Walmart and GaFCP Helping Youth and Parents Work as Partners Toward Educational Success

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Walmart representatives present a donation of $50,000 to GaFCP
A Big Check for Youth and Families. Walmart representatives present a donation of $50,000 to GaFCP to undertake a Youth/Family Rally grant program in seven regions. Pictured (from left) Carol Williams, senior vice president of Community Impact, United Way of Hall County; Mary Parks, coordinator, Hall County Family Connection Network; Brian Gregory, shift manager, Gainesville Walmart Super Center; Ellen Whitlock,  director of Resource Development and Contract Management, GaFCP; Anthony Howard, store manager, Gainesville Walmart Super Center; and Glen Wilkins, senior manager of Public Affairs and Government Relations for the Walmart South-East Division.

A generous $50,000 grant from The Walmart Foundation has enabled Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) to undertake a Youth/Family Rally grant program in 53 counties this fall.

The grant program provides opportunities for nine Georgia Family Connection regions of three counties or more to organize an event that involves youth, parents, and caregivers in activities that promote educational advancement of underserved youth.

“We’re excited about the opportunities this Walmart Foundation grant presents,” said GaFCP Executive Director Gaye Smith. “Youth and their families are the drivers of the events in their own communities because research shows that family support increases the likelihood of positive outcomes for youth. We appreciate Walmart’s confidence in our work as we strive to improve conditions for children, families, and communities in Georgia.”

The goal of this partnership is to engage parents and youth as partners in the educational process, and to provide information about how to avoid risk factors that youth may encounter along the way.

Local families work together to plan rallies, select topics and activities, and recruit participants and speakers, providing a variety of possibilities for leadership experience.

Rallies may include workshops, motivational speakers, skill and confidence-building sessions, college and vocational fairs, and other youth development activities.

“We’ve had a great relationship with GaFCP in the past and we see the value they bring, not just to local communities, but to the state as a whole,” said Glen Wilkins, senior manager of Public Affairs and Government Relations for the Walmart South-East Division. “We couldn’t pass up this opportunity to work with communities across the state that we serve, and where our customers come to shop. This is just part of us giving back to those communities.”

Lt. Scott Ware of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office
Lt. Scott Ware of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office and commander of the Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad uncovers a potential hiding spot for drugs.

The kick-off event occurred last weekend in Gainesville, where the Hall County Family Connection Network and the Drug Free Coalition of Hall County presented Hidden in Plain Sight at the Educational Foundation and Museum of Beulah Rucker’s Back to School Rally.

The interactive workshop walked parents and educators through a life-size replica of a teenager’s bedroom, revealing hidden signs of high-risk behaviors such as substance abuse, underage drinking, eating disorders, the choking game, prescription and over-the-counter drug misuse, and sexual activity. This workshop also educates parents and caregivers on how to talk to their teens about the world in which they live.

“This project shows how today’s youth can—and do—have things hidden in plain sight, and equips parents and caregivers with responses to prevent harmful behaviors by our children and youth,” said Carol Williams, senior vice president of Community Impact, United Way of Hall County.

The Drug Free Coalition of Hall County will use a portion of the Walmart grant to develop a traveling exhibit of Hidden in Plain Sight. Other plans include developing an interactive version of the room for the Coalition’s Web site.

Watch a video of the Hidden in Plain Site Event.

Glen Wilkins briefly explains why the Walmart Foundation awarded the $50,000 grant to GaFCP.

Contact:
William Valladares
GaFCP Communications Manager

404-527-7394 (x114)

[email protected]

For more information on Hidden in Plain Sight contact:
Mary G. Parks, Coordinator
Hall County Family Connection Network
707-534-1080  x277
[email protected]

Carol H. Williams
Senior Vice President of Community Impact
United Way of Hall County
678-989-5334
[email protected]