The Bullis Fund, through the Rochester Area Community Foundation, has made a major grant to Catholic Charities of Wayne County to work with the staff, parents, students and community leaders to promote positive interaction among Palmyra and Macedon primary and intermediate school students. The grant was awarded to help address state requirements to prevent bullying. Catholic Charities was selected because of its extensive experience in providing specialized counseling services to students and families in Wayne County schools.
The program established by Catholic Charities with the Bullis grant is entitled “Positive Attitude & Responsible Citizen Program,” or “PARC.” Inga Rojas, Director of Clinical Services of Catholic Charities of Wayne County, designed the program and assigned primary responsibility for implementing the program to Scott Cameron, a Catholic Charities counselor who has worked closely with Palmyra-Macedon schools for five years.
For students, Catholic Charities will focus on bullying prevention, coping with bullying behaviors and developing an anonymous reporting system. Students will be provided with additional learning experiences through groups focusing on how to cope with negative or bullying behaviors, awareness of self and others, development of empathy, social skills and stress management.
With parents and community leaders, Catholic Charities will promote awareness, establish “safe zones,” and teach specific methods by which adults can enhance positive interaction between children.
Chip Dolce, Principal of the Palmyra-Macedon Intermediate School, says about the services that Catholic Charities will offer: “ "We're happy to be working in partnership with Catholic Charities in support of creating a safe learning environment for our students. It is crucial that we provide children with the tools and strategies necessary to positively interact with their peers. Programs such as this help our efforts to be more wide-reaching, and the potential to impact many more of our students."
Brian Brooks, Principal of the Palmyra Primary School, also believes that the PARC initiative will be a significant benefit to the Palmyra community, stating “The Palmyra-Macedon Primary School is pleased to be in collaboration with Catholic Charities through the PARC program. The healthy development of the young child requires participation of all who are invested in the child’s development. Supporting families in the development of their child is essential in ensuring that students develop pro-social behaviors. We know that children who are safe, feel positive about themselves and have a supportive home are much more likely not to bully. We look forward to the opportunities available through the PARC program to strengthen the social and emotion development of children, as well as our entire school community.”
Inga Rojas, the Director of Clinical Services of Catholic Charities of Wayne County and the person who developed the PARC initiative, addressed the relationship with the Pal-Mac schools in these words: “It has been a pleasure to work with the Pal-Mac district for nearly 20 years. The district has always been supportive of our programs and staff. Their care and concern for their students makes our jobs so much easier."