December 2018

Sr. Charity Kohl -  
Creative Nonconformist
Creative Nonconformity is our theme for fiscal year 2018-2019. In France, in the 1830's, Saint Mary Euphrasia started the Sisters of the Good Shepherd to offer support to those marginalized by society. She longed to open a home in the Abbey across the road from the House of the Good Shepherd, for orphaned children being sent to her by the government.  Because her congregation was cloistered, the Bishop denied the sisters permission to cross the road. Believing that the children needed the loving support of their services, with "burning zeal" that could not be squelched, Mary Euphrasia worked with the mayor, inmates and other town supporters, and built a tunnel under the road, from the House of the Good Shepherd to the Abbey, so the Sisters of the Good Shepherd could meet the unique needs of this population of children - Creative Nonconformity. 
About 140 years later, Sr. Charity Kohl followed in those footsteps, challenging her staff to embrace, with care and compassion, Philadelphia's under served children and families. Unimpressed by conventional ideas of placing children with difficult circumstances into residential settings, she passionately advocated for prevention and early intervention services for families and communities to be offered in homes, schools, and communities, so that kids could be cared for while remaining in their own environments - Creative Nonconformity.  
Even today, when presenting our service model to potential partners, we are faced with those who believe that the way we want to provide service is an unrealistic Utopian model. About a month ago, our staff gathered for Heritage Day. One of the team building activities was to build something impressive with limited supplies and scarce resources. Just like our foundress, they accomplished more than they ever thought was possible by being creative non-conformists! They found ways to make it work and do it better, by working together. Getting children and families the services they need, the way they need them, is the way of Good Shepherd. If we have to build a tunnel, we will.
As I prepare for Christmas and a new year, personally and professionally, I reflect on how grateful I am for the caring CORA community. I applaud our dedicated staff and all of our partners and supporters, all year long, on their extraordinary efforts that help CORA fulfill its duty and calling to help children and families rise. We will continue to be Creative Nonconformists!
Happy Holidays! 
AnnMarie Schultz, CEO
CORA Services

"It is human to fall, but angelic to rise."   
~Saint Mary Euphrasia
Help CORA Spread Love this Holiday Season
Sponsor a Family

In the spirit of Sr. Charity, each year CORA hosts a holiday drive to provide families with gift cards to help them purchase food, toys or winter coats. Generosity toward our children and families is an essential part of who we are as an agency. 

We count on philanthropic support to defray the cost of the gift cards we provide to families with unmet needs. The agency will spend up to $10,000 on this effort this year. Your help is greatly appreciated.

If you would like to contribute to the  holiday drive, you can do so online here or send a check to:
CORA Services - Holiday Drive
8540 Verree Road, Philadelphia, PA 19111

Coming Soon... 
A new CORA Early Years Preschool at Huntingdon Mills!

Our Early Years preschool programs foster a love of learning and develop the whole child in a fun and safe environment. For children demonstrating a developmental delay, CORA aims to intervene early, when there is the greatest chance of correction, minimizing the need for more intensive services later in life. 

Both of our programs are Keystone Star 4 sites and offer before and after care. Spread the word to your family, friends and colleagues in the 19125 area of the city, to get their names on our waiting list for the new location opening at Frankford Avenue and Huntingdon Street in January of 2020.
Champions for Children Celebration
On Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, 150 of of CORA's closest friends gathered at the Union League at Torresdale to support the agency and celebrate the achievements of our 2018 honorees, Sr, Donna Shallo, The Plumbers Local 690 and Aleasha Lewis. Proceeds from the event amounted to more than  $65,000 . Thanks very much to our generous guests and sponsors!

Coyle, Lynch & Co
Career Readiness in Middle School: Why it is a Factor and How it Affects Today's Youth

With the ever-growing pressure to succeed in high school and become what society deems as "college and career ready", students are feeling a dramatic increase in the need to strive for greatness.  From standardized testing to placement and entrance exams, to the overall pressure to excel inside and outside the classroom, most people would agree that the process of preparing for post-secondary education has become too complicated. Simply put, preparing for the future is more stressful than it has ever been for today's youth.  Opportunities are not readily available, and resources for students are often limited or unknown altogether. 

This is where we, as educators, parents, and mentors, come into the picture. We must seize the opportunity to grab hold of our young people and instill in them, the knowledge we wish we had at their age.  All young people really need to become "college and career ready" is guidance on the fundamental steps to take toward success. And we owe them the tools needed to take those first steps. The sooner we plant those seeds of knowledge in today's students, the more likely they will be able to forge their own pathway toward a rewarding and successful career.

This article was written by Melody Black, CORA's Career Development Resource Center Coordinator. Melody is a graduate of West Chester University. Before comng to CORA, she taught in the Philadelphia School System for 11 years, working primarily with middle and high school youth in alternative education and transitional schools

Michael Bloomberg, Governor Wolf, Rebecca Bonner, & AnnMarie Schultz
Governor Wolf and Michael Bloomberg Visit The Bridge Way School to Announce PA Support 

AnnMarie Schultz Mary K Doherty , and  Rebecca Bonner  the Head of School for Bridge Way, welcomed Governor Wolf and Michael Bloomberg to The Bridge Way School, PA's first and only recovery high school on Friday, November 30th. Bridge Way, an official partner of CORA Services, hosted a conversation with their students and teachers about how the school is helping young people and their families cope with addiction. After a tour of the building and a heartwarming conversation with a Bridge Way alum, the Governor and Bloomberg announced that ten million dollars will be allocated to the state of Pennsylvania to address the opioid epidemic locally. There is no word yet as to whether any of those funds will directly support The Bridge Way School. The school is actively seeking support through EITC/OSTC as well as individual, corporate and foundation donations.  Read more here.  
Challenge Day at 
Archbishop Ryan

Last Thursday, November 29th at Archbishop Ryan High School, CORA Counselors Jessica MacKay and Lauren Johnson ran the 9th Annual Challenge Day,  a day-long counseling workshop on building empathy and promoting friendship, with the NO PLACE FOR HATE club.  Challenge Day is comprised of several carefully crafted and scripted exercises which create a genuine connection between teachers and students- and promote the experience of belonging.

More than 50 students gathered in Ryan's gymnasium for a day of activities geared at creating a school environment where everyone feels safe, loved and celebrated.  CORA counselors walked the students through exercises that provoked deep insights, connection and empathy for others.  Ryan students raved about the experience! 

One senior said that Challenge Day allowed her connect with many students she wouldn't have gotten to know otherwise and that she felt like her support system at school has grown.

Literacy Happens at CORA
Family Reading Workshops

On Thursday evenings in November, CORA speech therapist Eric Smith, with help from other staff and his graduate students from Salus University, hosted literacy workshops families with children ages 3-5 to encourage kindergarten readiness. Families enjoyed readings, crafts, games and tips on how to help their young children love reading and prepare for school. A second session of Literacy Happens is scheduled for early 2019 - stay tuned for details.

SAVE THE DATE! Seussville at CORA will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2019! 

A little shopping can make a big difference! Do your shopping here on Amazonsmile and
 Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchases to CORA! 

CORA Services
8540 Verree Road
Philadelphia, PA 19111

View  our career opportunities here.
A 19111