are available quickly and efficiently for students and families who are struggling or are in crisis.

Thank you for making this important progress possible. If you are able, I am asking for your renewed support for the Mental Health Matters Fund, to assure that the Education Foundation can provide critical resources to the district when and where they are needed most.


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Thank you for your continued support for this vital partnership among the district, the community and the Education Foundation.


Chris Buchignani, President