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{our town community}




Local Athletes Compete at Special Olympics USA

by Krissy Vick

Waiting at The Bus Stop the

developing family-school partnerships.

bus stop” also brings associations of cold mornings, sleepy kids and families hurrying to the corner. For Charlottesville City School elementary families, it also can mean healthy snacks, free children’s books and flyers that give families tips on everything from the benefits of reading with your child to the importance of healthy sleep habits. Thanks to the new “Bus Stop Meet and Greets” initiated by Velvet Coleman, Charlottesville’s new family engagement coordinator, area families are able to get more from the typical “bus stop.” “Strong relationships between families, schools and our community benefit us all,” says Coleman, a former Greenbrier Elementary teacher whose full-time mission now is to promote connection between family and schools. “When students see me in their schools and in their community, they now recognize me. This helps build relationships.” For decades, researchers have studied the correlations between student academic success and family engagement, citing a variety of positive outcomes. “We have 50 years of research showing that what families do matters,” writes Harvard researcher Dr. Karen Mapp, who has been instrumental in establishing a national framework for



of “Waiting


“Whether it’s loving school, college access, good attendance or academic success, family engagement has positive correlations with all sorts of indicators.” In Charlottesville, Coleman is using a wide variety of strategies to empower families to help their children grow. Outreach efforts include her bus stop visits, along with school visits, oneon-one meetings and community workshops with partners like ReadyKids and City of Promise. The “top 4” tips that Coleman offers all her elementary families include: assuring students attend school daily, setting a bedtime and sticking to it, reading daily, and checking backpacks and folders regularly. Some of the most frequently asked questions, include: “What types of questions should I ask during parentteacher conferences;” “How can I establish positive routines at home;” “How do I get started as a school volunteer;” or “What’s a good model for ‘home teaching’ or helping a child study to strengthen math skills or reading comprehension.” If you are in need of being coached, Coleman can make suggestions, recommend resources and offer encouragement. She is available to all Charlottesville families for workshops or individual meetings, and can be reached at familyengagement@

Krissy is the Community Relations Liaison for Charlottesville City Schools. She can be reached at


August 2018

Special Olympics athletes Jon Fried of Crozet and Chris Raupp of Charlottesville joined 44 other Special Olympics Virginia athletes to compete in this year’s Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Wash. Fried, who has played basketball, soccer and tennis, and Raupp, who has played soccer, basketball, tennis and golf, were accompanied by two local coaches, Ron Manilla of Charlottesville and Rose Ann Gama of Ruckersville. At this year’s games, Fried won bronze in the tennis singles, while Raupp won silver in singles. The pair also won a gold together in doubles. Fried has previously won gold in tennis at the 1985 Special Olympics World Games and was named the Virginia Athlete of the Year in 1994. Raupp has also previously won silver in tennis singles and gold in mixed doubles at the 2006 Special Olympics USA games. The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics and welcomed more than 4,000 athletes from across the country to compete in both individual and team Olympic sports. Because of this special anniversary, this year’s games underscored the Special Olympics’ dedication to enhancing health, education and community while endorsing inclusion and diversity in sport.

Profile for Ivy Publications

CharlottesvilleFamily's BLOOM August 2018  

Volume 20 Issue 8

CharlottesvilleFamily's BLOOM August 2018  

Volume 20 Issue 8