Women and Girls Fund Grants Make an Impact
January 26, 2018
Women & Girls Fund grants enable local organizations to build programs that not only generate measurable benefits to women and girls but also help to improve the quality of life for all residents in the Greater Fredericksburg Region. Local women supported the following successful initiatives through the Women and Girls Fund last year.
Online Video Campaign Raises Awareness to Help Prevent Dating & Domestic Violence
Many college campuses across the country strive to raise awareness about dating and domestic violence. With the help of a grant from the Women and Girls Fund, Germanna Community College created a series of four videos highlighting dating and domestic violence scenarios to improve situational awareness for students, staff, and community members. This approach may help the school community to recognize, manage and possibly prevent such situations.
Over 50 students auditioned to be in the videos and five were selected to play various roles. All of the videos were shown to four SDV 100 College Success Skills classes and one of the shorter videos was uploaded to Germanna’s Facebook page where it received over 300 views. The video was also presented at the Fear 2 Freedom event held at the Fredericksburg campus in the fall. Their hope is to reach over 1200 views during the one-year grant period. Often times, women are the victims of dating and domestic violence and many victims feel they cannot speak up about the abuse they’ve experienced.
Awareness videos like the one produced by Germanna Community College allow for members of the community to recognize when violent behaviors are present, and they offer suggestions about how to approach the issue. They also help encourage victims of assault to speak up and get help.
Girl Scouts Learn Ways to Protect Rappahannock River Watershed
Friends of the Rappahannock created a pilot program, “Girl Scout Journey in a Weekend,” for Girl Scouts ages 7-12 from the greater Fredericksburg region that introduced the girls to a preserved riparian habitat and educated them about important environmental protection issues. Hands-on activities included collecting data and answering questions. How many macroinvertebrates they collected in the river? What kind of trees like to be near water? How does water move?
The grant provided by the Women and Girls Fund enabled 36 girls and 12 moms to to learn about the Rappahannock River watershed and how to protect it. During the weekend event, the girls learned to canoe, made observations in their hand-made nature journals and discussed ways to sustainably use water and protect the Rappahannock River watershed. Twenty girls camped overnight. As a result of this program, the girls were able to recognize a problem such as poor water quality and come up with creative ways to solve the issue.
Participants received “take action” postcards with reminders about ways to save water at home. Reese, one of the girl scouts who took part, enjoyed the program so much she wrote a thank you note back to the program leaders pledging to pick up after her dog, choose environmentally healthy cleaning products and plant a tree. Programs like Girl Scout Journey Weekend inspire young girls to develop an interest in science and get involved in their communities.