Welcome to SAY Connect!

SAY - Social Advocates for Youth - provides support, prevention and education to students and families throughout the school year in seven east suburban school districts in Cuyahoga County. In addition, the SAY Coalition provides leadership opportunities for youth as well as education for parents and professionals. During these uncertain times of COVID-19, we would like to continue to connect with our students and their families. In the upcoming weeks, we will provide a brief weekly newsletter focused on a specific topic each issue.

We hope you find these newsletters helpful and informative. You'll be hearing more from us next week!

SAY school-based services are offered for free in the following school districts: Beachwood, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights-University Heights, Mayfield, Orange, Shaker Heights, and Solon.
Relax and move with the flow of life by being unafraid of change.

Weekly Focus:
Squeeze a Little More Fun out of Your Summer!

The end of summer if approaching fast!  We're still a couple of weeks away from the start of the school year, and this week's SAY Connect is all about how you can take advantage of your free days before school starts again.   

In fact, this week's SAY Virtual Forum is a great opportunity for summer fun!  Sign up for Theater Basics with Jimmie Woody tonight at 6:30 pm!

Jimmie is an actor, playwright and director who has engaged many teens over the years in the SAY Summer Leadership Institute and the SAY 8th Grade Youth Forum and always receives rave reviews. His theater basics program can help with public speaking and increase self-esteem. Don’t miss out on the fun!
Resources for Teens:
Summer Activities That Don't Involve a Screen

With the start of the school year approaching, you're probably getting ready to spend more time in front of your computer or tablet.  Here are a few ideas for screen-free things to do to take advantage of the last days of summer vacation!
  1. Go for a day hike.
  2. Be a tourist in your own town: Visit the zoo or a museum or go see another “famous” site.
  3. Make your own crafts, soaps, or other homemade products and sell them on Etsy or at your local farmer’s market.
  4. Start a lawn-mowing business.
  5. Draw on the sidewalk with chalk; then “clean” it up with squirt guns.
  6. Play in the water/sprinklers like you did when you were a kid.
  7. Bake a summer treat for a neighbor who doesn’t get many visitors.
  8. Make dinner for the family.
  9. Have a picnic lunch with a friend.
  10. Hold a car wash to raise money for a local charity.
  11. Have a garage sale and make a few bucks cleaning out your stuff.
  12. Volunteer at your local animal shelter.
  13. Volunteer at a nursing home. Offer to read books or paint their nails.
  14. Go on a long bike ride.
  15. Go to the local library (many of them offer free summer activities for kids).
  16. Learn to play an instrument.
  17. Create and bury a time capsule to that you will open when you’re 25.
  18. Buy a metal detector and go treasure hunting!
  19. Write some ghost stories to tell later around a campfire.
  20. Plant a garden.
  21. Start a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle.
  22. Read a book.
  23. Rearrange/redecorate your room.
  24. Make a tie-dyed shirt.
  25. Build a model airplane or car.
  26. Do a random act of kindness for a stranger.
  27. Write a play and act it out with homemade puppets.
  28. Create/build an invention
Resources for Teens:
Summertime Sadness

Summertime Sadness isn't just a Lana Del Rey song -- many people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the summer.  Most people think of SAD as a problem during the winter, but the lack of structure in your day during summer, as well as hot weather and uncertainty about the upcoming school year can cause feelings of depression and anxiety.  

Here are some tips from Silver Hill Hospital for battling the summertime blues:

Get more exercise

Making the time to exercise more during the summer can not only help distract someone from anxious thoughts, but it can also boost self confidence and overall health. Feeling good about oneself can help to combat thoughts of anxiety and self doubt. If someone is having anxiety about events or struggles in their life, exercise can serve as a helpful distraction.


For people who are affected by anxiety, too many thoughts can be suffocating. During meditation, people can channel these thoughts in a peaceful environment, rather than a hectic one. Taking time out of the day to sit, relax and reflex can be extremely therapeutic for those affected by anxiety disorders. 

Clean out your closet. Really

The months of May and June can be frantic, when teens and college kids are doing final school assignments and the transition to summer still leaves them with a suitcase full of winter and spring clothes.  Cleaning out your closet can be symbolic and helpful to more than just your organizational skills, but to your psyche! Try cleaning out your closet to see what fits and what doesn’t. Put away your winter clothes and don’t worry about them. Make space for new clothes. Maybe you grew taller and need new jeans or maybe you want to go with brighter colors for a change. Do this for you and try it out. Decluttering is a Zen behavior that can declutter more than your closet.  Marie Kondo it!

Sleep more

As the sun shines a little longer in the day teens and college students abandon their sleep schedules for late nights and restless days. A lack of sleep can cause one with an anxiety disorder to have trouble staying asleep and can also escalate symptoms of anxiety. That is why it is best to stick to a structured sleeping pattern so that one is not totally abandoning their school sleep schedule.

Create fun projects for yourself

The best project you’ll ever work on is you. Sometimes we get caught up going on family vacations and planning for other festivities that we forget to do something for ourselves. Maybe it’s time to pick up a hobby for the summer. Do something that you can go back to later. Here are some examples:

  • Painting/Drawing
  • Taking on another language
  • Taking up a new sport or physical activity
  • Reading an interesting book
  • Learning how to cook (this will come in handy for you when you graduate)
  • Learning a new instrument

Do activities that are in the cold

You’re probably wondering how that can even be possible in the summertime as it’s hot and sticky out. However, people who have anxiety disorders can easily be agitated in the heat and or sun. The hot summer days that can cause someone to experience anxiety-inducing situations.  Try looking for places to cool off and stay away from the heat.  

Want to read more?  You can see the full article here:

Resources for Parents

10 Things To Do Before School Starts


ADDititude Magazine has a list of ways you can prepare yourself and your teen for a successful school year.  

If your child has an IEP or 504 plan, now is the right time to review it.  You can also help your teen get organized for the school year by helping them create a comfortable, creative workspace at home for homework or online classes.  Another great idea is making a list of learning goals for the year with your teen.

Check out this link for more ideas on setting your teen up for success this year:

SAY Virtual Forum for Parents and Professionals

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay: Building Resilience During a Pandemic
July 31st at 9:00 am

For the first time in our lifetime, we are all collectively experiencing a global pandemic. We may be ‘in this together’ but each of us is having a very individualized experience.  

This workshop will discuss the complexities of trauma and stress and describe the practice of building personal resilience, which will go beyond the traditional self-care models.  By creating one’s own personal resilience practice we can increase our capacity to show up sustainably in our work and personal life, and model this for the youth with whom we work and live.  

Participants will receive 1.5 free CEUs.  

To Register, visit:
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Agency Partner Contact Information
FrontLine Service Mobile Crisis hotline 216-623-6888
Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services 216-696-KIDS (5437)
Cleveland Rape Crisis Center 216-619-6192, 440-423-2020
Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center 216-391-HELP (4357)
SAY Director
Chris Ruma-Cullen

Shaker Heights High School / Mayfield High School / SAY Coalition Coordinator
Nancy Schaumburg

Orange High School
Jessica Vendetti

Solon Middle School
Cindy Johnson

Chagrin Falls High School
Tania Gordon

Beachwood Middle and High School
Marlon Walker

Monticello Middle School
Shavaun Tucker
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