Improving Conditions for Youth and Families in Tabor HeightsPrint This Post
Peach County Family Connection’s vision is that families and children there will develop in a supportive family environment free of physical, sexual abuse and neglect.
“Tabor Heights is our targeted community and one in which we’ve committed to partnering with to provide an array of supports that will improve the quality of life its citizens,” said Adrianne Towles, Peach County Family Connection executive director.
Towles recently talked about two programs the collaborative organization supported in the fall that are improving the quality of life its citizens.
Rainbow of Sound Harp Choir
The Rainbow of Sound Harp Choir, part of the Tabor Heights After-school Program that Peach County Family Connection supports performed at the Board of Commissioners December meeting. The Board of Commissioners financially supports the collaborative through the payment of its fiscal agent fees. According to Towles, this was their way of expressing thanks to them, as well as an opportunity for the musicians to shine.
“Children are often unsure of exactly how awesome they are until others speak words of purpose, capability and truth to them,” said Towles. “The children in Tabor Heights live in the midst of overwhelming negative factors that often invade their home environment. We’re looking for positive outlets to keep them focused so that they will reach their individual dreams. The Harp Choir is one such outlet.”
Overcoming Domesic Violence
Peach County Family Connection seized an opportunity during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month to discuss increasing stability and self-sufficiency for all its citizens by providing young people with information on how to keep safe in their personal intimate relationships.
“One benchmark KIDS COUNT indicator we’re working on is to reduce child abuse and neglect,” said Towles. “Children caught in the crossfire of domestic violence episodes often incur physical and emotional harm.”
In an effort to bring about greater awareness of this growing threat, Peach County Family Connection, in collaboration with the Salvation Army, sponsored a Teen Domestic Violence Forum in October. The event proved to be a great benefit to not only the student body, but to the entire community as well.
Two young panelists captivated an audience of more than 200 at Fort Valley State University, recounting their personal stories of living through the nightmare of countless physical, sexual, and emotional assaults.
“These young women were fortunate in the sense that they were able to extricate themselves, regain control of their lives, and move to a more positive place,” said Towles. “They are now using their stories to educate and increase awareness of this dangerous situation in which many are still trapped.”
Guest speaker J.D. Collins of the District Attorney’s office in Bibb County, a former police officer, applied truth laced with humor to provide wisdom he wrought from his day-to-day encounters with those who abuse and who are abused.
Collins separated the males and females to address particular gender behaviors that may label someone as an abuser or victim. He pointed out that abusive behavior progresses over time and will eventually erode a victim’s sense of self-worth, which is essential to appropriate decision-making that could save someone’s life.
Participants had an opportunity to ask questions and received printed information on where to seek assistance for both abuser and victim.
During the forum the initial group from V.O.I.C.E.S (Volunteers Outreach to Inspire Community Empowerment) graduated from a seven-week program designed to help them gain personal awareness and increase empowerment regarding domestic violence. These women will use the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired to train the next cohort group.
“V.O.I.C.E.S volunteers, some of whom are residents of our targeted community of Tabor Heights were trained using a data-driven, evidence based model,” said Towles. “These are just two ways we’re supporting our partners to enhance the lives of Peach County citizens through collaboration.”
Visit the Peach County Family Connection Web site.
Peach County Family Connection Executive Directo
GaFCP Communications Manager