DID YOU KNOW

2019

Telos Commits $25K to Expand Community Schools Initiative

Telos Corporation in Ashburn has donated $25,000 to help expand the Community School Initiative to all six Loudoun County Title 1 schools. The CSI program is spearheaded by 100WomenStrong in partnership with the Loudoun Education Foundation.

The expansion of the CSI program includes hiring an additional Loudoun County Public Schools social worker to support the Title 1 school CSI parent liaisons as they work with area nonprofits, private companies and government agencies for the benefit of school children, their parents and the surrounding community. The program began in 2015 at Sterling Elementary and has expanded to include Forest Grove, Sugarland, Guilford, Sully, and Rolling Ridge elementary schools beginning in Fall 2019.

“Telos is one of the most involved and philanthropic companies in Loudoun County, and it has long been a supporter of innovative educational initiatives here,” said Karen G. Schaufeld, founder and president of 100WomenStrong, a group of philanthropists seeking to strategically invest in organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents. “We are honored that Telos chose to help us raise the $400,000 it will take to support the expansion of the CSI for the next three years. The investment in these schools will have a long-term effect on the overall health and well-being of our entire county, and we are hoping others will follow Telos’ lead in supporting the CSI.”

The community school approach provides vulnerable children and their families with a range of services addressing health issues, language barriers, food insecurity, school readiness, and more. By providing these programs at the school, working parents do not have to worry about how to ensure their children can participate in activities and enrichment programs. The initiative also includes programs that are designed to increase parental involvement and help children improve both attendance and grades. Most of the CSI activities are offered free of charge or at reduced cost because of donations of time and services from numerous community organizations.

Read the full article at https://loudounnow.com/2019/05/07/telos-commits-25k-to-expand-community-schools-initiative/

2018

100WOMENSTRONG, SUNTRUST FOUNDATION CHALLENGING OTHERS TO DONATE TO EXPAND COMMUNITY SCHOOL INITIATIVE IN LOUDOUN

100WomenStrong has been working closely with Loudoun County Public Schools, Loudoun Education Fund, SunTrust Foundation, local nonprofits, educators, businesses and many others to change the face of education in Sterling, VA, through a pilot Community School Initiative (CSI) at Sterling Elementary School. Due to the rapid suburbanization of poverty, Title 1 schools like Sterling Elementary School need a wrap-around service approach that supports disadvantaged students and their families, helps improve educational outcomes, and increases parental engagement. Since 2015, 100WomenStrong has funded the salary of a Community School Coordinator who works with community partners to bring enrichment programs into the school.

The philanthropic group has created a $100,000 challenge grant to expand the program to the six other Title 1 elementary schools in Loudoun County. SunTrust Foundation immediately stepped up to the challenge with a $100,000 donation. Together, they are asking others in the community to match their contributions to help raise at least $400,000 to expand this vital initiative that is reaping benefits for children, families and the community.

“The resources and goodwill are already out there, and this model taps into it and directs it in a way that is very effective and creates an incredible benefit for both the school and the community,” said Karen G. Schaufeld, founder and president of 100WomenStrong. “With SunTrust Foundation’s support, we are halfway to the $400,000 in funding needed to cover these seven salaries and other initiatives for the next three years, and we hope many others will join us in our investment in students and families in underserved areas of Loudoun County.”

What does a Community School Coordinator do?

The CSI Community School Coordinator focuses on supporting the educational success, health, and well-being of the students and families at Sterling Elementary School. Programs for students are designed to support:

  • academic achievement in English, Math, Science and other subjects
  • positive youth development
  • motivation to learn
  • relationships that support learning and a sense of belonging
  • personal, social, service and leadership skills and positive behavior.

With the funding currently being raised, the CSI program will expand to include new Community School Coordinators at Forest Grove, Sugarland, Guilford, Sterling, Sully and Rolling Ridge elementary schools; and 100WomenStrong will fund a social worker whose job it will be to support those coordinators and their programs.

Donate here: https://communityfoundationlf.org/product/100womenstronglti/

How Donor Advised Funds Create Opportunities to Give

The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties (Community Foundation) has deep expertise and knowledge not only of our community’s needs, but also of our nonprofit landscape. They also can help people who don’t have millions create donor advised funds or help them find an existing fund to which to contribute. If you want to give back, but don’t know where to start, take a moment to read a letter from Amy Owen, Community Foundation president and CEO, about how they can help you set up a nimble and flexible donor advised fund:

Decent, Stable Housing Can Act as a ‘Vaccine’ Against Underdevelopment in Children

Housing subsidies can actually act like a vaccine for children in food-insecure households, because stable housing protects them from biologically being affected by their food insecurity. Stable, decent housing gives children some immunity and resilience against future threats to their health. In fact, children whose parents receive housing subsidies that free up available money for food are two times less likely to be underweight than similar kids who were food insecure and eligible for a food housing voucher but not receiving it. The researcher who made the connection, Dr. Megan T. Sandel is an associate professor of pediatrics at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health and is a nationally recognized expert on housing and child health and development. She said that her “eureka” moment was when her 2-year-old patient, who had fallen way behind on the growth chart suddenly started sprouting after the child’s family moved from an overcrowded, unsuitable apartment to a better one. “The prescription that this child needed was a stable, decent, affordable home. They don’t stock those at the pharmacy.” Read the entire article here.

2017

Educating America During Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month, and this year, Mental Health America is educating people about habits and behaviors that can increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or even could be signs of mental health problems themselves. Risk factors include risky sex, prescription drug misuse, internet addiction, compulsive buying or excessive spending, marijuana use and excessive exercise. If you know of someone who engages in these risk factors, May might be a good time to let them know about Mental Health America and its Risky Business toolkit for help.

