News & Announcements

ADULTS COMING TOGETHER TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL ABUSE

Promoting child protection during COVID-19
Fredericksburg, VA (October 26, 2020) – Rappahannock Area YMCA, Inc. is participating in the Five Days of Action, October 26-30, 2020. The Five Days of Action is a week designed to raise awareness and inspire adults to take action to protect children from sexual abuse.
The Rappahannock Area YMCA encourages adults and organizations in the community to play a vital role in making the counties we serve (Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford), a safer place for children, especially during this ever-changing environment. As our communities continue to press pause and participate in social distancing, we know that protecting kids looks different this year. Not only is our community dealing with a pandemic that is separating kids in need from the safe adults in their lives, but there are spikes in domestic violence, cries for social justice for Black lives, and more concerns about the mental health of youth and adults.
Five Days of Action will help communities and parents/caregivers take it One Day at a Time and will offer tips, tools, activities, and resources that are relevant to the current environment.
When adults know how abuse happens, see the warning signs, and respond quickly to prevent abuse, they foster a culture of child abuse prevention. Together, we can bring awareness to the issue of child sexual abuse in our communities and have important conversations around how we can all work together to prevent it from happening.
“Protecting children from sexual abuse must be the number one goal of every person who cares about the health and well-being of kids,” said Alicia Kindred, Ron Rosner Family YMCA Executive Director. “Together, we can stand up to demand that children are protected and encourage adults to make it happen in our community. It takes all of us.”
The Rappahannock Area YMCA, with support from the YMCA Guardians for Child Protection, YMCA of the USA, Darkness to Light, the Redwoods Group Foundation, and Praesidium have made materials available to help adults learn more about preventing child sexual abuse.
For more information about preventing child sexual abuse visit www.fivedaysofaction.org.
Materials are derived from YMCA of the USA’s “Know. See. Respond.” copyrighted in 2020.
CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE STATISTICS – PROVIDED BY DARKNESS TO LIGHT
  • One in ten children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
  • 90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser.
  • Approximately 30% of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members.
  • 60% of child sexual abuse victims never tell anyone.
  • False reports are rare. Research shows that only 4 to 8% of child sexual abuse reports are fabricated.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU BELIEVE A CHILD IS BEING ABUSED – PROVIDED BY DARKNESS TO LIGHT
  • You do not need to have proof that abuse is occurring to make a report, only reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion means that you have witnessed maltreatment or boundary violations, either in the child or adult, or both. Or, you have received a disclosure from a child about abuse, neglect, or boundary violations towards them.
  • Child sexual abuse reports should be made to the police and/or state child protective services.
  • Contact the Darkness to Light Helpline at 866-FOR-LIGHT or text LIGHT to 741741 to have questions answered by trained counselors at no charge.
About Darkness to Light
Darkness to Light is a nonprofit organization with the mission to empower adults to prevent child sexual abuse through awareness, education, and stigma reduction. Darkness to Light’s flagship program, Stewards of Children®, is an evidence-informed, award-winning training that teaches adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. More than 1.9 million adults have been trained using Darkness to Light trainings. For more information, visit www.D2L.org.
About Redwoods Group Foundation
The Redwoods Group Foundation supports programs that can change the world and helps them reach more people than ever before, through funding and backbone support. We currently focus on child sexual abuse prevention, drowning prevention, and growing the field of social entrepreneurship. For more information, visit www.redwoodsgroup.com/about-us/redwoods-group-foundation.
About Praesidium
Praesidium specializes in preventing sexual abuse in organizations that serve youth and vulnerable adults. Over a period in excess of 25 years, the company has reviewed over 4,000 cases of abuse within organizations to determine the root causes of sexual abuse within organizational settings. Praesidium employs more than 40 staff, including licensed social workers, lawyers, psychologists, health care researchers, and other experts. The company has served over 5,000 clients with a broad range of products and services to aid organizations in preventing abuse, including online and instructor‐led trainings; organizational risk assessments; model policies and incident investigations. Having trained more than one million people online and hundreds of thousands in person, Praesidium is the largest and most comprehensive sexual abuse risk management firm globally.
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Rappahannock United Way and Rappahannock Area YMCA partner to help working families.

Rappahannock United Way to support YMCA’s Virtual Learning Centers for working families.


Falmouth, VA (September 23, 2020) – The Rappahannock United Way Board of Directors has approved a grant of $100,000 to support the Virtual Learning Centers of the Rappahannock Area YMCA.

The Virtual Learning Centers were created in collaboration with the local school boards to provide working families in the Rappahannock Area with safe, nurturing, and affordable full-day childcare while schools are teaching virtually. The Virtual Learning Centers will focus on aiding children with schoolwork while also providing other activities such as character development lessons and STEM activities.

“Rappahannock United Way is proud to continue our long-term partnership with the Rappahannock Area YMCA. This investment of $100,000 is a focused and deliberate use of Community Impact funds to support our local ALICE population. Working households have been so heavily impacted by the recent COVID19 pandemic. Teachers, emergency responders, and other essential workers in our community are struggling to balance providing vital services in our community, with maintaining financial stability for their own families, and with keeping their children safe and learning. Providing affordable and safe childcare to our local workforce is just one of the ways United Way and the YMCA can work together to support our community during these challenging times,” says Sarah Walsh, RUW Chief Impact Officer.

