News | Published January 2, 2014

Local foundation donates to Children’s Advocacy Center

The Children’s Advocacy Center recently received a generous grant from the Louis E. Silvi Foundation for child-focused technology enhancements to the center.

Kristina Taylor-Porter, MA, executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center, located at 129 Medical Park Lane, Bellefonte, and operated by Mount Nittany Health, is thrilled with the outpouring of community support the center has received.

"The Children's Advocacy Center is very privileged to have received such a generous grant from the Louis E. Silvi Foundation. With this grant, we are able to enhance the forensic interviewing process, ensuring that it's child-friendly and completely focused on the child's comfort," said Taylor-Porter.

Specifically, the grant will be used to purchase LCD projectors for each interview room. The projectors will turn the white boards in the rooms into a “smart board” that can capture the illustrations that the child may be drawing on the board. The images can then be printed and entered as additional evidence in the case, especially if they relate to his or her abuse or neglect. Additionally, the projector can also record any of the notes taken by the interviewer.

“This highly advanced technology will allow our interviewers to be interactive with the child, which can be essential in creating a safe and friendly atmosphere for those who have suffered abuse or neglect,” said Taylor-Porter.

The Louis E. Silvi Foundation was started by Louis and Patricia Silvi. Lou Silvi was a long-time general manager of the Nittany Lion Inn on campus at The Pennsylvania State University. In addition to providing scholarships to Penn State and the University of Denver, the Silvis’ estate created the Louis E. Silvi Foundation.

Foundation president and trustee Tom Taricani explained that the purpose of the organization is to support children. “Lou’s focus for the foundation was that it help kids in our community. Given the unfortunate activities in our region over the last several years, the foundation board wanted to help the Children’s Advocacy Center succeed. Kristina indicated these technology aids can streamline the reporting process which can often lessen the reporting difficulties for the victim,” said Taricani.  

The Children’s Advocacy Center will be fully operational by early February 2014.