The Mission of Reaching Out Now, Inc: Through Academic and empowerment we support and encourage under-served school aged girls (6th through 12th grade), and young women to live victoriously and not defeated; to reach their full potential.
We support their schools by embracing, empowering and engaging students. We serve by implementing programs and will challenge students to rise above life’s circumstances to become their better selves.
Anne Cobb (above left) and Samantha Barber (above right) brought the message of hope embodied in their program “Reaching Out Now,” which they presented to the Rotary Club of Warren County. Both women have been involved in education and educational programs for many years and informed us of a program designed to mentor and assist girls in middle school. In the future they have plans to expand the program to carry it into high school and to include boys as well.
As Anne noted, she had had the benefit of mentors throughout her life, from her church, sports, school, and parents, but many of these girls in middle school haven’t had this assistance. As she said, “what we are doing is providing a safety net for these girls.”
And they are not working with the top academic students, rather with students who are having academic problems or behavior and developmental problems–boys and girls who need to be nurtured–someone to get to know them and guide them through middle and high school, until they are 21. As Samantha said, she has been there and she knows some of the problems they are facing.
At this point, they are working with about 20 students in what is called a “Girl Destiny Program,” meeting with them two or three times a month, taking them places and building up their self-confidence and view of themselves. For example, they took the girls to Heaven, a beauty salon in Winchester. The owners of this salon closed their shop and gave the girls a make-over. Anne and Samantha have also provided workshops since the program was launched at Skyline Middle School in September. And it has included programs such as True Colors, allowing them to recognize their own personalities, and Love Languages. They are also working with the students to do community hours, to prepare scholarship applications, to learn financial literacy, as well as preparing them for academic and career readiness. And even though they have only been offering the program for a few months, it is already showing benefits. As one principal noted, “You can see the changes taking place–they are standing taller, they are getting involved in their academics, and they are talking.” As Anne said, “Imagine what they will be like at 21.”
Anne and Samantha are working within a framework developed by the National Office of School Councilor Advocacy, which helps prepare the students for college or for a career. As Anne noted, not all these students will go to college, and the point is to prepare them for life. They are also pulling people in from the community to meet with the girls, to provide assistance and workshops. The point is to establish networks between the schools and the community to talk about what we can do to make our community life better while assisting these students.
To celebrate the end of the year, they plan an Awards Dinner on May 15, much like a Rotary Gala, in which they will recognize the girls for the wonderful work they have done. Other plans include holding a round-table forum (tentatively set for March 17) with community leaders and business owners to join with educators and have a networking session and talk about what we can do to make our community better.
For more information, please go to www.warrencountyrotary.org
Story and photo: Hank Ecton
Video credit: Dave Hardy
Rotary Club of Warren County collecting donations for local thermal shelter
Do you have a middle school student at Skyline Middle School? The Skyline Middle School Interact Club is collecting new sheets and blankets for our local thermal shelter. Please make sure all blankets and sheets are still in the new wrappers/containers. White twin sheets and light colored blankets are the best and are easier to clean.
If you are not familiar with our Front Royal Thermal Shelter, here is some information provided to us by Michelle Smeltzer, a member of the Rotary Club of Warren County and Community Liaison for the Department of Social Services:
“The Front Royal Thermal Shelter gives the homeless of Warren County a place to stay warm during the winter months. The shelter is not in a fixed location – rather it is a cooperative effort by eight churches in the area, including New Hope Bible Church, Front Royal United Methodist Church, Front Royal Presbyterian Church, Marlow Heights Baptist Church, Riverton United Methodist Church, Virginia Hills Church, First Baptist Church and Dynamic Life Church. The guests are provided supper at about 7:30 each evening, and the volunteers join them. After supper, the volunteers join them and they play a variety of games, watch TV, or simply lie down on their cots after a tiring day. As the guests noted, this makes them feel as if someone really cares about them. Michelle said this makes a world of difference to them, because they too often feel alone and abandoned, as if the outside world ignores them. The following morning several of the churches provide breakfast, and some provide a bagged lunch when they leave for the day. The guests are assigned a cot when they arrive at the church, and that is their bed for a week. There are separate sleeping areas for men and women, and the program does not allow guests or volunteers with the program until they are at least 18 years of age because they are a no-barrier shelter. This year the shelter has also made arrangements, with the help of the Warren County Humane Society, to provide shelter for homeless pets of the guests.”