Preventing Child Abuse By Identifying Risk Factors

Age and poverty are two of the top risk factors for child abuse, according to long-time 100WomenStrong grant recipient, Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS). The group, through its Healthy Families Program, works to halt child abuse and neglect, as well as to prevent its occurrence in the first place. To help you and others recognize and intervene, Healthy Families shared the following leading risk factors during National Child Abuse Prevention Month:
 

Age: In cases of neglect, younger children are more at risk because they are less likely to be able to defend themselves, speak up for themselves or remove themselves from harm’s way. In cases of sexual abuse, risk increases with the child’s age.

Learning disability, congenital anomaly, or chronic or recurrent illness: Challenges such as these make physical and emotional abuse and neglect more common.

Poverty and/or financial hardship: High stress takes a severe toll on parents’ ability to tolerate frustration. In addition, working long hours — a common result of working multiple jobs — can impede parents’ awareness of their child’s emotional well-being or whether there is abuse occurring when the child is under someone else’s care.

Another family member is experiencing domestic violence: In 30 to 60 percent of families where spousal abuse takes place, child maltreatment also occurs.

You can help children in your community:

  • Be a friendly face and a source of encouragement for children in your neighborhood.
  • Offer to babysit for a neighbor or friend, especially if they seem stressed. All parents need support.
  • Become a mentor— formally or informally — to a child or to another parent.

Reporting abuse when you suspect it is the primary way to combat child abuse.

Loudoun County Agencies & Nonprofits Highlight Area Needs and Outline Recommendations for Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is national Child Abuse Prevention Month, and area nonprofits and county agencies are putting the focus on ways to detect and intervene on behalf of area children. This is an important initiative, given that between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, there were 1,355 children involved in valid cases of child abuse and neglect in Loudoun County. A report spearheaded by 100WS grant recipient Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN), highlighted dichotomies in Loudoun County – such as median household incomes that are more than double the national average, while one out of 25 school-age children in the country lives in poverty. Called Resilient Children, Resilient Loudoun!, the report was created by the Loudoun County Partnership for Resilient Children & Families Steering Committee, which includes 100WomenStrong grant recipients HealthWorks, INMED Partnerships for Children, Inova Loudoun Hospital, Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS) Loudoun Child Advocacy Center, and county agencies and public service organizations. They explored the changes that have taken place that are impacting families and explored recommendations for how to:

  • Increase community outreach to underserved and isolated families in Loudoun County;
  • Make supports and services more accessible to parents;
  • Improve and increase reporting of children in danger of abuse or neglect; and
  • Increase funding and support for Loudoun County human service providers.

 

 

 

County’s Healthy Status May Mask Needs

Loudoun County is Virginia’s healthiest county, according to The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s most recent annual rankings. Researchers looked at quality of life, including self-reported claims of poor health on state-based surveys, reports of low birthweight to a national registry and data on the rate of deaths prior to age 75. While this shines a light on another positive about our county, there are still many residents who experience hunger and homelessness, as we have learned from the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties’ Faces of Loudoun campaign. Luckily, many area nonprofits, including 100WS grantees HealthWorks and Loudoun Hunger Relief, are working hard to create better quality of life and health in Loudoun.

Children who experience hunger before age 4 lag behind their peers for years

A recent study on hunger shows that a hungry child suffers for years after experiencing the hunger. It also suggests that children who experience food insecurity early in life are more likely to lag behind in social, emotional and to some degree, cognitive skills when they begin kindergarten. In fact, the younger the children were when the family struggled with hunger, the stronger the effect on their performance once they started school. For example, children who suffer food insecurity at 9 months old were more likely to have lower reading and math scores in kindergarten than 9-month-olds who didn’t experience food insecurity. Published in the recent Child Development journal, the study reinforces prior research that has shown that children who enter kindergarten behind, stay behind and do not catch up. Food insecurity affects an estimated 13.1 million children live across the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The effect of food insecurity lasts a lifetime.

Homelessness A Reality for Many Community College Students

Homelessness and hunger among college students is widespread. It exists in all regions of the country and is not isolated to urban or high-poverty areas, according to a new study of more than 33,000 students at 70 community colleges across the country. The researchers found that 14 percent of respondents were homeless, and one in three were going hungry while pursuing a degree. To make it worse, they found that nearly a third of the students who were going without food or shelter did hold jobs and/or received financial aid. In tandem, many school administrators and policymakers presume that because community colleges cost a fraction of most four-year universities, the costs are easily covered.

Why Pre-K Education Could Be One of the Best Ways to Reduce Crime

The return on investment in high-quality early-childhood education has as much as a 13-percent return in terms of better education, health and social and economic outcomes for the children who receive it, according to the Heckman Equation’s Lifecyle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program study. According to their findings, the biggest “chunk of the return on investment” is a reduction in crime, especially for males. Learn more about the ROI of early childhood education here.

Impoverished Children Often Grow into Adulthood with Both Physical and Psychological Problems

Research shows that poor children grow up to have a host of physical and psychological problems as adults, according to research from Cornell University and others. Cornell’s study – which lasted for 15 years – showed that impoverished children in the study had more antisocial conduct such as aggression and bullying, and increased feeling of helplessness, than kids from middle-income backgrounds.   However, early intervention to prevent some issues associated with poverty could help. Read the full article, including some potential solutions from Cornell’s researchers, here.

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100WomenStrong is a proud fund of Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties