Straight Talk Task Force Free Monthly Presentations:
The Straight Talk Task Force is made up of representatives from the Jana Marie Foundation, Centre Helps, Communities That Care Partnership, and State College Area School District administration, faculty, and staff.
The mission of the Straight Talk Task Force: We strive to raise our children to become strong, confident, happy adults. The Straight Talk Series offers educational programs that help parents, caregivers and community members to recognize, understand, and deal with potential problems that can surface during developmental years. Be proactive. Learn the warning signs. Learn how to help our children before the problem negatively impacts them, their school work and their relationships.
Sessions will be held via Zoom or in-person from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. The information will be sent out to families and is also posted below.
Straight Talk Presentations 2021-2022
We are celebrating 10 years of connecting families and the community with Straight Talk! This year’s theme, “It Takes a Village: Resources for You and Your Children,” was developed in response to families and caregivers who voiced a desire to increase their understanding of assistance available to them within both the school district and Centre County.
September 20: “Strengthening Our Children’s Mental Health - A Mindful Solutions Primer for Parents and Professionals” with Dr. Peter Montminy, Clinical Child Psychologist
October 18: "When Grief Comes to School" with Jeanne Knouse, the TIDES Program, and Jana Marie Foundation
November 15: “Helping Hands During Winter Hardships” with SCASD Family Intervention Team, State College Food Bank and Centre Helps
December 13: “Finding Light and Hope in Our Community: Resources to Help During Difficult Times” by Mount Nittany Health, Center of Community Resources and 988 Crisis and Suicide Lifeline.
January 17: “Career Satisfaction, Life Transitions and Psychological Resilience” by Dr. Mike Wolff - Cancelled
February 21: “Restorative Practices: What is it? How is it used? And why does it work?” by Jeanne Knouse
April 18: “Dating and Sexual Violence: What Parents and Teens Need to Know” by a panel of professionals
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE OF TOPICS:
April 18, 2023 at 6:00pm in-person at State High's small auditoriumThe focus will be on educating the SCASD community about relationships and sexual violence prevention and response. Community experts Dee Hall from Centre Safe, Deirdri Houck and Dr. Jill Wood will discuss various aspects of sexual violence prevention (including consent education, the cultural context in which violence occurs and is enabled), information about dating relationships (including “red flag” dating behaviors among teens), and resources for students and family members (including how to talk to your kids about these topics, how to use district and community resources, and the Title IX process). Finally, high school students working on “The Purple Project” to educate the State High community will present their ongoing efforts and achievements. Due to the delicate nature of the information, the presentation may not be suitable for some middle school and elementary students. There will be childcare available upon signing up.
February 21, 2023 at 7:00pm in-person at Panorama Village Building
“Restorative Practices: What is it? How is it used? And why does it work?” by Jeanne Knouse
Jeanne Knouse, Director of Student Services for State College Area School District (SCASD) with over 30 years of experience in education, 10 years utilizing Restorative Practices and 6 as a Restorative Practices Trainer. She is passionate about relationships and feels strongly that restorative practices is a way of doing things that can support healthy relationships and create a sense of belonging for students, parents and district employees.
This is an in-person presentation where participants will learn practical strategies to build strong, healthy relationships with students/children, families, and colleagues. There are interactive experiences that bring you to an understanding of the fundamental unifying premise of restorative practices—that people are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes in their lives when those in positions of authority do things with them rather than to them or for them.
Participants will gain an explicit understanding of what Restorative Practices is and isn’t
Participants will have tools to utilize restorative practices to build relationships both personally and professionally
Participants will understand the theory behind restorative practices and why it works.
January 17, 2023 at 7:00pm in-person at Panorama Village Building - CANCELLED
“Career Satisfaction, Life Transitions and Psychological Resilience” by Dr. Mike Wolff, a licensed and consulting psychologist.
What are the psychological resources we need to meet the challenges of today’s career readiness and career satisfaction? We might be asking ourselves: Are we supporting students with their important and burgeoning career milestones and transitions? What strategies do I employ to support my own career identity and satisfaction? In fact, what does it even mean to have career satisfaction?
This training will examine the various developmental stages related to career building, identity, and general career satisfaction. Special attention will be given to life transitions, factors supporting career readiness, improving our psychological coping resources, and modeling a healthy approach to career identity development and satisfaction.
December 13, 2022 at 7:00pm via this Zoom Link
“Finding Light and Hope in Our Community: Resources to Help During Difficult Times” by Mount Nittany Health, Center of Community Resources and 988 Crisis and Suicide Lifeline.
While we often think of the winter season as a time of joy and family, we recognize that difficult emotions can arise. There is help and hope available, thanks to the many community resources available in our community. Join Mount Nittany Health, Center for Community Resources, and 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline as they share services and resources. Watch the recorded video here.
