Moses Taylor Foundation Grant awards $70,000 to support students and families in the Panther Valley School District

Moses Taylor Foundation Grant recently awarded $70,000 across two years to United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (UWGLV) to support the Family Development Specialist role at Panther Valley School District (PVSD). This is the organization’s third award from Moses Taylor Foundation and the second award to support this program.

The youth mental health epidemic is rising with more children reporting that they experienced traumatic events in and outside of home. In partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network and Carbon County Office of Children & Youth Services (CYS), the Family Development Specialist (FDS) Project aims to connect students and families with essential resources and protective factors in the community, thereby reducing instances of child abuse and neglect.

The FDS position was first created at Panther Valley School District beginning in the 2021-2022 school year through funding from the Ametek Foundation. This position later shifted to the role of Community School Coordinator, as PVES became the first United Way Community School in Carbon County. After generously being awarded a grant from Moses Taylor Foundation in 2022, the FDS position transitioned to a role supporting the whole district, with an acute focus on supporting students in grades 7-12. 

During the 2022-2023 academic year, the impact of the FDS position expanded beyond PVSD, generating interest from CYS. This agency recognized the potential synergy between their mission and the outcomes of the FDS role. By collaborating with CYS and proactively addressing potential issues, the FDS can help prevent negative outcomes and promote healthy family environments.