Solomon presents $10K to Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 3 – State Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., presented a $10,000 state grant last week to the Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association that will allow the Family Resource Center and Success Lab at Carnell Elementary School to provide support for children who have behavior challenges and who have experienced trauma.

“Children who have behavioral challenges or experienced trauma should not have to endure disciplinary actions bearing consequences that greatly impede their chances at future success,” Solomon said. “This grant will help equip educators and staff at Carnell with the necessary behavioral health resources and guidance to ensure children are given the support they need to excel academically and beyond. I am thrilled to continue working closely with OCCCDA and Carnell in becoming a model for all schools to follow when it comes to connecting with our most vulnerable students.”

Solomon was joined by state Sen. Christine Tartaglione; School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite Jr.; Hilderbrand Pelzer III, principal at Carnell; Pearl Wang-Herrera, OCCCDA executive director; Jen Leaman, parent and coordinator of the resources center at Carnell Elementary; and behavioral health advocates.

Leaman expressed her gratitude for the show of support from the school community, the community at large and government, particularly crediting Solomon for being the force behind securing the grant after listening to her and her colleagues’ ideas on creating the Success Lab.

“He believed in those ideas enough, also in partnership with the district and Senator Tartaglione, and notified us when state funding was available. Now we have the Success Lab,” Leaman said. “We’ve already begun to see the fruit of counseling services in the lives of our students.”

Hite also commended Solomon and Tartaglione for working in tandem with the school district and the community on establishing a resource center that provides emotional support for students.

“I am pleased to be among state elected officials who not only talk about the issues but put their actions where the talk is; and that action is in the way of funding that allows us to do these types of things,” Hite said. “I’m equally grateful for partners like OCCCDA, who are actually providing the types of resources we need in schools to help respond to the challenges that young people are coming to our schools with…but we need those structures and strategies to respond with so that we can make sure these young people stay in our schools.”

The grant was approved through the Department of Community and Economic Development's Keystone Communities Program, which is designed to support local initiatives that grow and stabilize neighborhoods and communities, encourage the creation of partnerships between the public and private sectors in the community, and enhance the overall quality of life for residents.

More details about the Keystone Communities Program can be found at DCED's website