Volunteer Spotlight: CAP RVA Member Erin Steigleder
With hundreds of volunteer opportunities available to Virginian’s we are always interested in finding out why our volunteers choose Prevent Child Abuse Virginia. Erin has been a dedicated volunteer with PCAV for over two years serving on both the Young Professionals Committee and as a member on our advocacy committee. When PCAV began transforming the young professionals committee from a one-event group to a structured committee with monthly meetings, Erin Steigleder leaped at the opportunity to be the first chair.
Erin shared that “Preventing child abuse is a very personal issue for me. Some people very close to me experienced abuse as children and I’d like to be a part of preventing other children from having to go through that. The work of PCAV is also of professional interest to me. In undergraduate and graduate school I was fascinated with learning about childhood development and concerned about the long lasting effects that neglect and abuse can have on a child. My current work involves public education around health policy and legislative advocacy, so I am happy to use my professional skills in any way I can to further PCAV’s mission.”
Professionally, Ern is Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation’s Education Manager, where she is managing their educational programming and maintaining breast health resources across the Commonwealth. Her key projects include educating local communities, raising awareness about VBCF’s services with health care providers and potential community partners, and maintaining accurate and relevant educational materials and resources. Erin has a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Studio Art from the University of Mary Washington and a Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to coming to VBCF, Erin worked for the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy in their health program, Virginia Consumer Voices for Healthcare. Erin and her husband live in Richmond and love exploring neighborhood restaurants and parks and sitting on the couch with their dog, binge watching TV shows on Netflix. She grew up in Henrico County and now lives in Church Hill with her husband and their dog, Bucky.
It is an honor to have such highly skilled volunteers to help us in furthering our mission of preventing child abuse and neglect in our Commonwealth. If you are interested in becoming a member of CAP RVA, please visit our information page and fill out an application here: http://pcav.org/young-professionals-committee/
As we have all likely seen the footage from a South Carolina High School depicting a case of “discipline,” where a school police officer used significant force to subdue a teacher, we want to share the below from Prevent Child Abuse America discussion the important and timely issues of kids and trauma.
Kids and Trauma: Science Over Force
CHICAGO, IL, November 2, 2015 – The video showing a school police officer subduing an unyielding adolescent with force is yet another reminder that children act out. Sadly, that’s not news. What is news is that there are alternate, appropriate ways to deal with troubled teens that benefit both the child and the community.
There are a host of reasons why a child might misbehave, and while the details of this young woman’s life are rightfully private, her attorney has made a public statement that she is in foster care and that is a sign that her nuclear family has been unable or unavailable to raise her.
Traumatic childhood experiences are the subject of many studies currently. Findings indicate that these experiences can have both immediate and lifelong effect on social and emotional health. Collectively called “Adverse Childhood Experiences,” or ACEs, these experiences can actually change the chemistry of a child’s brain and can be a cause for dramatic changes in a child’s behavior.
Prevent Child Abuse America recognizes the profound lessons from the ACE studies and has incorporated the findings into our work at every opportunity. We are particularly proud to be the non-profit partner to the producers of the film Paper Tigers, a documentary showing how the lives of troubled teens are changed when their school adopts a trauma–informed approach.
The title comes from a story the science teacher shares with the students when discussing the effect of early trauma on their brain after constantly being exposed to real danger or threats, the brain eventually fails to differentiate between “a paper tiger and a real one.” The result can be kids who lash out or otherwise exhibit terribly inappropriate behaviors.
Trauma-informed schools have moved from asking “what’s wrong with that child?” to “what’s happened to that child?” The school featured in Paper Tigers can be an inspiration and all schools, and communities, can consider taking a similar view to interacting with their students by engaging in the following steps:
(1) Reminding ourselves that one size does not fit all when it comes to students or behavior;
(2) Becoming informed about the ACEs, trauma and how they impact child development and behavior;
(3) Assessing our approach to discipline by asking ourselves whether it is trauma-informed, modeled on what we know about ACEs and based on the simple question, “What’s happened to that child;” and
(4) Recognizing that this is an issue for not only the schools, but the full community, neighbors, houses of worship and business as well.
