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CTC group members work on mission, vision statements

During the July 20 Catasauqua Communities That Care meeting, members worked to develop the group’s mission and vision statements.

This work is part of an effort to cultivate a fully developed communication plan. The communication plan is a priority for the group, identified from the recent coalition checkup feedback report.

It was noted the group already has a mission statement that can serve as a solid starting point and may just require some tweaking to be more comprehensive.

After going back and forth regarding specific wording, it was requested the group meet in person to really dig into the wording and phrases to ensure the mission and vision statements encompass exactly what the group wants.

Bobby Newman, pastor of Presbyterian Church of Catasauqua, noted he and Brian Reidy, pastor of Holy Trinity Memorial Lutheran Church, have training in helping develop mission and vision statements. Newman said it would be nice for everyone to get together in person to “really flesh out the wording.”

Shelley Keffer, Catasauqua Area School District coordinator of student services, noted there are more members in the coalition since the original mission and vision statements were written and agreed the group should meet in person to make sure they are all on the same page.

It was decided the next meeting will be held in person. To accommodate schedules, the meeting was changed from its normal time and will be held noon Aug. 3.

Meghan Lynn Blevins, from Penn State EPISCenter, reported the next data collection for the coalition checkup will be held in the fall. Denise Continenza, a Penn State Extension educator and one of the group’s coordinators, noted the group should have progress to show but should also not feel rushed.

In other business, Newman reported the church served 74 people at the last community meal. He said the volunteers are feeding 70-85 people on average each month. Newman noted the meals are a way of bringing the community together.

The meals are planned for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. the third Monday of each month. The next one is set for Aug. 16.

Lois Reed, CASD business supervisor and organizer of the Catasauqua Community Cares Program, reported the group has approximately 250 backpacks to share with students who need them in the district. Backpacks can be picked up 6-7 p.m. Aug. 3 and 10-11 a.m. Aug. 6 in front of Sheckler Elementary School, 251 N. 14th St.

Keffer reported she is looking into planning a fun way of welcoming students back to school. One idea is to have students make inspirational and welcoming posters during the first week of classes to hang on the walls of the schools. She noted the idea came from a conversation she had with Kim Ceccatti, a counselor at Sheckler Elementary.

Ceccatti said she is urging people to be “super aware and mindful about promoting anti-racism.” In the years she has been working with students, she reported she had heard some things about families in the district experiencing racism.

Keffer noted this “welcome back to school” campaign is a good way to engage students in welcoming and accepting everyone and anyone, no matter their ethnicity, disability, etc. It could also help ease any anxiety some students may be feeling and help students re-establish connections.

“We strive to provide a positive school environment to every student,” Keffer said.

She mentioned the district is working toward creating responsible and accepting students who will grow into good, loving citizens.

CTC members next meet noon Aug. 3 in the district administrative board room, 201 N. 14th St.