Program Partner Success Stories
Since July 1, 2016, 81% of the children participating in Luthercare’s high quality early learning programs in Lebanon County demonstrated they are achieving age appropriate developmental milestones and displaying age-appropriate social-emotional skills. School-readiness isn’t just a child’s academic knowledge, but a combination of skills and development in social/emotional learning, physical abilities, cognitive skills, and language. Programs like Luthercare take a wholistic approach to learning by giving children endless opportunities for hands-on experiences to help develop these skills.
Family engagement is key factor in a child’s school success. In an effort to develop valuable partnerships to best serve the children, Luthercare was able to involve 93% of their families in conferences in the last six months. The conferences gave families the opportunity to contribute, share information, ask questions and showed the value Luthercare places on the family as the child’s first teacher.
Because of the support from United Way, Luthercare was able to provide scholarship money to a local grandmother in need. With the availability of United Way scholarship, Luthercare was able to offer the grandmother assistance with the school age child’s care and make sure that she safety gets to and from school on a daily basis. The program was then able to connect the grandmother with the supports of the Pre K Counts program, providing the grandmother with free, high quality care and learning for her granddaughter while she is at work. Together the availability of these two programs enabled the grandmother to stay in the economic mainstream and provided the girls support with their learning and a stable placement while their grandmother earns a living.
Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA’s STEM Summer Day Camp in Lebanon County is increasing local girls’ hands-on experience with science, technology, engineering and math for kids ages Kindergarten through 5th grade. The program, which is free to attend and includes a no-cost 2-year Girl Scout membership, is offered to Lebanon County girls in partnership with the United Way. The STEM Summer Day Camp is hosted by HACC’s Lebanon Campus, and will take place every Tuesday and Thursday until July 28.
United Way recently had the opportunity to visit a STEM Day Camp session where more than 50 girls had a blast creating their own Play-Doh, building LEGO replicas of famous buildings and roller coasters from straws and popsicle sticks, and playing with virtual reality goggles.
By introducing hands-on engagement in STEM fields at this age group, GSHPA hopes to encourage girls to continue education in these high paying and high demand fields. The Lebanon County Day Camp will help prepare girls for financial stability and successful adult futures by growing their confidence and skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Along with STEM skills, Girl Scouts learn crucial team building skills, grow self-esteem, and learn to overcome obstacles. After participating in Girl Scouts, girls are prepared to help tackle community problems to ensure the future success of all in Lebanon County.
Carrie* was living alone for years but she began to develop extreme paranoia and depression, which became so debilitating that Carrie would not leave her home. After being hospitalized she was referred to Compeer and has been with the program for over 16 years. She has been sharing memories with Alice,* her current friendship match, for over ten years! They spend time together on a regular basis and talk on the phone in between visits. They also attend many Compeer events throughout the year. Carrie’s daughter has reached out to Compeer on several occasions to share how pleased she is with the care and compassion her mother receives from Alice. “Having someone call to check on her and make plans to get together helps to bolster her confidence and keep her active. I believe Compeer is a wonderful program that gives the greatest gift of all to their members—the gift of friendship.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call Lebanon County Crisis Intervention at (717) 274-3363. Non-emergency information regarding mental health services, support groups, counselors in our community is available by dialing 2-1-1.
In an effort to serve the children who have experienced abuse in the Lebanon Community, United Way of Lebanon County partners with Domestic Violence Intervention to provide a children’s program designed to meet the needs of child victims and/or witnesses of domestic violence. Children participate in safe, educational sessions where they can freely discuss their experiences. The program utilizes a variety of counseling and therapeutic methods, depending on the age of the child, such as art therapy, play therapy, storytelling, and dramatic play.
DVI’s group counseling sessions bring children/adolescents with similar family and interpersonal violence experiences together in a nurturing group setting where familiarity creates trust and allows participants to learn healthy relationship skills, build self-esteem and to develop healthier ways of coping in order to reduce harmful symptoms associated with trauma and abuse.
One young shelter resident, Ashley (not her real name), requested to join the group. Ashley was receiving individual counseling through DVI, but asked to participate because she felt she needed the support and encouragement of the group since she was struggling with her trauma and relationships with her peers. Ashley’s outreach to the group is a true story of success; she realized that there were caring adults who could and will help them, and actively sought out that support when it was needed. Ashley took advantage of journaling activities and wrote several entries about how the group benefitted her. She then asked to read aloud to the rest of the group. At her first few sessions she was shy and withdrawn, and was now confident enough to not only share her thoughts, but could stand before a group of other children she hardly knew and share her personal journey. Through this experience, Ashley increased both her self-confidence and learned constructive coping tools.
Education is the great equalizer, and The Literacy Council of Lancaster-Lebanon offers adults a chance to improve lives through education. Adults can access free services in a supportive setting that promotes self-reliance, where they can transition from learning to read to reading to learn and get the skills they need.
Marvin first enrolled in classes after realizing that he needed to get a High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma to re-enter the workforce. The business he worked in all of his adult life had closed. When Marvin went to The Lebanon CareerLink, he found himself sitting at computer trying to apply for jobs. He had little experience with computers and he was frustrated. When he asked the CareerLink staff for help, he was referred to The Literacy Council. When he first met him, he was driven to tears by his circumstances. He started attending classes and began his journey. Marvin took this opportunity seriously. He had perfect attendance and improved his skills. He began working with a tutor because of his rapid progress.
Marvin is now employed full time and he was recently given a raise along with more responsibilities. He is doing work that he enjoys. Marvin continues in the program and is working with his tutor, Amy. His long term goal is to complete his High School Equivalency Diploma. When we first met him, he was devastated. Today, he is a happy and confident man who is feeling more in control of his life.
For more information about the Literacy Council of Lancaster-Lebanon, call 717-274-2554.