Youth Education Program Receives Grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency

The Youth Education Program of Valley Youth House recently received a two-year grant award in the amount of $96,509 from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. This grant will be used to fund a Community Mobilizer position which will help sustain the Slate Belt Communities that Care (CTC) Coalition. Communities That Care “guides communities through a proven five-phase change process. Using prevention science as its base, CTC promotes healthy youth development, improves youth outcomes, and reduces problem behaviors” for an entire community, not a targeted group.

CTC is not a program; rather it is a framework incorporating the Social Development Strategy which fosters the success and health of young people from before birth through every stage of development. The Social Development Strategy calls for providing young people with opportunities to succeed and then teaching them the skills needed for those opportunities. Offering recognition for their accomplishments then strengthens bonding with family, school and community. These strong bonds motivate young people to adopt healthy standards for behavior. This strategy has been tested and proven effective and is the very foundation of CTC.

Ms. Pamela Colton was hired as the new Community Mobilizer for the Slate Belt CTC. Ms. Colton is a Bangor resident and served as a school board director for the Bangor Area School District for 16 years, the last four as its president. She has also served as a board member for the Colonial Intermediate Unit 20. Currently Ms. Colton is a trustee for the Northampton Community College Board of Trustees and a member of Air Liquide’s Community Advisory Panel. She has a unique understanding of the challenging needs for youth within the Slate Belt community and is excited to begin facilitating the work of the Slate Belt CTC to bring positive youth development strategies to both the Bangor and Pen Argyl communities.

Valley Youth House has been a strong, long-standing supporter and partner for positive youth development programs and services for the Slate Belt community. Anne Adams, senior vice president for Valley Youth House, stated, “I am very excited that this grant will further the partnership between the Bangor and Pen Argyl Area School Districts and Valley Youth House. The residents of the Slate Belt have an extremely strong commitment to their community and their youth.”

Pictured above: Dr. William Haberl, Superintendent of the Pen Argyl Area School District, Pamela Colton, VYH Community Mobilizer, and Dr. Frank DeFelice, Superintendent of the Bangor Area School District