June 2019  
Things are heating up at CORA!

Monica Carr, Speech Therapist
Speech Clinical Fellows Class of '19
Summertime is quickly approaching and the team at CORA is working hard to close out their school year activities and prepare for an outstanding summer! In June our highlights include wrapping up the loose ends of a busy school year, saying goodbye to our wonderful clinical fellows, graduating our early year's children who are transitioning into kindergarten, gearing up for multiple summer camps, providing ongoing trainings and orientations for summer teams, and generally working collaboratively and diligently to ensure the needs of our families are continuously met. 
If you didn't have an opportunity to hear Monica Carr, a CORA Speech Therapist, speak on WMMR recently, listen here! Rob McElhenney and Monica were on air with Preston and Steve, promoting the 11th Annual CORA for KIDS Golf Classic. The proceeds of this event support the many resources CORA provides to families. Unplanned by WMMR and CORA, a mother of two who received services from CORA called into the show to highlight how CORA helped her children. I always brag about our staff, but hearing a parent testify to what CORA staff members have done to support her family speaks for itself. There's still time to register for golf or sponsor a hole in support of the impactful work of our agency. 
Thanks to the thoughtful contributions of our counselors, educators, psychologists, social workers and therapists, our newsletters have gained the attention of many new readers. If there's something you'd like to hear more about that would benefit you or your family - let us know! 
If you haven't already financially contributed to CORA in honor of our hardworking employees whose compassion and dedication are impacting thousands of lives daily, please consider giving before June 30th. Contributions to CORA support our children and families by providing much-needed program supplies and equipment, facilities upgrades and financial aid for families unable to fully afford needed services.   
Thanks for all you do to contribute to CORA's success. From our family to yours, have a great summer!
AnnMarie Schultz, CEO & President
The Annual Art Show
at Early Years Fox Chase 
Check it out here.
Spots available in the Summer Program at Early Years La Salle  
Register Now!
Eve Boyd, CORA Counselor and Paige Thompson, St. Christopher, Class of 2019. 
2019 Peer Helper Award 
CORA congratulates Paige Thompson!

On June 11th Paige Thompson will graduate from St. Christopher's School in Somerton and receive a $1,000 scholarship from CORA toward her high school tuition. Paige was selected to receive the 3rd annual Peer Helper Award because of her extraordinary service as an 8th grade Peer Helper. CORA Counselors run Peer Helper programs at 6 local Catholic elementary schools. The programs foster leadership and encourage students to mentor younger children and serve as positive role models in their schools and beyond. Paige's positive attitude and dedication to helping her 1st grade buddy learn to read impressed our selection committee. Paige recognized Eve Boyd as a positive influence who was always willing to listen, and said she pushed her and the other Peer Helpers to  choose kindness . CORA wishes Paige all the best at Villa Joseph Marie - she truly is a jem!  
Central High School Cares about CORA!  
Stressed Out Students give back to support Mental Health Awareness

Mariame Sissoko, rising senior at Central High School,  started a student organization called Stressed Out Students so that
"students would have a place to go afterschool where they could feel safe to talk about their feelings-good and bad, and initiate a conversation about teenage mental health". 

Mariame and her classmates sold exam week care packages and donated the money to CORA. The SOS girls and their advisor, Traci Albuck, presented CORA with a check for $1,000! The group is pictured here in front of the Stigma Board they created to inform fellow students about mental health statistics and available resources. 

Communicating Across the Life Span
CORA recognizes Better Speech and Hearing Month

Today, in America:                                                               
  • 6-8 million people have some form of language impairment
  • 29 million young children have a speech sound disorder, with approximately 16 million continuing with noticeable disorders into first grade
  • 3 million people stutter
  • 7.5 million people have trouble using their voices.
  • 10 million people are hard of hearing and 1 million are functionally deaf.
These statistics, gathered from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, under the US Department of Health and Human Services are stunning, considering speech and language are the expression of human communication through which knowledge, belief and behavior can be experienced, explained and shared.

To that end, Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM), founded in 1927 by ASHA, is celebrated nationally and state-wide every May. This year, the theme of Better Speech and Hearing Month was Communication across the Lifespan.

Enhancing a child's communication skills within a learning environment is the primary goal of CORA's speech and language staff. Currently, 45 speech and language therapists provide screening, diagnostic and therapy services to students in non-public and charter schools, as well as in Early Intervention programs across the city. Speech and language therapy involves a series of evidence-based, clinical activities to meet specific goals developed within a therapist's treatment plan. These goals are directly related to the difficulties exhibited by a student during the diagnostic evaluation.

CORA speech therapists utilize the opportunity of Better Hearing and Speech Month to educate the students, teachers, and administrations of their schools with a variety of creative and fun activities. Because communication disorders can compromise physical and emotional health, as well as affect the social, educational and work aspects of living, CORA enthusiastically joins ASHA, PSHA, and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) in observing Better Hearing and Speech Month each May.   Read the entire article here. 

Articled submitted by Marg Whitman, M.A. CCC-SLP is an ASHA certified speech pathologist and CORA's Program Coordinator and Clinical Supervisor for Nonpublic schools. Marg has worked in direct service to over 20 Philadelphia parochial and nonpublic schools. While continuing to maintain a small student caseload, Marg's primary responsibilities involve the supervision of 18 NPSS speech/language therapists, as well as guiding the speech and language program toward meeting the changing communication needs of students in Archdiocesan and private elementary and secondary schools throughout the city. With 34 years of experience, she has mentored many young clinicians over the years and views this aspect of giving back to the profession she loves with continuing satisfaction and enthusiasm.
How Early Intervention Helps

Early Intervention services focus on helping children meet their developmental milestones in all developmental areas including physical, social, cognitive and language areas. A child may be referred for speech therapy when there are any of the following concerns:
  • Child has difficulty producing certain speech sounds (articulation)
  • Child does not seem to understand spoken language (receptive language)
  • Child does not produce language to communicate wants and needs (expressive language)
  • Child has difficulty engaging with peers and adults (social skills)
Speech Therapists in CORA Services' Early Intervention Department work with children ages 3 years - 5 years of age. The focus is to help children increase their expressive language skills for children who come to CORA because their parents notice that "They aren't talking." When a child is not producing words to effectively communicate their wants and needs, a therapist takes a look at what is happening in the child's environment.

