• Straight Talk Logo  

    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







     Past Topics from the 2022-2023 school year:

    April 18, 2023 at 6:00pm in-person at State High's small auditorium 

    “Dating and Sexual Violence: What Parents and Teens Need to Know” by a panel of professionals
    The 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.


    Find video here.

    Find the presentation here.



    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.


    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. 

    FIT Powerpoint  


    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  Find video here and find resources shared here.

    March 15, 2022 - Description:  “Embracing Transitions:  Moving Through with Presence, Awareness, and Reverence” by Beth Shaha  Find video here.

    February 15, 2022 - Description: Courageous Conversations” by Jana Marie Foundation Find video here

    December 14, 2021 - Description: Self-Care for Kids and the Grown-ups Who Love Them” by Rachel Love, PhD  Find video here

    November 16, 2021 - Description: "Supporting Gender Inclusive Educational Environments" by Samantha King, MSW, Med Transgender and Gender Expansive Youth Powerpoint

    October 19, 2021 - Description: “Drugs and Alcohol Trends” by Denise McCann and Officer Dean Woodring Find video here

    September 21, 2021 - Description: “Meeting our Children’s Needs in Turbulent Times” by Peter Montminy 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 hereNow 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

Last Modified on August 23, 2023