The holiday season is officially into full swing as the rush of purchasing gifts, decorating homes, sending out season greetings and attending holiday parties is in high gear. One person that is sure to find their name on your Christmas shopping list is your child’s teacher. Teachers are one of the hardest people to buy for but one of the people you most want to find the perfect gift for that says thank you for what they do for your child each day.
Home baked goods, candles, lotions and other goodies fill the desks of teachers across the county each year. While all these gifts are certainly welcomed and greatly appreciated, what if you could give a gift that continued to give each year? Youth First of Washington County would like to suggest that in lieu of these many treasures, you consider making a donation to the Dr. Eddie Apple Family Youth Development Fund at the Washington County Community Foundation in honor of your child’s teacher.
Dr. Apple’s Fund was started at the Washington County Community Foundation to ensure that there would always be funding and resources committed to the positive development of our youth here in Washington County. Home baked goods, trinkets and the many other treasures will come and go but a donation to Dr. Apple’s fund will last forever and will ensure that there is always a source of positive support for our youth in the years to come.
Upon making a donation, a Christmas card will be sent to the teacher of your choice notifying them that an undisclosed amount has been donated to Dr. Apple’s fund in their honor by your student. Your gift is tax deductible and you will receive an acknowledgement letter from the Washington County Community Foundation upon receiving your donation. Much like Dr. Apple’s fund, our goal is to make a positive lifelong impact on the youth we work with each day. Season Greetings and thank you for putting Youth First!
Youth First of Washington County, a program of the Washington County Family YMCA, will be offering an affordable afterschool program at all three county schools starting in January. ROCKs will begin the week of January 6th at East Washington Middle School, Salem Middle School, and West Washington Jr. High School. The program meets once per week at each location throughout the school year. Through ROCKs, youth will have a safe, positive and fun environment to gather in from 3pm to 5:30pm each day the program is scheduled.
Rosie Morehous, Director of Youth First of Washington County will be serving as the program supervisor, with Ashley Hubbard serving as the SPARKS facilitator. Parents and students alike often ask what a typical day at the ROCKs program is like. Morehous described it as follows, “Students will begin each day with an hour of free time for homework, refreshments and recreation. After students have had some time to unwind, we will spend the next hour taking part in ROCKs exploration, which focuses on providing life skills through interactive activities to help students make positive choices regarding bullying, Alchohol, Tabacco, and Other Drug use, and peer pressure. The last 30 minutes of each day will be something different. We may have guest speakers, demonstrations, community service projects or take part in group activities.”
Here are a few of the activities students will take part in at ROCKs: bridge building, blindfolded obstacle course, team building activities, and trivia competitions. In addition to fun activities and daily snacks, students with good attendance, participation, and citizenship will have the opportunity to earn “ROCKs bucks”, which will be used at an end of year auction to bid on a variety of fun graduation gifts, such as gift cards and other Youth geared items.
Transportation will be offered at the West Washington Jr. High School location through a partnership with the School Corporation. It will provide students living in the Livonia, Hardinsburg, and Fredericksburg areas a free ride home if needed. When asked about partnering with the school on the current evening route they provide, Morehous stated, “We are so happy to remove a potential barrier for students who want to participate, but have difficulty when it comes to transportation in their rural community.”
Youth First of Washington County is a program of the Washington County Family YMCA focused on providing opportunities for the youth of our community to build the 40 Developmental Assets.