THE
CORA
CONNECTION
April 2021 Newsletter



CORA's staff are often commended for their caring and compassionate service delivery to children, families and individuals. It's what the agency was built upon. Perhaps two other notable characteristics of our staff are flexibility and responsiveness. In my opinion it is those traits, along with the relentless dedication to our mission, that allowed CORA to continue to serve, survive and thrive over the past 13 turbulent months.

I am extremely grateful and I attempt to regularly express this gratitude to the team, staff and Board, as often as possible. However, I am aware that the personal and professional stress of loving our own families and caring for the needs of others during these challenging months has placed a significant burden on those in helping professions, which includes CORA’s team. That's why it has been especially rewarding to learn that based solely on employee responses, CORA has not only been awarded a national Women Led Culture Excellence Award, but we have also been named one of Philadelphia’s 2021 TOP WORKPLACES!

With the year we've had, and the fact that 2021 is CORA's 50th Anniversary, this recognition should be widely celebrated! I encourage the entire CORA community - staff, clients, donors, volunteers, Board members, the local community and other partners, to join us in celebration at some point this year. Whether it be at the CORA for KIDS Golf Classic on May 24th, our Open House on October 9th, or our final 50th Anniversary celebration in December, I look forward to seeing you in person soon!

With Gratitude,
AnnMarie Schultz
President and CEO
CORA Services


PROUD TO BE PART OF THE CORA COMMUNITY!

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Energage announced the recipients of the first-ever national Top Workplaces Woman-Led Culture Excellence Award and CORA made the list as a woman-led business with a demonstrated commitment to a people-first culture.
That's not all ...

CORA Services has been recognized as one of the USA's 2021 TOP WORKPLACES!

Top Workplaces is the nation’s most credible employer recognition program. Being recognized as a Top Workplace is more than just an award, it is proof-positive your organization creates a healthy working environment where employees want to align with the company’s vision, be challenged by a high-performance culture, and feel that they are valued and that their voices are heard.
Not to mention, research shows companies that earn recognition as an organization of choice attract better job candidates, find the right talent for their organization, and have lower turnover. Top Workplaces is an opportunity to highlight our people-centered culture and a chance to celebrate the good — which is more important now than ever. 


We are just a little over a month away!
Will you be joining us?

About the Cause:
CORA’s annual golf outing is one of the agency’s main sources of unrestricted funding to support the impactful work we do for Philadelphia’s children and families. Your participation as a golfer or sponsor goes a long way in helping our staff help those facing academic, emotional or social challenges. From providing clients in need of services with financial assistance to ensuring our staff have access to the best resources so they can continue to be experts in their field, every contribution helps CORA help more kids!

 About the Course:
Philadelphia is one of the great golf centers in the United States and at its heart is The Philadelphia Cricket Club. The Philadelphia Cricket Club is one of the finest private family-oriented full-service country clubs in America. It is the only club in the United States with a different golf course constructed in each of the last three centuries. They hosted the 2015 PGA Professional National Championship and the 2016 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.

Address to Course:
6025 W. Valley Green Rd.
Flourtown, PA 19031
Established in 1971, and celebrating 50 years just like CORA, is The Week of the Young Child! The Week of the Young Child is a fun filled week celebrating the importance of early learning, young children, their teachers, families and communities, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC is the world's largest early childhood education association, with nearly 60,000 members and a network of 52 Affiliates.

This celebration focuses public attention on the needs of young children and their families and recognizes the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.

CORA Services has been hosting activities and sharing tips and resources with our kids, families and online communities, in honor of this week. From learning about low cost, healthy snacks that you can make with your child at home, to "Music Monday", where the children listened and learned to make music in and out of their classrooms, you can see that these kids have been having a ball, and so have our staff! #WOYC


Q&A with Board Member and Chair of the CORA for KIDS Golf Classic Committee:
Mike Schell
Mike and Roseann Schell 
How long have you been involved with CORA?
Forty-eight years! I first started working at CORA after leaving the Navy on March 31,1973 as a night receptionist and bookkeeper. I retired in 2015 as the Director of Finance.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Sister Charity gave me a quote one day, "Tis better to seek forgiveness than ask permission!"

What advice would you give to someone looking to join CORA's board?
Reach out to one of CORA's current board members or CORA's CEO to find out what is involved. Also, volunteer for one of the committees or become involved in a fund raising event. The important point is, what can that person bring to CORA to support the Mission?

What initially attracted you to the organization?
Sr. Charity had been a college classmate of my mother and I had heard over the years about how dynamic she was.

What program at CORA would you consider to be your favorite?
My favorite CORA Program was the Truancy Program that took place at the Neumann Center, which began as a GED training program for high-school dropouts. Unfortunately, funding ceased around the turn of the century. Presently, the program I am the fondest of is Early Years. I was very satisfied with the growth of a daughter, and granddaughter, who both went to CORA Early Years.

What is a dream project/additional programs would you like to see CORA offer?
A coordinated school services program that can provide a total range of service to a school system.


