Safe2Say Something, the Pennsylvania Legislature’s school safety program, received nearly 23,500 tips through the anonymous reporting program’s first year.
Among the programs 49 different types of reportable events, the top three report categories are bullying/cyber bullying (3558), cutting/self-harm (2529), and suicide/suicide ideation (2184). Violent threats toward a school (607), general harassment (574), and threats against a person (523) are also reported, but less frequently than reports of self-harm. The need for increased mental health resources for students is reflected in the report.
Self-led training, in-person training, and an interactive video are available to students, parents, and educators. Training involves the recognition of the signs and signals of individuals exhibiting behavior s risky to themselves or others and how to anonymously report the potential crisis. Anonymous reports may be submitted to 1-844-SAF2SAY (1-844-723-2729). The programs app is available for Apple and Android phone.
Leaf Peeping to Return in Full Fall Color
Biking and hiking bring leaf peepers up close and personal with Pennsylvania’s blaze of fiery fall color, according the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Pennsylvania’s size and geography spell predictions for weeks of leaf peeping that began across the northern tier of counties the first week of October. Regions to the south will follow suit in the coming weeks.
Paved, natural, or gravel, Pennsylvania’s urban trails wind their way through woods, across bridges, and along waterways, passing historical sites and manmade creations. Those preferring to leaf peep from the comfort of their vehicle will find satisfying fall scenic driving tours, including the Northern Loop and the Southern Loop, to take in the beautiful colors from the ridges and valleys.
Autumn Driving Precautions
Autumn in Pennsylvania brings more than cooler temperatures and beautiful colors illuminating the landscape. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the sun’s angle shining in motorist’s eyes alters autumn driving.
Combine general driving safety tips with PennDOT’s fall driving tips for a safe autumn:
- Increase following distance;
- Let tailgaters pass;
- Ensure operation of headlights, taillights, and turn signals;
- Use headlights as sunlight fades;
- Confirm the vehicle’s heating and wiper systems are working; and
- Use tires with sufficient tread depth.
Motorists should anticipate morning dew collecting on road surfaces following cool nights and warmer days and the potential for an unexpected icy glaze covered by leaves. Bears preparing to hibernate, deer breeding, and hunting season increase the potential for encountering wildlife during your drive.
Farmer’s Markets Ready with Fall Fare
Top PA farmer’s markets are full of fall fare and fun, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and VisitPA. Harvest a pumpkin from the field, pick an apple from a tree, and choose a fresh fall flower before you and the family hop on a hayride.
Select pumpkins and gourds for fall decorating. Add some farm fresh produce to your basket. Before you go, look up in-season vegetables for meal planning and preparation.
Enjoy the benefits of PA Preferred locally grown and processed foods through supporting the local economy and consuming some of the best products in the world.
Tips for Selecting Firewood and Avoiding the Spotted Lanternfly
Whether you plan to build a campfire or yours is among the nearly 170,000 Pennsylvania homes using firewood as a primary source of heat, the Penn State Extension offers a few tips for increased efficiency.
Cutting your own or looking to purchase firewood for the first time, Firewood Guidelines breaks down cord measurements. Fourteen species of wood are rated for their ease of starting, coaling quality, sparks, and heat content.
Select firewood grown locally to avoid transporting unwanted pests, such as the spotted lanternfly (SLF), onto your property. The SLF quarantine restricts the movement of firewood. Residents living within a quarantine area can help prevent the pests spread by keeping outdoor items free of any SLF hitchhikers.
Senior Centers – Meals to Entertainment to Wellness Opportunities
Pennsylvania Senior Centers offer safe warm settings to enjoy meals, recreation, health and wellness programs, and a variety of other services, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.
Over 500 Senior Community Centers are located across Pennsylvania’s 67 counties and administered by 52 Area Agencies on Aging, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.
During 2017-18, 10.7 million meals were served at senior centers and delivered to homes for a daily average of 29,300 meals for older Pennsylvanians. The PA Lottery designates its proceeds to senior programs, including prescription assistance, transportation, care, and property tax and rent rebates.