Monday, May 29, 2023

Poshard Foundation partners with area organizations to provide after-school services to children who have experienced trauma

By Jordan McBride

Every school district has students who have faced traumatic experiences and New Simpson Hill School is no exception. For twenty-two years, the Poshard Foundation has sought to help such children throughout Southern Illinois, and now students at New Simpson Hill will be feeling that impact.

Thanks to the work of Arrowleaf (formerly Family Counseling), The Poshard Foundation is making a $10,180 donation to the after-school program at Camp Ondessonk, in nearby Ozark, to address those students’ needs.

The camp, a nationally-renowned Catholic summer camp, is hosting nearly 40 students on Mondays and Wednesdays after school. The students are bussed from New Simpson Hill and are enjoying a variety of activities, including archery and camping skills.

New Simpson Hill Superintendent Joe Nighswander remarked that the activities these students were experiencing at Camp Ondessonk were invaluable, especially in a year where they have been increasingly learning and living through screens.

New Simpson Hill Superintendent Joe Nighswander speaks in the gymnasium at NSH on Wednesday. Nighswander says the activities at Camp Ondessonk are extremely valuable for students, providing them with essential outdoor activities that have been much-needed in a year dominated by screen time.


Jo and Glenn Poshard stated that they are happy “to work with New Simpson Hill School and Camp Ondessonk.” They also wanted to thank Arrowleaf for facilitating the collaboration.

While the Poshards have been working through their foundation to improve the lives of children in Southern Illinois for decades, this effort has a personal connection, as Jo Poshard taught New Simpson Hill from 1977-1984.

“This after-school program will speak to the unique needs of children who have faced traumatic experiences; that is an essential part of our mission. Life presents challenges for all of us and children are no exception,” the foundation said, in a statement, “We are happy to lend a helping hand.”

Arrowleaf CEO Sherrie Crabb also has a personal connection, as she has two children attending New Simpson Hill. Crabb initially reached out to the Poshard Foundation, which she cited as an example of Arrowleaf executing part of it’s mission as a connecting force in the region.

Arrowleaf CEO Sherrie Crabb speaks at New Simpson hill on Wednesday. Crabb reached out to connect the Poshard Foundation to the after-school program that Camp Ondessonk operates. The foundation’s donation will sponsor dozens of New Simpson HIll Students.


“This partnership between The Poshard Foundation, New Simpson Hill and Camp Ondessonk is a perfect example of fulfilling that connecting role,” said Crabb. “Even when it’s a service our organization doesn’t provide, part of our role in the communities we serve is to help engage those organizations that do.”

The Poshard Foundation’s donation of $10,180 was presented at New Simpson Hill School on Wednesday.

Pictured, left to right: Dan King, Executive Director, Camp Ondessonk; Nolan Hurst, Camping Services Director, Camp Ondessonk; Glen Poshard; Jo Poshard; Sherrie Crabb, Executive Director, Arrowleaf, Principal Candace Armstrong, New Simpson Hill; Superintendent Joe Nighswander, New Simpson Hill.