November 15, 2022 at 7:00pm via this Zoom Link
“Helping Hands During Winter Hardships” with SCASD Family Intervention Team, State College Food Bank and Centre Helps
As the colder winter months approach, we know this season can be a time of extra hardship and struggle for individuals and families in Centre County. With colder weather comes increased utility and heating costs, increased mental health challenges, and food insecurity. The challenges that come with navigating the holiday season and the long, cold winter months are not something to take lightly. But with connections to resources, we can navigate these difficult months a bit more easily. Join the State College Food Bank, SCASD Family Intervention Team, and Centre Helps as we talk about how we can help you during these upcoming brittle months.
October 18, 2022 at 7:00pm via this Zoom Link
"When Grief Comes to School" with Jeanne Knouse, the TIDES Program, and Jana Marie Foundation
Experiencing grief and loss can cause an array of emotional and physical challenges that impact the school environment. When students and families have support, the heaviness of these challenges can be lessened. Join us to learn how our schools respond to grief and loss. It is important to recognize significant losses and, together as a community, we offer support, information and healing to all.
Watch the recorded video here.
Find resources for grief and loss here.
September 20, 2022 at 7:00pm via this Zoom Link
“Strengthening Our Children’s Mental Health - A Mindful Solutions Primer for Parents and Professionals” by Dr. Peter Montminy, Clinical Child Psychologist
With chronic and traumatic stressors in their lives, our children’s nervous systems are repeatedly firing up the “fight or flight” stress defenses. Their brains are being conditioned to be more emotionally reactive, and less thoughtfully responsive. They’re struggling more to focus their minds, calm their emotions, and control their impulses. In short, they’re lacking the key skill to support their mental health: self-regulation. Children develop the ability to regulate their emotions and behaviors through attuned relationships with self-regulating adults. We call this process co-regulation. It is the key to improving self-regulation in kids, and the key to strengthening our children’s mental health. The Mindful Solutions Approach ™ is designed to develop these very skills in both parents and children, as well as teachers and students. In this program, you’ll learn ways to begin strengthening self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-regulation skills in yourself and your children. You’ll learn ways to transform the vicious cycle of toxic stress into the virtuous cycle of mindful caregiving. Watch the recorded video here.
Past Topics from the 2021-2022 school year:
May 17, 2022 - “Equity in Action: It Takes a Village” by Dr. Seria Chatters and an Equity Panel
Come and join Dr. Chatters as she leads a panel discussion with SCASD students and staff, community members, and university professors as they discuss their connections with SCASD’s equity efforts. Come learn more about how students, the community, and the university are working together to work toward a more equitable district. Find video here and find resources shared here.
March 15, 2022 - Description: “Embracing Transitions: Moving Through with Presence, Awareness, and Reverence” by Beth Shaha
When we are in the midst of transition – we don’t have all of the answers. The only certainty we have is that we will know when we get to the other side. The beauty lies in our ability to awaken ourselves and open up to the possibilities with reverence and adventure. Join Beth Shaha for a lively discussion on how to embrace the transitions in your everyday life. Find video here.
February 15, 2022 - Description: “Courageous Conversations” by Jana Marie Foundation
The past year has presented many opportunities to engage in big conversations which can be challenging, especially with our children. Join us as we discuss tips about how to approach courageous conversations with your children, how to use everyday experiences to build connections, and ways to cultivate support for families. Find video here
December 14, 2021 - Description: “Self-Care for Kids and the Grown-ups Who Love Them” by Rachel Love, PhD
This Straight Talk will focus on what self-care is and why it is important for adults and children. We will explore the dark side of the ideals of self-care and how hard it can be in our current state to implement and model good self-care. This session will be held via Zoom and there will be time for questions and discussion. Please bring paper and pen to participate in exercises during the talk. Find video here
November 16, 2021 - Description: "Supporting Gender Inclusive Educational Environments" by Samantha King, MSW, Med
During this workshop, Samantha King (she/her) Education Specialist at CHOP’s Gender & Sexuality Development Program will share how schools and communities can create gender-inclusive and affirming environments for all individuals. Samantha will highlight terminology related to gender and discuss gender development and awareness. The workshop will conclude with examples of gender-inclusive classrooms and how communities can better understand and support gender diverse youth. Transgender and Gender Expansive Youth Powerpoint
