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Hamilton Health Center's Golden Gala

PACT representatives were in attendance as Hamilton Health Center celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a Golden Gala on March 5, 2020.
Hamilton Health Center's Golden Gala

Dauphin County Commissioner, George P. Hartwick, III, Carmen Henry-Harris, & Vladimir R. Beaufils, CEO, Sound Community Solutions

PACT representatives were in attendance as Hamilton Health Center celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a Golden Gala on March 5, 2020. The special event was held at the Hershey Lodge. The Hamilton Health Center is a multicultural, multilingual, family friendly, community health care center in Harrisburg, PA, providing medical, dental, and behavioral primary health care services to individuals, regardless of their income status.

Winnie Adebayo awarded planning grant to support researcher-community collaboration

Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute's Community-Engaged Research Core awarded three planning grants to faculty and community-based organization teams.
Winnie Adebayo awarded planning grant to support researcher-community collaboration

Dr. Winnie Adebayo

Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute's Community-Engaged Research Core awarded three planning grants to faculty and community-based organization teams. These planning grants are laying the foundation for projects that affect a variety of communities. Click here to read the full article.

Community Spotlight: The Camp Curtin Branch of the Harrisburg Area YMCA

In Uptown Harrisburg, the Camp Curtin Branch of the Harrisburg Area YMCA provides a sanctuary where kids can develop spiritually, mentally, and physically.

In Uptown Harrisburg, the Camp Curtin Branch of the Harrisburg Area YMCA provides a sanctuary where kids can develop spiritually, mentally, and physically. Among its many programs, the YMCA offers mentoring for social skills and leadership, including the Girls All in Motion (Girls A.I.M.) and Boys Lead Evolve Aspire Do (Boys L.E.A.D.) programs for children ages 8 to 12.  Academically, the YMCA also offers stimulating tutoring programs, including the Teen Achievers and Y Achievers, which aim to support academic achievement and career success in middle and high schoolers. An exciting variety of sports and hobby clubs are also offered, including basketball, lacrosse, judo, urban wilderness, chess, and art club.  PACT member and YMCA Program Development Director TaWanda Stallworth has worked with the YMCA since summer 2019 and happily recalls the joys of her work and what the YMCA means to the Harrisburg community. “It’s been great. . . A lot of work, but fun. It’s important that our kids have sanctuary places -- places where kids can be kids. We can teach them, spend time with them, provide much needed positive relationships, and be a sense of extra support.” This support is largely evident in the positive values and self-efficacy the organization instills. The YMCA provides many opportunities for Harrisburg’s youth to build confidence internally, as well as in their future. 

Most recently, in efforts to better serve their youth and community needs, the YMCA has expanded its guidance to include career exposure in their Y Achievers middle school program. Previously a traditional high school preparation program, the YMCA has transformed the Y Achievers to now include additional career and technical exposure at younger ages. Acknowledging that the traditional college track may not be the best path for all youth, this early career and technical exposure gives children the resources to consider their future and the array of different opportunities available to them. 

As the YMCA expands and continues to support our children, it is also important that we, as a community, support the YMCA as well. The organization is always looking for volunteers, staff, new program ideas, and financial contributors. To find out more about the YMCA and its awesome programs you can visit their website or social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram).

Thank you to the Camp Curtin Branch of the Harrisburg Area YMCA for all their efforts in our community!

Dr. Koraly Pérez-Edgar spotlighted by SRCD Latino Caucus

The overall mission of the SRCD Latino Caucus is to promote conceptually and methodologically rigorous research conducted with Latino children, youth, and families that represents their (1) diversity, (2) normative development, and (3) inherent strengths (cultural, linguistic, etc.).
Dr. Koraly Pérez-Edgar spotlighted by SRCD Latino Caucus

Dr. Koraly Pérez-Edgar

The caucus helps create a critical mass so that researchers and students can see the broad range of issues that we study and the concerns that impact our communities. In addition, it allows early career scientists the opportunity to really focus on the pathways and obstacles we often encounter during our training and career.  It also lets us see the diversity in our science—both the questions asked and the individuals asking the questions. To see the full spotlight, click here.

Congratulations to Kristin Buss on being selected as head of the Penn State Psychology Department

Kristin worked closely with other faculty to established Parents and Children Together (PACT), a Penn State University Park research initiative housed in Harrisburg, PA.
Congratulations to Kristin Buss on being selected as head of the Penn State Psychology Department

Dr. Kristin Buss

Kristin Buss, Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies, has been a faculty affiliate of the Child Study Center since she arrived at Penn State in 2006. Soon after arriving, Kristin worked closely with other faculty to established Parents and Children Together (PACT), a Penn State University Park research initiative housed in Harrisburg, PA. Click here to see the full article.

