A HUGE thank you to the volunteers that came out to ReadyKids this morning for the United Way TJA Day of Caring!

Employees from UVA Imaging, UVA Information Technology Services – ITS, UVA College of Arts & Sciences, LexisNexis, Rivanna Station, and Old Dominion National Bank helped us:

Thank you. It was a lot of work, but our volunteers did a wonderful job keeping the morning running smoothly all with a smile on their faces. Volunteers are such an important part of ReadyKids. They should know how special they are!

 

Read More


Many of the fathers in the ReadyKids REAL Dads program face an uphill battle when it comes to building a relationship with their kids.  They’re often coming out of jail, they’ve missed important milestones in their child’s life, they have to pay child support, and they’re struggling to find employment and housing because they have a felony on their record.

“It can beat you down,” said Eddie Harris, REAL Dads Fatherhood Specialist.  “It’s easy to give up.”

With so many obstacles, why not give up?

“Children need their fathers,” said Harris.  “Something we don’t recognize as a culture is that fathers also need their children.  It’s a connection deeper and stronger than any relationship they’ll ever have.  Their children are a part of them.”

Three fatherhood experts weigh in on how to keep engaged with your kids, even when things are stressful.

  1. Be an Example of Resilience

Whether or not you had a good dad, your child needs a great dad.  You can be that for them, no matter what your history is.

“Never give up,” said Harris.  “You have to be persistence and patient and willing to evolve into someone responsible and loving.  Regardless of the situation or the circumstances, you have to fight for your relationship. This has to be more important to you than anything else.  Own the relationship you have with your kids, and make it better.”

  1. Meet the Child Where They Are

Remember the wonder and the innocence of childhood?  It’s a magical time with fewer worries and clearer priorities.  Allow yourself to see the world through their eyes, it’ll help you feel a little lighter.

“If your son or daughter asks you to play, build with blocks or draw – stop and do it,” said Jon Elliot, organizer of the Charlottesville Fathers Eve event.  “Those moments go miles in building and strengthening your relationships.  It’s more important than anything you are in the process of doing, and way more fun.  When they are older, those moments will be fewer and farther in between, so enjoy them while you can.”

  1. Do Something

If you’ve been fighting with your kids, this is an especially important one.  Nothing generates conflict faster than boredom, and it’s important to remember that his goes for Dad too.  If Dad is bored, he’ll be far less fun to be with and far less patient with kids being kids.  Here’s a few suggestions of activities kids enjoy – read a book together, play a board game together, play ball, go to a park, see a movie, grab a piece of paper and a pencil and play tic-tac-toe or hangman.

“Don’t wait for the kid to take the lead, they’re looking to you as the adult,” said Alex Jarboe, an experienced Boy Scout Den Leader.  “Have a plan and multiple backup plans.  What you think will take 30 minutes might take 10, or it might not be as fun as you thought.  Always have options to fall back on.”

During this Father’s Day month, thank you to all of the hard working dads building relationships with their kids.  You make a difference every day.  If you are interested in learning more about the REAL Dads program, contact Eddie Harris.

Help More Dads and Kids

Read More


The ReadyKids Play Partners program partnered with the Virginia Festival of the Book for a kid-friendly story time at C-ville Coffee this past Saturday, March 24.  Over 75 parents and children attended this fun-filled story time introducing children to the book Mrs. Wishy Washy by Joy Cowley.

The morning included an interactive reading of the book, songs, finger plays, crafts, and an appearance by Mrs. Wishy Washy herself.  Each kid made their own Mrs. Wishy Washy puppet and farm animal puppet – from popsicle sticks and construction paper – to reenact the story at home.

“The best part for me was the faces, watching the kids’ faces,” said Ali Davison, Play Partners Assistant.  “Their enthusiasm was really endearing.”

Play Partners

Play Partners teachers preschool-age kids literacy skills, active listening and focus through play and story-telling together.  Throughout the school year, our Play Partners volunteers go into area child care centers and bring books and so much more to get kids excited about reading.

ReadyKids is always looking for Play Partners Volunteers!  If you’re interested in giving two hours a week to preschool age children in Charlottesville visit this site for more information.   We would love to hear from you!

Read More


Read More




Wishy Washy Kid 2015Bring your toddlers and preschoolers to Cville Coffee at 10:00 am on Saturday, March 25th for stories, songs, and fun activities! As part of the Virginia Festival of the Book, our Play Partners team will be presenting We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, retold by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. The event is free, so sit back and enjoy a cuppa and watch your kids have fun while learning!

Click here for more info on the Festival of the Book.

 

Refer Someone to Happy Families(1)

Read More




Collage V2Thank you to everyone who attended the 2015 Community Breakfast and to those who were there in spirit! We were excited to have the chance to spotlight Emily Schorpp, whose work with area teens earned her the 20th annual Child Advocate of the Year award, as well as Gary Albert, State Farm Agency, recognized as this year’s family-friendly employer.

We were also eager, on this 20th anniversary breakfast, to introduce a new feature—the highlighted ReadyKids story of the year, presented on this occasion by our own Teen Counselor, Lou Hanson, whose very personal account of one special teen underscored just how effective our programming can be.

Director of Virginia’s Department of Juvenile Justice, Andy Block, shared some riveting data (seriously) in his keynote address and Dan Schutte of CBS 19 News was kind enough to stand up and lead the program.

Thanks again to our wonderful community of supporters, partners, team members and staff. We couldn’t do it without you. To anyone who didn’t make it, there will always be next year!

 

Read More