“I want this moment to be heard as a call to action for schools and communities across the nation,” said James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America. “Let’s take advantage of this wonderful new resource, bring Paper Tigers to every community and support developing trauma-informed faculty, staff and police officers in every school district! For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact Prevent Child Abuse America or visit our website for additional resources related to Paper Tigers.”
Prevent Child Abuse America Planted More Than 1,000 Pinwheels Today at Washington Monument to Celebrate Great Childhoods!
Today Prevent Child Abuse America and its Virginia and Maryland chapters celebrated the great childhoods that all children deserve with a “National Pinwheel Garden” by planting more than 1,000 pinwheels near the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The public and members of event partners General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Sigma Delta Tau, Kappa Delta and Chartwells K12 were invited to celebrate the people who helped them enjoy great childhoods by having pinwheels planted in their honor in the National Pinwheel Garden.
“The pinwheel allows us to engage people in a new way,” said Prevent Child Abuse America President & CEO James M. Hmurovich. “It provides us with an engaging device to move beyond merely making people aware of child abuse prevention, but motivating them to take action on its behalf. From acts big and small, from providing busy parents with a break to signing onto letters to Congress, each of us can, and must, play a role in ensuring great childhoods for our nation’s children. This event in the nation’s capital is one more way to convey that message to the country.”
Individuals who also believe every child deserves a great childhood because our children are our future can make a gift today!
Jacob Neff Volunteer Spotlight: Like Father, Like Son
Jacob Neff had seen the passion in his father’s eyes, PCAV Board Member Brad Neff, long before he joined us this past summer as a Public Relations intern. For the past 8 years he saw the passion his father had and felt that he wanted to give back as well. When he learned of PCAV’s need for a Public Relations Intern, he jumped at the chance. He felt that the experience would be something he would never forget, as well as something that would prepare him for an incredible career in the Public Relations field. Jacob is now a freshman at Bridgewater College studying marketing and public relations.
Once he began to work at PCAV, he soon experienced the very same connection his father had experienced with the organization. Jacob stated that, “not only is Prevent Child Abuse Virginia an incredible place to volunteer, but also an incredible place to learn.” He continued, “during my time as a Public Relations Intern, I learned more about child abuse prevention than I had ever imagined possible, and this knowledge will be used throughout my lifetime to ensure that the world’s children may enjoy the best parts of being young and energetic, while they are still at the age at which they can fully enjoy it.”
Jacob’s favorite part about being a PCAV volunteer was the sense of accomplishment and a job well done that he received at the conclusion of each work day. He quickly came to realize that for those who work to protect the childhoods of Virginia’s children, and the childhoods of children around the world, there is always work to be done.
All of the staff at PCAV are incredibly grateful for Jacob’s dedication to the mission this past summer. Jacob updated all of our social media accounts throughout the summer, created infographics, made adjustments to the PCAV website, along with many other activities. We have no doubt that Jacob will continue to do incredible things with his life.
If you are interested in volunteering with us, please fill out a volunteer application here.
Join us for our Lunch & Learn series, Power Breakfast for Prevention, on Thursday, September 1oth from 7:30 am-8:30 am. Have breakfast on us and learn about how Prevent Child Abuse Virginia works to prevent the abuse and neglect of the Commonwealth’s Children.
For more information and to register, please click here.
Give Dad a tie from the “Ties for a Cause” collection, and support Prevent Child Abuse Virginia’s mission of providing Great Childhoods for all children.
Each one of these limited edition ties features a personal touch with hand-numbered tags and labels containing the PCAA logo along with “Inspired by…” (i.e.Chris Bosh).
When you purchase one of these limited edition ties, you are not only giving a stylish gift, but also helping keep children safe from abuse and neglect.
Scroll down to check out the beautiful designs and then fill out the order form. All ties will be shipped in a custom box along with the numbered card providing more information about the significance of the gift. You also have the option to enter a personalized message for us to include with the gift!
Join us at the Gold Festival on Broad to benefit Prevent Child Abuse Virginia
Family Fun, Live Music, Food, Drinks & More!
