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Shenandoah Valley Community Focus, Inc.

Waynesboro, VA

www.svcommunityfocus.org

Amount Requested: $2,590 for Empowering Parents, Strengthening Families

Mission: To encourage youth development into adulthood by supporting positive youth and family programming.  Shenandoah Valley Community Focus (SVCF) serves as a supporting, non-profit organization for the Central Shenandoah Valley Office on Youth (OOY).  As such, it serves to garner community and financial support to maintain and expand OOY programming.

Constituents Served: SVCF supports the youth programming of the OOY.  The OOY serves youth and their families in the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro and Augusta County.  Services are provided without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, political affiliation, economic status, gender, age, or disability.  Classes are taught in locations that are handicap-accessible and staff have successfully served deaf, blind, mentally ill, illiterate, and wheelchair-bound clients. In 2014-15, funds received by SVCF provided support to OOY programs that served 5,143 youth.  According to US census data, this constitutes 39% of all school aged children in the Greater Augusta region.  Additionally, funds received by SVCF provided support to 177 parents.

Program Overview: Funds will be used to replace the outdated Love & Logic parenting curriculum with a new, more dynamic, evidenced based program called Active Parenting.  Through a process of identifying best practices and new parenting curricula, parenting staff have identified Active Parenting as a curricula that would significantly improve program outcomes.  The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration has identified Active Parenting as an evidenced-based program.

Active Parenting is a video-based education program targeting parents with children ages 2-12 who want to improve their parenting skills.  The program teaches parents how to raise a child by using encouragement, building the child’s self-esteem, and creating a relationship with the child based upon empathy, active communication, and problem solving.  It also teaches parents to use natural and logical consequences and other positive discipline skills to reduce irresponsible and unacceptable behaviors. Active Parenting is conducted in one 2-hour class per week for 6 weeks.  The Active Parenting curriculum consists of 1) a Jump-Start Package that includes a 170-minute PowerPoint presentation with embedded videos, leader guides, parent guides, and parent workbooks and 2) the Active Parenting Lunch & Learn program which is specifically designed to be given during employee’s lunch hours.

Children who experience risk factors such as low parental education, residential mobility, single-parent, and teen mothers have fewer chances to succeed.  Kids Counts reports that 54% of children under the age of nine living in Virginia have at least one risk factor in their life.  Poverty: In the Greater Augusta region, the average percent of children living in poverty is 21.4%, and 40-57% of children in the Greater Augusta region are eligible for free and reduced lunch. Low parental education: An average of ten percent (10%) of children are born to mothers with less than a high school diploma.  Single-parent household:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 25% of children in Augusta County, 28% of children in the City of Staunton, and 40% of children in the City of Waynesboro live in a single-parent household. A proven way to mediate risk factors is by offering parenting programs like those offered by the OOY.

Current Operating Budget: $47,100

Program Budget: $52,365

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