Reed named a Community Champion at annual meeting
Lois Reed, Catasauqua Area School District business supervisor, was named a Penn State Extension 2019-20 Community Champion for her work in the district.
The Lehigh County Communities That Care, a joint effort of Whitehall-Coplay CTC and Catasauqua PAYS Committee, held its annual meeting Jan. 23 in the Zentz Community Center at Fellowship Community, Whitehall.
During this meeting, two Community Champions were named — one from each area. Michelle Khouri, Whitehall-Coplay School District registrar, was the other honoree.
As Reed was unable to attend the meeting, she was honored during the Feb. 11 CASD Board of Education meeting.
Shelley Keffer, coordinator of student services; Amy Dymond-Jones, Catasauqua Middle School guidance counselor; and Denise Continenza, CTC moderator and Penn State Extension coordinator, attended the meeting to present Reed her award.
“This lady has a heart of gold,” CASD Superintendent Robert Spengler said. “The work this lady puts in is second to none.”
Keffer noted Reed is responsible for maintaining the district’s Catasauqua Community Cares Program. C3P started in May 2018 and addresses food insecurity and more among the students.
A backpack filled with food is sent home with students over the weekend or holiday breaks when they may not otherwise have much access to food. It was reported 61 percent of the students in the district are part of the free or reduced-price lunch program.
The backpacks bring relief to families whose budgets are already stretched and ensure students have the food and nutrients they need to succeed. Students are better able to concentrate when not hungry or worried about where their next meal is coming from.
Keffer reported Reed is always finding new ways to expand the program and bring necessary supplies to the students in the district.
This includes building community relationships and using those connections to benefit the students. This past winter, C3P partnered with Holy Trinity Memorial Lutheran Church, Catasauqua, to hold a coat drive.
Holy Trinity and Presbyterian Church of Catasauqua also sent Reed birthday bags for students who are unable to bring in treats for their birthday.
Reed reported Costco recently donated approximately 400 backpacks and other school supplies to the district. She is planning to do another drive, similar to the coat drive for students in need.
“This community is lucky to have you,” Spengler said.
“Everything I learn about you is more amazing than the last,” CASD Solicitor David Knerr said.
“This award is well deserved,” Dymond-Jones said.
Dymond-Jones also recognized the work Joanne Heffner puts into the program. Heffner was in attendance at the meeting to support Reed.