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FRANKLIN COUNTY YMCA GIVES HOPE TO ESSENTIAL CARE WORKERS DURING PANDEMIC

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Rocky Mount, Va. (May 20, 2020) – The Franklin County Family YMCA and Franklin County Public Schools teamed up to work closely in an effort to support critical members of the workforce and provide safe child-care alternatives for their families.  Camp Hope began serving Franklin County families with children in grades K - 5 on April 6th and since then eligible students have participated in an assortment of activities and instruction.

Staff assisted all children in not just completing online assignments provided by FCPS, but taking one on one time to make sure all lessons were fully understood. “We didn’t just want to make sure the assignments were done. It was important to all staff that each child understood the information. We’re happy to say that each child passed their designated grade with flying colors,” says Jamie Stump, YMCA School-Age Childcare Coordinator.

Camp Hope also provided physical education and fun activities, all while following strict spatial distancing requirements and group size limitations. Some of the activities included cleaning up flower beds at Rocky Mount Elementary, planting new flowers, multiple cooking projects and even music lessons. In addition to scheduled activities participants received free USDA-approved breakfast, lunch and snack.  “Having fun and keeping the children safe was one of our main priorities,” says Stump.

The summer session of Camp Hope will begin May 26th, 2020. Due to limited capacity for this program, eligibility will be prioritized, therefore, for now, we encourage families who are not “essential personnel” to remain at home to care for their children. This will help ensure spaces for essential personnel in need of childcare as they directly support the COVID-19 response effort.  

Essential personnel are the first-responders, health care workers, and others who help maintain the health, safety, and welfare of the Commonwealth's residents. Here are examples of essential personnel:

  • Providers of healthcare including, but not limited to, workers at clinics, hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), nursing homes, long-term care and post-acute care facilities, respite houses, designated agencies and emergency medical services;
  • Essential government employees including public health employees and employees who oversee or support all the other functions included in this list;
  • Criminal justice personnel including those in law enforcement, courts, and correctional services;
  • Police, firefighters, and military;
  • Employees who operate shelters or other essential services for adults, children and families;
  • Employees who ensure continuity of basic services such as electricity/gas, water, internet, plumbing, sanitation and garbage removal;
  • Employees who ensure essential transportation including public transportation, trucking and health care-related transportation;
  • Employees who ensure essential food, pharmaceutical and supplies access (e.g., grocery, food bank, feeding programs, drug store, hardware store); and
  • Staff and providers of child care and education services (including custodial and kitchen staff and other support staff) for children of other essential personnel.

“We care about all of our families and hope that you are staying well during this unprecedented time. Our hope is to be back serving ALL of our families as soon as possible,” says Stump.

For questions about this program or to register, please contact Jamie Stump, School-Age Childcare Coordinator at jstump@franklincountyymca.org.

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