New York Times Parenting cites Koraly Pérez-Edgar's research for article on supporting your shy child

New York Times Parenting provides guidance and support to new and expecting parents.
New York Times Parenting cites Koraly Pérez-Edgar's research for article on supporting your shy child

Dr. Koraly Pérez-Edgar

Last July, I took my 5-year-old to her best friend’s birthday party. There was an entertainer, booming music and 20 dancing kindergarteners — and then there was my daughter, cowering behind a plant in the corner of the back room, terrified. To read the entire article, click here.

Dawn Witherspoon leads workshop on strategies for engaging diverse communities in research

On Nov. 4, 20 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from Penn State's colleges of Health and Human Development, Liberal Arts and Education participated in a four-hour workshop to learn strategies for engaging diverse communities in their research.
Dawn Witherspoon leads workshop on strategies for engaging diverse communities in research

Dr. Dawn Witherspoon

On Nov. 4, 20 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from Penn State's colleges of Health and Human Development, Liberal Arts and Education participated in a four-hour workshop to learn strategies for engaging diverse communities in their research. Click here to read more.

Carmen Henry-Harris recently appeared on The Nate Gadsden Radio Show

Carmen Henry-Harris, Community Engagement Coordinator for PACT, joined The Reverend Doctor Nate Gadsden on The Voice 17104 radio station on October 17, 2019.

Carmen Henry-Harris, Community Engagement Coordinator for PACT, joined The Reverend Doctor Nate Gadsden on The Voice 17104 radio station on October 17, 2019. The topic of the show was Effective Parenting. Carmen shared information about PACT and PACT’s community-based research with the listening audience. The broadcast was live-streamed and can be viewed here.

Kristin Buss and PACT recognized and awarded by Penn State

The Office of the Vice President for Outreach and Faculty Outreach Award Committee at Penn State University recently recognized and awarded Parents and Children Together (PACT) with an exemplary designation for Community Engagement and Scholarship.
Kristin Buss and PACT recognized and awarded by Penn State

Kristin Buss, Ph.D.

 The Office of the Vice President for Outreach and Faculty Outreach Award Committee at Penn State University recently recognized and awarded Parents and Children Together (PACT) with an exemplary designation for Community Engagement and Scholarship. The Community Engagement and Scholarship Award recognizes an outstanding Penn State scholarship project or initiative that demonstrates the guiding characteristics of an engaged institution, such as respect for partners and resource partnerships.

In addition, Dr. Kristin Buss was recognized for her exemplary leadership in engaged scholarship for directing PACT from 2007 to 2019. Dr. Buss is the founding director of PACT, and her leadership has helped promote community engagement in the research process at all levels. In particular, Dr. Buss developed and led a community-based participatory research project that is now designing a preventative intervention for children at risk for anxiety during the transition to school.

Community Spotlight: Boys & Girls Club of Harrisburg

The Boys & Girls Club of Harrisburg provides after-school and summer programs for healthy social and academic development.

Since its inception in 1939, the Boys & Girls Club of Harrisburg has been an after-school and summer safe haven in which youth of the greater Harrisburg area can “develop essential skills, enhance academic knowledge, make lasting connections and have fun daily”.  The Boys & Girls Club of Harrisburg offers a wide range of positive and stimulating activities for youth 6-18 years old, including programs for character leadership, social and academic skills (i.e. Power Hour and STEM) and industrial and physical arts. PACT member and previous Executive Director, Yvonne Hollins, has worked with the Boys & Girls Club of Harrisburg to provide these engaging activities for over 11 years. Since Mrs. Hollins’ retirement, Director of Programs, Tymia Green, continues the mission of providing these activities so that children and teens may have positive outlets for healthy development.  “We realize everyone has a gift and it’s very important to do whatever we can to nurture our children to provide them with all resources they need to become positive productive people . . . in this day and age there’s a dire need for that.”

Over the past several years, the Boys & Girls Club of Harrisburg has celebrated great accomplishments from their youth. Most recently within their academic Power Hour Program, 100% of youth at the senior level graduated, 57% demonstrated academic growth in reading and math, 100% progressed to the next grade, and 99% of seniors graduated on time. Several of their youth have also gone on to attend college or enlist in the armed forces and 12 members are now college graduates!

Looking ahead, the Boys & Girls Club of Harrisburg plans to broaden their base to support more youth in their journeys to becoming positive and productive members of society. They currently seek community member volunteers who are willing to share their time and skills with youth of the organization. Additionally, as their current financial support comes to an end, the Boys & Girls Club seeks new donors and sponsors who are willing to support the organization’s great initiatives. More information about the Boys & Girls Club of Harrisburg and ways to become involved can be found at their website (www.bgchbg.org), social media handles (Twitter and Facebook) and by phone (717-234-3268).

We applaud the Boys & Girls Club for their great work in helping our young people!

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