Remember – there are still many cold days ahead! Current update: The Front Royal Thermal Shelter’s greatest need is cash donations at this time: Here is an easy PayPal link. You can also visit their website to donate or learn more.
Together we are making a huge difference in this community! Thanks to all!
WomenGathering with Joanne Mulherin & Chateau O’Brien Wines
The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center hosted a combination monthly WomanGathering this week and a new membership drive. The guest of the evening was wine tasting expert Joanne Mulherin with Chateau O’Brien Wines. Her presentation was absolutely excellent combining wine making facts, humor, geography, and history. What a great experience!
Watch the video to see Joanne in action and learn a thing or two about wine. To learn more about Chateau O’Brien click here.
Guest Speaker: Joanne Mulherin
Topic: Wine Tasting with Chateau O’Brien Wines & FRWRC Membership Drive
Learn more about FRWRC supporting local women. Levels of Support – you decide:
- Individual Membership – $35 – $50 – $100 – $500+
- Business Partner – $100 – $200 – $500 – $1000+
The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1996 to provide a support network for women in Warren County. Through monthly networking meetings, yearly grant presentations, special events, email connections and program activities, we have forged a link between women in our community. www.frwrc.org.
Holiday Party moments from the Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center celebrated the holidays this week with their annual Holiday Party. Hors D’Oeuvres were by Downtown Catering and were absolutely delicious! Lovely arrangements were done by Joey Waters. Christmas music set the mood by T.E.D.Trio – Tim Grant, Eric Olson, and Dwight Myers. Enjoy these photos by Franzi Lee!
The mission of the Front Royal Women’s Resource Center is to provide support, education and information to women in Warren County for the empowerment of their personal, family and work lives. Please visit www.frwrc.org to learn more! If you are interested in attending their next event, you are in luck! Wine Tasting Uncorked on January 16th is sure to be a hit: CLICK HERE for more details.
Magical Santa moments & the Rotary Club of Warren County elves
North Pole magic happened right here in Front Royal, VA as the Rotary Club of Warren County hosted Santa and Mrs Claus for “Saturday with Santa!” Local middle school Interact students helped with crafts and cookies were served. Well over 50 wide-eyed little ones sat on Santa’s lap as the grown ups captured the moment with a picture.
Rotary connects our kids: Letters to soldiers for Christmas and a talk with the police chief
Over the weekend, young people from Front Royal Interact/Early Act Clubs came together to write letters to soldiers who had just completed boot camp, and will be spending the holidays away from families. Many thanks to the Rotary Clubs of Warren County and Front Royal, and our good friends at Royal Family Bowling Center for a fun “HyperBowling” and pizza fest. Special thanks to Front Royal Chief of Police, Skyline Middle Interact Liaison and Warren County Rotarian, Kahle Magalis, for speaking with our young people about growing up in Warren County, and what being a leader in this community truly means (leading by example).
If you are interested in your child being part of this wonderful Service Above Self organization, please speak with the Principal at your child’s school or call/text Michael Williams at 540-336-3127.
To view the full photo album, click here.
Warren County Middle School gifted and talented program students showcase their projects
Warren County Middle School students in the gifted and talented program displayed their presentations for parents and friends this week during a special showcase evening. Teacher Zach Logan welcomed guests and shared a few details about the students progress so far this year. Projects ranged from the Magic of Disney to interesting facts about New Zealand with several biographies in between! Great job by all of the students! Watch this video to see a few friendly faces and hear from Mr. Logan: