In This Issue In the Loop
School Counselors Week
NC Purple Star Community Event
Let’s Talk About Childhood Trauma
Student Services Spotlight
Student Support Services Newsletter
Elementary Counselors PLC
February 13th: 12:00-4:00 pm
Social Workers PLC
February 21st: 12:00-3:00 pm
Middle School Counselors PLC
February 27th: 8:00 am -12:00 pm
Student Support Services
March 25th: 1:00-4:00 pm
May 5th: 8:25-11:30 am
Student Support Services Newsletter February 2020 Page 1
In the Loop Student Support Services
NC Purple Star Community Project
The first grade nurturing students at NHPS were in charge of the Purple Star project.
These students went to the classrooms to collect and organize the items that were
donated. Previously, this same group of students had done some research on the
military for Veterans Day. They were so excited to help the troops, as the research
gave them an authentic purpose. Mrs. Pelosi, school counselor, Mrs. Denning,
media coordinator, and Mrs. Ennis, technology facilitator, work with the nurturing
students weekly. Also, a big "thank you" to Mrs. Abraham, a second grade teacher
at North Harnett, for taking the donated items to the YMCA!
HES participated in the NC Purple Star Community Project by School counselors at CEMS,
collecting health and beauty aids products and snacks for our Kathryn Englander and Lou Ann
military soldiers. Staff and students enjoyed giving back and Jones, assisted in the collection
supporting this community endeavor. of items for the NC Purple Star
Community Project. These
items were dropped off at the
Harnett County YMCA by our
Purple Star representative, Mr.
Kevin Nelson. Pictured L to R:
Kathryn Englander, Chris Hieb
(CU counseling intern), Sharon
Johnson (principal), Trey Perry
(assistant principal), Lou Ann
Jones, and Kevin Nelson.
In an effort to support our military families, HES and HMS joined together
to host a Military Parent Night to provide families with both school and
local community resources. Presenters included Administrators, School
Counselors, Military Family Life Counselors, and special guest Gerhard
Guevarra, Fort Bragg School Liaison Officer. Supporting the event were
representatives from the YMCA; McQuilkin Real Estate; and Child and Family
Health Services from Womack. The event was held January 23rd. This event
was part of our Purple Star Initiative.
Student Support Services Newsletter February 2020 Page 2
In the Loop Student Support Services
School News These are our students at LaFayette Elementary that had
perfect attendance the 2nd nine weeks. Attend Today....
HMS designated February Achieve Tomorrow.
as Kindness month. We are
celebrating Kindness with a On January 18 Jessalyn Pedone, social
dress up week, participating in worker at DMS, gave birth to her beautiful
the Great Kindness Challenge daughter, Olivia Jean. Congratulations to
Checklist, and offering Jessalyn and her family!
essay, creative writing, and
Google Doodle contests. Each
submitted piece must address
the importance of kindness. Winners will be announced
the last week of the month. We are also selling "At HMS,
KINDNESS Matters" shirts that will be worn on the last day
of the month to bookend our celebration.
National Funday at Work Day was on January 28th. HES Staff wore their
favorite Disney character paraphernalia to celebrate. Students and staff
enjoyed a Magical Day of learning and fun outfitted with a Magical Kingdom
photo booth and red carpet.
Send a Thank You to a currently deployed
military hero online through the USO website.
Just click this link and type up your message - it only
takes a minute and can make such a difference!
On Sunday, March 1st at 3:00 pm there will be an informational
meeting about creating a community garden in Lillington.
If you are interested in joining the community members as
they gather to discuss ideas about where and how to create
a community garden please feel free to join them at the
Riverfront Park, 151 E. Duncan St., Lillington.
Student Support Services Newsletter February 2020 Page 3
In the Loop Student Support Services
Let’s Talk About Childhood Trauma For A Second
As a child who grew up in the foster care system, I endured many traumas early Written by: Heather Knapik
in life. Abuse, neglect, losing my birth family, every move, every goodbye, all
added to the long list of things no child should ever have to overcome. I’ll share
one memory in particular, because it’s been a battle my whole life, and I’ve only
just recently won the war.
Bread. Yup. Bread. For almost all of my adult life, I have not bought a single loaf
of it. I couldn’t bear to. It’s a “trigger” for me.
When I was a child, I was hungry so often, I would sneak pieces of bread in the
middle of the night. I chose bread because no one would notice a couple slices
missing. (At four I was already thinking this way) No one ever did either. I would scurry back to my bed and lay there, sniffing
it, holding out as long as I could bear, excited for my grumbling tummy. I would do my best to make the slice last as long as
possible, taking tiny bites of the crust all the way around until only the good, soft part was left. Then I would take that part and
fold it and roll it into a dense ball and take small bites like it was an apple. It always seemed to last longer that way. It probably
didn’t, but I ate it like that every time.
This continued after removal, through many foster homes, even when I was safe and there was always food around. It eventually
branched out to sneaking and hoarding other foods. Getting in trouble only made it worse. I didn’t know why I was doing it, and
I couldn’t stop. Being forced to go on diets only made it worse. Food had become security for me, taking it away created a whole
new host of trust issues.
Bread was the beginning of years of a horrible, unhealthy relationship with food. At the time, I didn’t know it. I didn’t understand
the WHY behind my actions even for years to come, because the trauma I had behind it hadn’t been recognized, faced and dealt
When I got my first apartment, I was so excited to go grocery shopping and fill my new fridge and cupboards with yummy food
that I got to choose for myself, the same excitement that any young adult feels moving out of their parent’s house. A loaf of bread
was one of the items that made it into my cart. That evening, tired from the move and not wanting to really cook, I decided to
make a sandwich. When I opened that loaf of bread, the smell of it hit me like a ton of bricks in the face.
All of a sudden, I was 4 years old again, laying in my bed, late in the night, with my painfully grumbling stomach, and my precious
single slice of bread. It practically brought me to my knees on the spot. I couldn’t even eat, and I went to bed with a grumblingly
belly and cried myself to sleep my first night in my new place. Trauma sneaks up when you least expect it.
I was 19 years old when that happened. I’m 39 now. Since that night, I haven’t bought a single loaf of bread. I’ve since faced,
understood, and worked through the hold that bread has had on me, but I still preferred to make all my sandwiches on hamburger
buns because they smell different.
My husband and I have been foster parents for almost two years now. Almost a year ago, we got a call asking if we could take a
ten year old and a three year old. We said yes. I knew it was time to start buying bread again. I mean, Kids love peanut butter
and jelly right?!
Bread still has a hold over me. It’s still a trigger for me. But now it triggers something different for me, something new. NOW
when I smell that familiar smell, I think of the children from hard places with their own traumas, who have been entrusted to
me to love and care for, even on the hardest days. The smell of that loaf of bread is a daily reminder to me that parenting kids
of trauma is completely different. It reminds me to seek out the reason, the memory, the trauma behind the behavior...and to
remain patient and gentle and calm as we work through the hard stuff.
Trauma doesn’t just go away. There’s no magic button, magic day, or magic age when it all just disappears and you’re all better.
There’s no just “getting over it”. Don’t we wish it was that easy? If you’ve experienced childhood trauma, you know it’s definitely
not as easy as “getting over it”. It consumes us. It seeps into every pore. It puts us into survival mode. Our thoughts, our feelings,
and our actions toward ourselves, and toward others, are ALL effected by our trauma, for the rest of our lives. Trauma rewires
the brain. That doesn’t mean we can’t heal from and cope with our trauma as adults, but at times, it can be a daily battle. There’s
no forgetting, there’s only coping.
Many kids from hard places have gone through, seen things, and survived things that most adults can’t even begin to fathom.
Their worlds are spinning around them, everything about their lives has just changed, and good or bad...they’ve just lost the only
family they’ve ever known. Of course they have GIANT emotions going on.
Yes, I now welcome bread into our household, and the reminder it brings to never give up on the kids who walk through my door.
Student Support Services Newsletter February 2020 Page 4
In the Loop Student Support Services
Student Services Spotlight Written by: Morgan Colmenero
Triton High School Counselors attended the Resilience Training:
Biology of Stress and Science of Hope hosted by the Harnett
County Partnership for Children on January 16, 2020. This
training highlighted the start of a national movement focusing on
childhood trauma, the treatment of this Toxic Stress, and how it
manifests in schools. Presenters educated attendees on Adverse
Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how these experiences impact
developing brains in children and can change how they respond
to stress. Research has shown that the more ACEs a student has,
the more likely they are to suffer from toxic stress, which can
lead to poor academic achievement, behavioral issues at home
and school, and long-term health effects, such as substance
abuse and chronic diseases. Some examples of ACEs are abuse,
neglect, and household dysfunction. The single most common
factor for developing resilience has been identified to be at least
one stable and committed adult relationship.
As a result of this valuable training, THS Counselors have paired
with HCS Student Support Services to present this research
with their teachers and faculty at a lunch and learn professional
development on February 14th. As advocates for all students,
counselors are excited to share this knowledge with hopes to
empower teachers to better understand and be well-equipped to help students regardless of their adverse experiences.
Volunteer Corner HCS Approved for JCPC Funding
Dunn PAL We are very excited to announce that the Harnett County
Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC) has approved
can always use volunteers! funding for the HCS Take Two at the Academy Program. The
https://dunnpal.org/volunteer/ program will be hosted at STAR/Academy at Lillington and
610 Fairground Rd, Dunn, NC will serve as an alternative program to students who cannot
If you have questions please call their office at complete their required credits during the traditional daytime
school hours. This program will take place after school four
910-892-1873 days a week and allow students a second chance to get their
diploma. The program will have two instructors on site focused
Harnett County PAL on Math and English to assist the students. The funding also
provides for the students to have access to virtual instructors
https://harnettcountypal.yolasite.com/ to assist them with any other courses they need help with.
Old Shawtown School Campus We want to extend our gratitude to the JCPC Council and
745 Shawtown Road are very pleased to have this new program to offer our HCS
Lillington, NC 27546 youth.
Written by: Katie Cooney-Schofield
Student Support Services Newsletter February 2020 Page 5
In the Loop Student Support Services
February is Nutrition Month
Nutrition Month is finally here! We have been waiting to celebrate for a long time now, but we've also been wondering about
where to begin. After all, Nutrition Month is such a great time to teach a wide variety of health and lifestyle lessons, whether
it's reviewing the basics or adding more detail to previous programs. After we put our heads together, we decided we'd like
to start with making a healthful and balanced plate. This lesson can help revitalize meal habits and is a great way to begin
a push toward a healthful lifestyle. And what could be a better guide to balancing your plate at each meal than MyPlate?
So, without further ado, here is our rundown of the key features of MyPlate.
From Left to Right: Elizabeth Hagenmaier,
Janet Johnson, and Hannah Norton smile for
the camera after the members of the Ob/Gyn
club drop off their generous donation.
We would like to extend a great big
THANK YOU to the members of the
Ob/Gyn Club at Campbell University’s
School of Osteopathic Medicine.
Together the group assembled 1,000
hygiene kits to support the middle
school girls of Harnett County. The
kits contain various feminine hygiene
products, along with an informational
pamphlet about puberty, the products,
and how to use them. The pamphlets
are also translated into Spanish for
better outreach and understanding.
The club hopes these kits can be useful
to the girls, along with providing them
confidence and comfort when it is most
needed. The club is very proud that
they can give back to the community
that has supported their education and
hopes this project can continue for
years to come.
Student Support Services Newsletter February 2020 Page 6
In the Loop Student Support Services
Community News Dunn PAL
Established in 1995, Dunn Police Athletic & Activities League, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving back to the
community by spearheading after-school programs for children. The activities we organize include, but are not limited to various
sports like basketball, wrestling, flag football, and others.
Our goal is to keep kids in school, playgrounds, and other safe environments in order to give them a better chance of achieving
the bright future they deserve. The basic mission of PAL is to offer youth of Dunn and the surrounding area a viable alternative
to the temptations of street life, which can lead to a life of crime, alcoholism, drugs, vandalism, delinquency and gangs. PAL
keeps young men and women active, interested and busy through its supervised/ multifaceted programs geared to develop
leadership traits and build good citizens for tomorrow. PAL is dedicated to instilling in youth a value system that recognizes the
need to respect and protect human rights and to uphold and obey the laws of our city, state and nation.
Black History Program by Youth PAL Community Fair April 17-25, 2020
Thursday, Feb 20th at 5:00 PM
Dunn PAL Fitness Center Theater in the Walmart Parking Lot Dunn, NC
610 East Johnson St., Dunn, NC 28334 17th Annual PAL Community Fair Opens Friday April 17th, 2020
You can see the dates, times and prices by CLICKING HERE
Harnett County New Resource Center & Library
If you’ve been to the Harnett County Government Complex in Lillington over the last few weeks, you’ve seen some changes.
Fencing has been put up and dirt is being moved directly behind Harnett County Veterans Memorial Park between the Harnett
County Courthouse and the Harnett County Department of Public Health. Work has begun on the Harnett County Resource
Center & Library, which is expected to open to the public in early 2021.
Harnett County Public Library
Nearly half of this new facility (19,420 square feet) will be home to a new, modern Harnett County Public Library. Today’s Library
is more than just a place for people to check out books - it’s a center of community activity and meets needs that are not being
met anywhere else in Harnett County. The Harnett County Public Library provides important programming for the County’s
citizens of all ages including cooking classes, yoga, computer classes, book clubs, knitting clubs, trivia, escape rooms, craft-
making, LEGO clubs, and more - and of course there’s the popular annual Summer Reading Program. In addition to the Harnett
County Public Library system’s collection of more than 200,000 volumes, the Library’s participation in the NC Cardinal program
connects patrons to more than 6.3 million materials across the State.
The new Library will offer a state-of-the-art facility that will allow the department to further expand its programming for citizens
across Harnett County. The new Library will include an adult and children’s makerspace, which will provide patrons with access to
3D printers, laser cutters and other tools, and will provide technology training to prepare adults and children for the 21st century
economy. The Library will also tell the story of Harnett County’s history with an expanded Local History Room.
The Resource Center & Library will also include a 3,822-square-foot Training Center that can be subdivided to host smaller
meetings and training sessions as well as large events for both County and public use. One thing we hear frequently from citizens
and local organizations is that Harnett County has limited space for large meetings and events. This training center will be a
significant enhancement over the current Commons Area, both in size and in use. It will have the ability to host large community
functions, and could be rented out for private events as well.
Harnett County Veterans Services
Harnett County Veterans Services will also call the Resource Center & Library home. Harnett County’s veteran population is
currently around 15,000 and that population is growing rapidly. Their new location will be adjacent to Harnett County Veterans
Memorial Park, where the Harnett County Veterans Council holds its annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day celebrations, as
well as other events, and will provide the County’s veteran population with direct access to additional County services that can
improve their lives. The new Veterans Services will also include a Wall of Honor, where the contributions of the County’s veterans
will be recognized, along with space to display artifacts from Harnett County’s military history including a model of the U.S.S.
Harnett County and related memorabilia.
In addition, the Resource Center & Library will house the County’s Administrative offices including Administration, Finance,
Human Resources and Legal, along with Harnett County Parks and Recreation. The space will also include a new Harnett County
Board of Commissioners Chambers.
Student Support Services Newsletter February 2020 Page 7