Westchester County’s Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH) helped launch the harris project’s 2nd Annual CODA Week. After a successful pilot in 15 local high schools in the Spring of 2017 and unprecedented growth with 38 Westchester County high schools participating in the October 2017 Youth Summit (read about both below), this was the next exciting step in the growth of the CODA movement.
In preparation for the 2018 event, each of the 50 Westchester County public high school, and Greenwich, Connecticut High School received a CODA Week “celebration box”. Created by the harris project, the celebration boxes included basic informational materials, as well as suggested daily announcements, easy-to-do activities and all necessary supplies.
Two CODA Week celebrations are particularly noteworthy.
The first took place on April 10th at New Rochelle High School, and included appearances by New York State Senators Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Shelley Mayer; Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins; Legislator Damon Maher; and DCMH Commissioner Michael Orth. The students were, of course, the stars of the event. Just 10 days later, the New Rochelle High School CODA Club and the harris project founder Stephanie Marquesano were awarded the 2018 Volunteer New York Spirit Award in Education & Literacy. The CODA Club was chartered at New Rochelle in the Spring 2017, and over 200 students signed up to join at the Fall 2017 Club Fair!
The second event took place on April 13, 2018 at PNW BOCES Fox Meadow High School. CODA Club students hosted a day of awareness, presentations, and celebration, culminating in the debut of an incredible short film written, created, and edited by these talented and committed students. “Flying Above the Influence” highlighted CODA themes and brought many in the audience to tears.
Special thanks to ABM Industries for packaging all of the celebration boxes, and Student Assistance Services Inc. for ensuring that your counselors celebrated CODA Week in the over 30 Westchester public high schools you work with.