MARCH 2017
Feeling Lucky and Hopeful for the Future 
March means that spring is on the horizon and so are great things for CORA


On February 23rd and 24th, 75 members of CORA's Staff and Board gathered for our 2-day Strategic Planning Summit. The  process consisted of group activities that made us reflect on  how  CORA  can expand its capacity to support unfunded and yet critical community needs, as well as continue to be a great and supportive work environment for all of our 300+ employees.  It incorporated information that was uncovered during appreciative inquiry interviews that 150 Staff and Board members participated in prior to the Summit. The Summit sessions were creative, fun, interesting, inspiring, and perhaps most importantly, purposeful. Everyone enjoyed the chance to step away from our daily work, get to know one another better and to use our individual talents to help plan a strong future for CORA. Together we created a roadmap that outlines where we would like to take the agency by 2021  a nd what we'll need to have in place to get there.

I am grateful for our skillful facilitator, Nancy Eagan, our employees and our volunteers who truly embraced the process, and the privilege to lead a diverse team of thinkers that are dedicated to the advancement of CORA and Sr. Charity's mission.

The Summit closed with a ceremony where each of the participants made a personal pledge, in front of the whole group, to help the organization in their own unique way. Many promised to volunteer more, be better advocates for the organization in their schools and communities and to bring family and friends to our events to help them understand the work we do. My pledge, is to see the plans we have made through and boldly lead this team into 2021, with as much drive, energy and focus as was put into this important process. I hope you will all stay along for the ride and stand by CORA as we continue to do great things and serve even more children and families in the years to come.

While everyday can feel like an adventure, CORA's next official adventure begins next week as we start off March by hosting a CEO Retreat for all of the Chief Executive Officers of our Sister Good Shepherd Organizations across the country and in Canada.
Each day, I am hop eful for the future of CORA and feel in awe of our tremendously caring and creative team. Thank you to our Board, Donors, Partners, Staff and Volunteers - we a re so lucky to have all of you in our corner!   

AnnMarie Schultz

CORA Walks Alongside Schools
One of my ele student-walking-hallway.jpgmentary school students seems consistently unable to concentrate during class and another has stopped showing up ...
What should I do?
A teenager in our high school has been socially withdrawn for a while and has even shown signs of substance experimentation ...    
Who should we call?
One of my students has experienced significant change or loss ...
How can I help?
Often scenarios and questions like th ese  lead educators and schools to CORA Services.  Currently there are 110 schools in the Philadelphia area, including public, charter and non-public schools, that partner with   CORA's SAP (Student Assistance Program)  for  assessment and referral  services , offered through the Community Services Division (CSD) .


SAP Assessors  complete Behavioral Health Needs and Strengths Assessments,  provide consultation   to students, families and school staff   and  facilitate service  referral s   for   students  who may be  experiencing barriers or obstacles to learning   which might be attributed to mental health/substance use issues.   School SAP teams identify students  about whom they have these concerns and initiate the referral to CORA SAP.  CORA Assessors (Alexa Balsam, Lindsay Cohen, Jesa Galloway, Jennifer Jette, Marissa Marschall and Alex Smink) , under the leadership of  Melissa McCullough , our Clinical Supervisor, meet with students and their parents /guardians  at the various school sites   to complete the assessment and consultation process As this is often the first introduction to behavioral health care for many students and families, CORA's careful engagement and support through this process, developed over the 30 years of providing this service, is very comforting to many families. After assessment and consultation, CORA staff help families identify next steps to address the presenting issues and assist with securing additional services as desired.   Through staff interactions with other service providers throughout the City, CORA has developed a wealth of family services connections and supports to help families with this process.


CORA's CSD is a trusted provider of many of these additional services as well and many families benefit from the counseling, parent guidance and case management services provided here. Clients are quick to remark about the competent, caring and compassionate service they receive which reflects the philosophy and approach of Sr. Charity, CORA's founder.

"Children are the Heart of the Matter"

CORA's OST (Out of School Time Services) Programs  are dedicated to engaging youth in creative and meaningful learning and play activities.  In addition to  homework help, children in our OST programs are participating in STEM activities, literacy initiatives  and character building lessons. This past February, Angela Stevens, CORA's OST Director at Loesche Elementary - one of CORA's five OST sites - guided her boys in becoming proper gentlemen and practiced with them,  the useful skill of tying a necktie.  
"Afterschool with CORA" is known as quality programming thats fun, safe and run by professionals.
CORA kids are excited to learn and grow together and know that CORA Staff truly care for them. 

 Stay Tuned for 2017 Summer Camp Registration. 
Shop with AmazonSmile and Help CORA Help Kids!

Designate CORA as your charity and the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate a percentage of everything you purchase to CORA Services!   Help CORA Kids Smile Today!  

CORA Counselors Developing Young Heroes
For the last six years, Eve Boyd, CORA's Counselor at St. Christopher's School in

Somerton, has worked side-by-side with the National Liberty Museum to empower her sixth grade students to become civic leaders within their communities. Mrs. Mary Tremper, 
St. Christopher's principal, was approached to include her school as one of the first schools to pilot this partnership. In the beginning of the school year, Eve facilitates a ten-week-curriculum, designed by the museum, that helps students find their own voices. The plan is to educate students about the importance of civic engagement and social justice through critical thinking, inquiry and project-based learning. Acting on the principle that liberty is a right every person should enjoy, Eve prepares youth to recognize and identify social issues and supports them in asserting change in their own lives and communities.

"Eve's championing of, and investment in Young Heroes, has really made this program the best it can be. It's so clear that she cares deeply about all of her students and is eager to help them realize their full potential" said Alan Holmes, the National Liberty Museum's Outreach Coordinator.

Saturday  April 22, 2017, 11 AM - 3 PM
CORA Services, 8540 Verree Road, Philadelpia, PA 19111
This year's festival is shaping up to be another wonderful day at CORA ( rain or shine) celebrating familiy and communitiy. There will be a wide variety of musical acts from local schools, including two returning acts from last year, Eka Dance Academy and Riley's Irish DancersCORA Staff and volunteers will host families and children in enjoyng activities including crafts, games and moon bounces and the entertainment will be emceed by CORA's own Dr. Paul Haughton!
Families will have the opportunity to Register Early for Camp CORA 2017 at one of our four elementary school sites in Northeast Philadelphia. 

Celebrating more than 20 years of leadership in the schools, our 8th grade Peer Helpers from 6 local schools will be showcasing their talents and participating in community service by leading the carnival games.  

*Proceeds from the games, bake sale and gift basket raffle will  HELP CORA HELP KIDS!* 

How can you get involved?
There are a few spots left for acts to sign up and perform on our stage.  CORA welcomes community businesses and organizations to partner with us for the day to help educate and entertain families. Lastly, CORA is still accepting gifts, sponsorships, volunteers and raffle basket donations. Contact Rachel McGonigle at 215-701-2536 or email Learn more here.

Community Sponsor

Free Face Painting by Blooming Artist

Kid's Activities with

Come Celebrate Earth Day with and Rotary Club

CORA Services
8540 Verree Road
Philadelphia, PA 19111
A 19111