Let's face it....children always WANT something. So, what is it that the child in question is seeking? What is their favorite character, toy, game, food or snack? How does the child obtain the target item on a daily basis? 

Upon taking a closer look, professionals may find, that this child does not need to use their words to communicate because things are naturally given to them. For example, when Annie wakes up in the morning, someone helps her brush her teeth and gets her dressed and she goes down stairs. Her caregiver gives her milk and breakfast. Ooops, she spilled her milk! It's ok...someone cleaned it up for her! When Annie is done eating, someone puts on her favorite TV show, while she plays with her super cool toys that are already out for her. Annie's needs are all met, without her having to utter a word. Her caregiver, who loves her more than anything in the world, anticipates and expects what Annie wants at any given moment. 

A great way to encourage and facilitate spoken language, is to tempt the child into communication by "manipulating" their environment. This can be done by 3 easy suggestions:
  1. Giving choices. How many choices have you made today? What clothes to wear? What you eat/drank/bought for mealtimes? Even choosing to sit down and read this article was a choice. Let's give our little ones choices, within reason of course.
  2. Placing certain items out of reach.
  3. Making silly mistakes. Let's keep this fun! Mommy gave you a fork to eat your cereal! Oh, no? Why not? Well, what do you need?
This child may not be able to do all these things on her own, however creating opportunities for a child to do so is crucial for development. Caregivers can model the language. By doing so, the child can then imitate part or all of what he or she heard. They will listen to what is said and the more language they hear, the more they can absorb!

If you have concerns regarding your child's language development, please contact your child's pediatrician. To pursue an evaluation for Early Intervention Services please contact Elwyn at (215) 895-5500.
Occupational Therapy in the Schools

Pet Therapy at Simon Gratz
CORA's occupational therapist, Laura Pietropola, along with Temple OT students provided bi-monthly pet therapy services to students in the Multiple Disabilities Support classrooms and Life Skills classrooms at Simon Gratz Mastery Charter High School. Students at Gratz who receive OT services may experience difficulty processing sensory information within their environment, which may interfere with a student's ability to attend and respond appropriately throughout the school day. When a student has difficulty regulating within the environment, certain dysfunctional behaviors may occur. The pet therapy program provided opportunities for the students to engage in positive social interactions, demonstrate appropriate self-regulation abilities, as well as promote social-emotional learning. All of these skills were tracked through data analysis to provide therapists with concrete evidence of each student's progression in regards to social and emotional skills. This therapeutic practice was an enjoyable and valuable experience for all.  Read the entire article here.
11th Annual CORA for KIDS Golf Classic 

Carter and Grace want you to join us! 

Every year we say that the CORA for KIDS Golf Classic is going to be bigger and better than ever because it's true - especially this year! 

July 15th at the exclusive Philadelphia Cricket Club is going to be an incredible day for everyone involved, so don't miss your chance to be a part of it! There is still room for a few more foursomes or hole sponsors. Please consider spending the day with CORA to support the local children and families we serve or help make the event a success by sending an awesome auction item our way.    Reserve your spot here!

NFP, Plumbers Local 690, Crown, Univest, Floratine, IBX, Steamfitters Local 420 and Santander have all committed already because they care about CORA! And they know this is a "do not miss" event!    Join in the fun for a phenomenal cause!

Celebrate Dads and Support CORA!

Father's Day is Sunday, June 16. You can support CORA by purchasing your Father's Day gift through Amazonsmile. When you buy online, Amazon will donate back to CORA. Click here. 
Professional Development at CORA

The CORA Training Center is happy to report that thanks to all of the time and effort that was put into the surveys this year, and the great collaboration of the PD committee, the quality of professional development offered has significantly improved. We have received and utilized your valuable feedback to benefit psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors, educators, principals, teachers, and other important direct service practitioners in the fields of education and mental health. 

Some of the 2018-2019 highlights include:
  • increased scope of topics and credit offerings to include ASHA, occupational therapy, behavior management, staff self-care, and SPED legal training 
  • engaged new speakers and cultivated new partners for future events (In-Sync and Social, Springfield Psychology, Philadelphia. Art Museum)
  • expanded outreach to professionals in the surrounding community
Next year is full of promise with even more interesting and meaningful sessions. Please take a look at our sneak peek here and come ready to learn, get engaged and grow with us!
Hiring YouthCOR Summer Staff!

CORA Services has exciting full time summer camp positions available! Summer Camp Leader opportunities are available at our various sites throughout Philadelphia. The program will run from June 24th through August 9th. Summer Camp Leaders are responsible for supervising campers, implementing camp curriculum, promoting and actively participating in all camp activities, providing a safe and fun learning environment, and serving as positive role models for campers. We are looking for candidates with a lot of energy and enthusiasm who want to be a positive influence on the children CORA serves. Human Resources is also taking applications for fall afterschool part time positions starting in September. 

CORA Services
8540 Verree Road
Philadelphia, PA 19111

View  our career opportunities here.
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