October 19, 2021 - Description: “Drugs and Alcohol Trends” by Denise McCann and Officer Dean Woodring
Caregivers and educators need to have the most up-to-date information about the ever changing drug and alcohol trends in our community, including vaping, medical marijuana, and the opioid crisis. Learn red flags, addiction and the brain, and tips for talking to kids about substance use as well as supporting students who may be experiencing addiction in their families. Find video here
September 21, 2021 - Description: “Meeting our Children’s Needs in Turbulent Times” by Peter Montminy
It's no secret that stress levels are at an all-time high these days. We're surrounded by news headlines and social media posts that scream at us to worry about so many dangers, and to blame so many "Others" for our problems. Daily life often feels frightening, disheartening and exhausting. So many well-meaning parents and teachers are at their breaking points. Our kids are too. We've had enough. How do we care for our children during such times? We won't solve all the world's problems in this program, but we will get back to basics. We'll remind ourselves of the timeless truths that nurture our children's mental health and well-being, rather than tear it down. We'll recommit to the simple practices that help a child to feel secure, as well as seen, soothed, and strengthened. We'll reconnect with one another and with the inextinguishable hope in our hearts. Find video here
Past Topics from the 2020-2021 school year:
April 27, 2021 - "Now What? Helping Parents and Guardians reset from the struggles of the past year" Jenna Mueller, MS, LPC, NCC and Hannah Hartswick, MS, LPC A Journey to You...LLC. Find video here. Now What? Parent and Guardians Powerpoint
April 20, 2021 - "Now What? Helping our Children reset with healthy minds, bodies and relationships" Jenna Mueller, MS, LPC, NCC and Hannah Hartswick, MS, LPC A Journey to You...LLC. Find video here Now What? Children Powerpoint
March 16, 2021 - “Promoting Mental Wellness by Building Resiliency” by Marisa Vicere, Jana Marie Foundation and Perri Rosen, PhD, NCSP, Consulting Psychologist, Bureau of Children's Behavioral Health Services. Find video here
February 16, 2021 - “Engaging in Courageous Conversations” by Marisa Vicere and Ali Turley. Find video here. Courageous Conversations Powerpoint
February 2, 2021 - “Grieving a Variety of Losses in our Lifetime” by Katie Kostohryz, PhD. Katie Kostohryz, PhD. Find video here. Grieving through Lifetime Powerpoint
January 19, 2021 - "The Importance of Self-Care" by Penn State Psychological Clinic's Dr. Mike Wolff, Ph. D., CADC. Find video here. Self-Care Powerpoint
December 15, 2020 - “Drug and Alcohol Trends” by Officer John Aston and Denise McCann. Find video here
November 17, 2020 - “Collective Grief” by Evelyn Wald. Find video here. Collective Grief Powerpoint
November 3, 2020 - “Vaccinate the Nation” by PSU’s student organization Vaccinate America Find video here
October 20, 2020 - “Diversity and Inclusivity” by YSB Diversity & Inclusivity Team. Find video here
October 6, 2020 - “The Biology Underlying COVID-19” by Dr. Shamim Sinnar. Find video here
September 22, 2020 - “Why Trauma-Informed Care Matters - Now More Than Ever” by Dr. Peter Montminy. Find video here
August 20, 2020 - “Ways To Help Your Child During the Pandemic” with Dr. Laura Jana. Find video here
Past Topics from the 2019-20 school year:
April 21, 2020 - Gun Safe Storage presented by Maggie Ellis and Felicia Co from the Be SMART program
March 17, 2020 - Yout and Performance Anxiety presented by Katie Kostohryz, Ph.D., LPC
Feb. 18, 2020 - Building & Peer Advocacy presented by Dr. Seria Chatters Find video here
January 21, 2020 - Trauma Informed Care presented by Peter Montminy Find video here
November 19, 2019 - Conversations Around Mental Health presented by Marisa Vicere from the Jana Marie Foundation Find video here
Oct. 15, 2019 - Drugs, Alcohol, and Youth presented by Denise McCann, Leanne Lenz, and Officer Adam Salyards Find video here
Sept. 25, 2019 - SPECIAL SESSION – Straight Talk & Jana Marie Foundation SUICIDE: THE RIPPLE EFFECT.
Sept. 17, 2019 from 7 – Strengthening Relationships Through Restorative Practices presented by Jeanne Knouse Find video here
Past Topics from the 2018-19 school year:
Tuesday, April 16 2019 - Dangerous Drinking presented by Adam Salyards and Centre Helps Leanne Lenz. Find video here
Tuesday, March 19 2019 - Focus on Adolescence & Gender presented by Sheri Berenbaum. Find video here
Tuesday, February 19 2019 - Digital Citizenship & Social Media presented Paul McCormick and John Aston. Find video here
Tuesday, January 15 2019 - QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention Training presented by Marisa Vicere from the Jana Marie Foundation. Find video here
Tuesday, November 27 2018 - A Dialogue About Equity & Diversity presented by Seria Chatters. Find video here
Wednesday, November 7 2018 - SPECIAL SESSION - Addiction/Gaming presented by Stephanie Roy
Tuesday, October 16 2018 - Drugs - What's Out There? Drug Trends and Vaping presented by Denise McCann, YSB. Find video here
Tuesday, September 18 2018 - The Flowing Heart of Mindfulness and Compassion presented by Peter Montminy. Find video here
Straight Talk is brought to you by Jana Marie Foundation, Communities that Care, Centre Helps and State College Area School District