Sunday, September 20th
1:00 pm- 6:00 pm
Gold’s Gym Plaza at West Tower between Homeview Drive West End Drive
For more information on vendors, food, and activities visit the Gold Festival on Broad website HERE.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are disappointed to announce the cancellation of the planting of the 2015 Pinwheels for Prevention® Pinwheel Garden at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden on Saturday, March 28th. We will have a rescheduled date soon and hope to see you soon to enjoy the Pinwheel Garden in honor of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Thank you for your support and understanding.
Prevent Child Abuse Virginia
An autistic 9 year old boy was repeatedly trapped in a converted supply closet by his principal. He begged his parents not to send him back to school.
Testimony like this, and others deemed “horror stories,” by one Senator, were heard by the Virginia State Senate on Tuesday. Lawmakers were voting on a bill that would require the Board of Education to adopt regulations on the use of seclusion and restraint in public schools in the Commonwealth.
It was stories like these, of children locked in dark closets and makeshift holding cells, and forcibly restrained by duct tape, that led the Virginia Commission on Youth to issue a study on the use of restraint and seclusion by public schools in our Commonwealth. The study found that though there are 19 states with policies and procedures related to the use of restraint and seclusions for all children and 32 states with policies related to use of restraint and seclusion for children with disabilities, Virginia is 1 of 10 states with only informal guidelines for the establishment of restraint and seclusion policies in local school districts. These guidelines were not mandatory and merely provided suggestions as to how policies surrounding the use of restraint and seclusion should be formed.
This study led to the creation of the bill discussed on Tuesday. This bill would require the board of education to adopt regulations on the use of seclusion and restrain in public elementary and secondary schools in the commonwealth. The bill requires that such regulations incorporate certain existing guidance documents; include definitions of terms, criteria for use, restrictions for use, training requirements, notifications requirements, reporting requirements, and follow up requirements; and address distinctions between certain student populations.
The Bill passed easily in both the Senate and the House. The next step will be for the Governor to sign it.
Read more on this issue:
Registration for the conference is sold-out and the wait list is currently closed.
Conference Attendees: Please visit these links for more information:
PCAV Volunteer Spotlight
April Carter: Why I Volunteer…
With the countless volunteer opportunities available in Virginia, we are continually amazed by the dedication and passion of the people who choose to volunteer for Prevent Child Abuse Virginia. This February, we are placing the volunteer spotlight on one of our PCAV Young Professional Committee Members, April Carter. She tells us Why She Volunteers, and what PCAV means to her.
April Carter began her relationship with PCAV as a summer intern in 2012. Her time as an intern allowed her the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge and hands on experience as to how non-profits operate. She learned about the various ways PCAV works to prevent child abuse, working on such areas as advocacy and legislation, as well as programming aimed at giving parents and care-givers tools and resources to help them succeed.
Organizations whose missions involve helping children were already April’s self-proclaimed “soft spot,” and after “witnessing all that PCAV does to promote the well-being of children, I was inspired to stay involved after my internship.” PCAV’s impact on the community as well as the dedicated staff also motivated April, “you can tell that PCAV’s staff genuinely cares about the work they are doing.”
April Carter is currently the Assistant Director or Petersburg Victim-Witness Assistance Program. She holds her Bachelor and Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently a member of PCAV’s Young Professional Committee as well as Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority Inc. She has previously served as a member of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance and the YWCA’s Regional Hospital Accompaniment Response Team (R-HART). When not working or volunteering, April enjoys outdoor activities and traveling.
Thank you April, and all of our volunteers, for your dedication and service to the children in our community and for helping us continue to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect.
Prevent Child Abuse Virginia is a statewide non-profit organization whose mission is to end child abuse and neglect in our Commonwealth. Our Young Professionals Committee is looking for energetic young professionals between the ages of 21 – 35 who are eager to make a difference in their community. Although our office is based in Richmond, we are a statewide organization and encourage anyone from around the state to join. Members of the Young Professionals Committee have the opportunity to network with other young professionals while coordinating activities to raise awareness about the importance of prevention, and most importantly to play a major role in keeping Virginia’s children safe from abuse and neglect.
For more information about how to become a volunteer contact Allison Gilbreath, Community Engagement Manager at 804-359-6166 ext. 312 or at firstname.lastname@example.org