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Communities That Care committees determine short-term goals

During the April 21 Whitehall-Coplay Communities That Care meeting, the coalition broke into committees and each decided on a short-term goal, aligned with the committees’ focuses.

The mental health and wellness committee is aiming to decrease Student Assistance Program (SAP) referrals for disruptive behaviors, which may be indicative of low self-worth or other emotional and mental health concerns. The committee focused on increasing students’ commitment to school and would like to see an increase in participation in the clubs currently offered in the schools. The substance use prevention education committee is working to decrease vaping in the schools.

Over the course of the next few meetings, committee members will identify strategies to help achieve these goals.

In other business, kudos and congratulations were shared to Michelle Khouri, district registrar and community outreach, and her team for the recent Family Night event.

Khouri said there were close to 3,000 attendees. She noted many local area businesses reached out and wanted to be part of the event.

Additionally, between 40-60 students volunteered at the event, and Khouri praised their efforts and welcoming manner to all who came.

“The students were phenomenal,” Whitehall-Coplay School District School Resource Officer Matt Christman said, noting he watched them interacting during the event and was impressed with their ambassadorial nature.

Khouri was quick to credit the team she worked with to put on the event, saying they worked well together.

Whitehall-Coplay School Board President William Fonzone Sr. asked if any of the companies that participated or expressed interest had scholarships or opportunities for the students. Khouri said many of them do, and they would need to look into those opportunities.

Whitehall High School counselor Chad Stefanyak said the event was “representative of our population,” which increased diversity over last year’s event.

WHS student and CTC member Aubrey Vivian was congratulated for receiving a community award in the Healing Through the Arts Hope and Healing juried art show for high school and college students. The show continued through April 23 in the Crayola Gallery at the Banana Factory Arts Center, Bethlehem. She created her piece in memory of her friend and WHS student Mia Due, who died in a car accident in July 2022.

The final recognition was for WHS senior Andy Lora Pimental who won Whitehall Area Rotary Club’s annual 4-Way Test Speech at first the local level, then at the regional level. He was set to take part in the district-level contest in early May. His speech was on “The Injustice of the Health Care System.”

The next CTC meeting will be held 9 a.m. May 19 in the LGI room at WHS, 3800 Mechanicsville Road.