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 Google Meets or Zoom from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. The information and meeting link 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: Grief
November 15: Hardships/Food Insecurity in the Winter
December 13: Mount Nittany Medical Center
January 17: Mindfulness
February 21: Shelter
March 21: TBD
April 18: TBD
May 16: Mental Health Services in SCASD
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE OF TOPICS:
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
December 15, 2020 - “Drug and Alcohol Trends” by Officer John Aston and Denise McCann. Find video here
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