Welcome to the Indian Valley Character Counts! Coalition website.
The Indian Valley Character Counts! Coalition lead by Community Mobilizer DonnaLea Pyrz and Board President Dr. Christopher Hey is privileged to announce that the coalition recently received an 18 month grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The grant provides funding for the coalition to continue working on their mission of keeping youth in the community healthy safe and drug free. As part of the grant guidelines, the Communities that Care (CTC) operating system will be incorporated into the current coalition program. The CTC operating system is a proven, nationally based research program.
The Indian Valley Character Counts Coalition was developed as an initiative of the North Penn YMCA in 1997. The coalition consists of local businesses and organizations that offer many different services in the community. Working with the new CTC operating system, the coalition plans to assess the gaps in services to develop a stronger group that works together more efficiently. Currently the coalition is addressing risks identified from the 40 Developmental Assets Survey, however, the coalition plans to include the use of the Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAY’s) as an additional assessment tool for evaluation of risk and protective factors. The addition of the PAY’s survey will help the coalition gather new data to identify factors that put youth in the Indian Valley at risk for substance abuse and risky behavior.
The video below provides a look at our 40 Developmental Assets program and the Indian Valley Student Support Card. Information for the new CTC operating system will be released soon.
In simplest terms a coalition is a group of individuals and/or organizations with a common interest who agree to work together toward a common goal. That goal could be as narrow as obtaining funding for a specific intervention, or as broad as trying to improve the overall quality of life for most people in the community. By the same token, the individuals and organizations involved might be drawn from a narrow interest, or might include representatives of nearly every segment of the community depending upon the breadth of issues.
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At the Indian Valley Character Counts! Coalition, our mission is to promote positive youth development by providing information, supporting programs and strengthening community relationships that promote the principles of Character Counts! and that build assets to help youth stay healthy, safe and drug-free.
As president of the Coalition’s Executive Committee, I am honored to be part of a community which places such a strong emphasis on building character in young people. I am committed to continuing this tradition and finding new ways to help our youth face the challenges of life in the 21st century.
Christopher D. Hey, Ed.D.
Indian Valley Character Counts! Coalition Committee Members
Michael Pennington, Director
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Souderton Area School District Students and Community Leaders discussing the results of the PAYS Survey and Search Institutes Attitudes and Behaviors Surveys
On October 21, 2016, the Indian Valley Character Counts! Coalition held a Town Hall meeting at the LCBC Church in Harleysville, PA. Community leaders and students from the Souderton Area School District were invited to the Town Hall meeting to hear the results of student surveys (PAYS Pennsylvania Youth Survey and the Search Institute Attitudes and Behaviors Surveys) given to the students during the 2015-2016 school year. Before the results were given, Keynote Speaker Michael Pennington addressed the audience on what impact coalition work throughout the state has had on prevention efforts. Mr. Pennington believes that recidivism rates have been reduced because of the prevention work being done by coalitions across the state. He also stated that because of prevention efforts, fewer youth have been found to be placed in residential facilities. Mr. Pennington believes that these are just a few of the reasons that prevention efforts are a critical part of state-wide community coalitions work.
After Mr. Pennington spoke, Dr. Christopher Hey and Mr. Kyle Longacre presented the results of the surveys to the audience. A brief overview of the Student Supports Cards (handed out at the meeting) was provided and then attention was given to priorities the coalition plans to address as a result of the student data assessment.
Dr. Hey noted that the Coalition has identified substance abuse and mental health as key priorities in the Indian Valley. Risk and protective factors for each priority will be addressed by the Assessment Team and presented to the General Membership Committee for final approval. A Plan of Action will be put in place to identify each priority and how the priority will be addressed.
Finally, students were given an opportunity to discuss what they heard with community leaders. They were able to share their opinions and listen to those of the leaders, building a mutual respect for each others opinion. The Indian Valley Character Counts! Coalition focuses on the Social Development Strategy, the most important part of which is building relationships and providing opportunities!
If you would like to be a part of the prevention efforts of the Indian Valley Character Counts! Coalition please contact, DonnaLea Pyrz, Community Mobilizer at 215-723-3569, ext. 116.