“We are so grateful to the Rappahannock United Way for this grant and the opportunity to make the Virtual Learning Centers a reality,” says Elizabeth Taylor, COO of the YMCA. “We remain committed to working with local agencies, such as the United Way, to aid families in our area that have been adversely impacted by the COVID pandemic.”

In addition to offering the Virtual Learning Centers, the YMCA will also be helping with the cost of the program by offering their Open Doors policy to provide scholarships to families-in-need. “At the Y, we believe that everyone should be able to participate in our programs, regardless of an ability to pay. We understand that not all families are  prepared to shoulder the cost of the full day childcare and we want everyone to know we are prepared to help as much as we can,” says Taylor.

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The Rappahannock Area YMCA was established in 1974 and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to putting Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The Rappahannock Area YMCA currently distributes over $750,000 annually through our Open Doors Membership Program that makes scholarships available so that all people who want to participate at the Y can do so.

To donate or learn more, visit family-ymca.org or call (540) 371-9622.

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Caroline Family YMCA partners with Infinity Technologies to extend WiFi coverage.

Infinity Technologies agrees to expand WiFi coverage into the YMCA parking lot to help those with little or no access to the internet.

CAROLINE COUNTY, VA (April 29, 2020) The Caroline Family YMCA, in partnership with Infinity Technologies, is pleased to announce the extension of the YMCA’s WiFi coverage throughout the parking lot of the YMCA in an effort to help the greater Caroline County community.

“This idea is a result of a collaboration between the YMCA and Caroline County Chamber of Commerce,” says Schericka Twyner, Executive Director of the Caroline Family YMCA. “We are delighted to extend our coverage to help families access the internet during this time. With the sudden increased need for reliable internet due to the stay at home order in Virginia and the simultaneous closure of the library and other internet access points, the YMCA saw an opportunity to help those in our community with a true need”.

Jeff Tench, Co-Founder of Infinity Technologies echoes Twyner’s sentiments, “We felt like it was a chance for us to give back to a community that has supported our business for so many years. So many folks in the region take having internet access for granted. We felt like if we could help out during this tough time, then it was something we needed to do.”

The WiFi coverage is free for all and is available during normal operating hours. Please check the Caroline Family YMCA’s Facebook page or website for more details. The staff asks that you practice social distancing by remaining in your parking space while using the internet.

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The Rappahannock Area YMCA was established in 1973 and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to putting Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The Rappahannock Area YMCA currently distributes over $1 million annually through our Open Doors Membership Program that makes scholarships available so that all people who want to participate at the Y can do so. To donate or learn more, visit family-ymca.org or call (540) 371-9622.

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Caroline County Board of Supervisors Partners with YMCA and the Public School System to Bring Power Scholars Academy to Caroline.

The Caroline County Board of Supervisors agrees to fund curriculum for YMCA’s 2020 Power Scholars Academy in Caroline.

CAROLINE COUNTY, VA (February 5, 2020) – The Caroline County Board of Supervisors, in their last meeting on January 28, 2020, agreed to partner with the Rappahannock Area YMCA and the Caroline County Public School System by funding the YMCA’s 2020 Power Scholars Academy curriculum for Caroline students.

The unanimous vote, led by Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff Sili, will grant the YMCA $20,000, paving the way for the Power Scholars Academy to start this summer. In its inaugural year in Caroline, the Power Scholars Academy will reach 175 students that are identified at risk both academically and socioeconomically for summer learning loss or, the loss of educational skills from the end of one school year to the start of the next.

“The Board of Supervisors are very pleased to be able to partner with the YMCA and Caroline County Public Schools to provide funding for The Power Scholars Academy, and look forward to visiting the students this summer and see the program at work,” said Sili.

“The YMCA Power Scholars program is an amazing, accredited summertime educational and enrichment program for children across Caroline County. By collaborating with the Board of Supervisors and the Public School System, Caroline is rising and together with the Power Scholars program, the children of Caroline will rise even more,” said Caroline Family YMCA Board President Michael Tingler.

The Power Scholars Academy, already established in King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford counties, was recently accredited a year early by BellXcel, a national accreditation firm, due to the resounding success of the program. In 2019, 321 students attended the Power Scholars Academy. Testing showed that Academy students gained an average of 2.5 months of math skills and 3 months of reading skills in just five weeks. Students also had a 93% average attendance rate.

“We look forward to the introduction of the 2020 Power Scholars summer program. The full day, five days a week model will enhance not only our ability to provide relevant instruction during the summer months, but to engage elementary students in afternoon enrichment clubs and field trips,” said Sarah Calveric, Ph.D., Superintendent of the Caroline County Public School System.
“Our students are the winners when schools, community partners (YMCA), and local government (Board of Supervisors) collaborate to make initiatives like Power Scholars a reality.”

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The Rappahannock Area YMCA was established in 1973 and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to putting Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The Rappahannock Area YMCA currently distributes over $1 million annually through our Open Doors Membership Program that makes scholarships available so that all people who want to participate at the Y can do so.

To donate or learn more, visit family-ymca.org or call (540) 371-9622.

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