About Truancy:
Truancy from school is often an indicator of other challenges within a student’s family or community. Disengagement from school can have serious short and long term effects on a student, potentially leading to academic failure, delinquency, substance use and other high-risk behaviors. It is critical for truancy concerns to be addressed as early as possible, in order to ensure that families have the proper supports required to ensure their children’s academic, as well as social-emotional success.

About CORA's Neumann Center:
CORA’s Neumann Center was located at 1000 Orthodox St. in 19124, not far from Northwood Academy Charter School, where CORA provides afterschool programming today. The program offered alternative educational and employability training opportunities to youth aged 16 to 21 years who left the traditional school setting prior to attaining a high school diploma. CORA Neumann was designed to re-engage these youth with educational/vocational programs and systems and assist the clients in achieving their GED.

Neumann services were designed for youth at considerable risk of educational and vocational failure, due to personal/familial/life experience factors, that may also put them at greater risk of justice system involvement. Many students were over-aged ninth and tenth graders, referred by schools, social service agencies, city systems and courts, parents or were self-referred. Applicants often presented with diagnosed learning difficulties, poor school achievement records, juvenile justice system exposure and substance use histories. Former staff of the Neumann Center fondly remember graduation ceremonies with ecstatic students, of all ages, that had finally attained their diplomas and proud families, appreciative of this program that enabled it t0 happen.

Often, CORA steps in and fills a need, but when that need no longer exists to a great degree, the agency's time and resources are diverted to other services. After about 20 years of serving the community, the Neumann Program shut down, because by that time, the city had an abundance of alternative high school and GED programs. Throughout the early 2000's, in collaboration with DHS, CORA continued to address truancy and related issues, serving youth at risk of educational and vocational failure.

FAST-FORWARD...

About TIPS (Truancy Intervention and Prevention Services):
TIPS is the current city-wide initiative between the School District of Philadelphia, the City’s Office of Children and Families, Family Court, and partner agencies like CORA Services. TIPS teams collaborate with schools to identify students who are struggling with regular school attendance, do outreach with families to identify barriers, and work to alleviate these barriers with referrals, resources and other supports. Students with more serious attendance concerns may be referred to Regional Truancy Court, where Case Managers are assigned to provide higher level supports, including regular home and school visits, while also ensuring families have access to community resources that will further ensure a student’s success in school.  

Truancy Today and the Impact of the Pandemic:
According to Stacy Leonard, Managing Director of CORA's Community Services Division, the impact of COVID-19 has left its mark on all of our lives. As resilient as children are, many have quietly suffered throughout this year - struggling academically, socially and emotionally under the weight of the pandemic. Philadelphia, like much of the country, has witnessed an enormous Truancy spike, this year. 

At CORA, as we work to support 49 schools throughout Northeast Philadelphia, striving to alleviate the barriers that may exist that hinder regular school attendance for students, we have seen referrals more than double. What began as difficulty accessing technology, internet, or a broken Chromebook, quickly turned into a more bleak realization for the Case Managers. Hundreds of students, many with no prior history of truancy, are struggling to remain engaged and prioritize their education. 

Longing for a return to normalcy when they are able to physically return to the classroom with friends and teachers, many students have suffered great learning loss, while experiencing an increase in anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. CORA currently is serving 655 children, working fervently to ensure students receive support, finding creative ways to reengage, reinvigorate their focus on learning, and connect students with resources many so desperately require.

To learn more about CORA's current Truancy Intervention and Prevention Services (TIPS):
As we celebrate our 50th year of caring and compassionate service to Philadelphia's children and families, we are collecting stories about how CORA has impacted you. Has CORA impacted you or someone you know personally or professionally? Do you have a fond memory of CORA Services you would be willing to share? What would you like to share as we celebrate this milestone? Tell us!  
Want to work with the best team in the industry? CORA is HIRING Camp Counselors!

The question is, are you ready to have fun working an amazing summer job that comes with:

• State of the art facility in an up-and-coming neighborhood
• On-site K – 5th Grade Summer Camp experience
• Discounted tuition rates for employees
• Pay rate starting at $12.40/hour

Hurry! Camp Counselor training is coming up in just a couple of months, and we are EAGER to get you on board!
CORA Early Years Fox Chase is planning for summer programming!

Did you sign up your kids yet? They won't want to miss out on this fun!

Our professional workshops have been instrumental in shaping professionals in the educational, social services and psychological fields, helping them do their work more effectively. If you haven't already, be sure to check out our lineup. These workshops are in high demand and fill up quickly. Register today!

To register for this upcoming workshop,

For a list of our upcoming workshops,

For a full list of open CORA positions, click the button below!


Love CORA?
Consider making a gift today!

CORA's COVID-19 
Updates and Resources

We have been monitoring the COVID-19 Crisis, and have put together a list of helpful resources and articles. 
You can find them by visiting our website: 

You will find resources such as:
How to Resolve Landlord/Tenant Conflict
Virtual Recovery Support and AA Meetings
Supporting Children during COVID-19
Successful School Routines at Home 
Advice for Newly Remote Workers
Emotional Health Support
Finding Free Meals
Free Activities
And much more!

CORA Services
8540 Verree Road
Philadelphia, PA 19111
215.342.7660

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View our career opportunities here.