Grant will help agency train fathers

svaughan@vagazette.com

Fatherhood is good for business.

According to Childtrends.org, children from two-parent families "have, in general, better health, greater access to health care, and fewer emotional or behavioral problems than children living in other types of families."

Which means they tend to do better in school and in life.

Child Development Resources, of Williamsburg, recently announced it has received a $682,981 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The restricted funds will support CDR's Fatherhood program.

The renewable grant continues for five year.

And it allows CDR to build on partnerships and programs it already has underway.

"This grant will help us bring new resources to the community," said Paul Scott, CDR's executive director. "We're very excited to work with local partners to reach out to area fathers and help them foster strong connections within their families."

Among the programs that CDR is already pursuing are a partnership with Literacy for Life to offer individualized employment mentoring to local fathers.

The grant will also help with implementing a child abuse prevention program. It will also add new training for fathers.

Among the local agencies and organizations CDR currently partners with on these programs are Sentara Regional Medical Center, the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail and Olde Towne Medical Center.

Current Fatherhood programs include:

• "Rookie Dads," a class for expectant dads that meets the second Thursday of each month at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center, conducted by CDR's fatherhood consultant. Last year, 96 local fathers took the classes.

• A Spanish language version of "Rookie Dads," held quarterly for Spanish-speaking fathers at Olde Towne Medical Center.

• "Linkages," a program allowing incarcerated fathers the chance to connect with their children and learn valuable parenting skills through interactive classes and parent/child bonding time.

Fatherhood consultants also reach out to community dads through home visits, to discuss parenting, infant care and parent/child bonding. Last year, 138 home visits were conducted by CDR fatherhood consultants with 37 local fathers. The new federal grant will expand this program.

Business notes:

Allan Finger, of Williamsburg, and Dr. James White Rawles, Jr., of Virginia Beach have been elected to the Board of Directors of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit entity that coordinates fundraising to benefit programs of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, a Virginia state agency that administers Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center history museums. Finger is an associate with Vickerman and Associates, consulting in strategic port design and commercial port market forecast and analysis, and is an executive partner with the Master of Business Administration program at the College of William and Mary. Rawles is a practicing gastroenterologist and is on the medical staff of Virginia Beach General Hospital.

•Virginia Beer Company is taking shape at its 401 Second Street site. This week brewery equipment began arriving. "From there we'll spend the day getting the equipment off the trucks, into the building, and then working with riggers to get everything upright and in place. The last stage will take 2-3 days to complete," said company spokesman Robby Willey. More equipment for the brewery will arrive next week.

The James City County Office of Housing and Community Development will hold a first-time homebuyer class on Tuesday, Nov. 10 and Thursday, Nov. 12 from 6-9 p.m. at the Law Enforcement Center Community Room, 4600 Opportunity Way. Topics covered will include personal finances, credit and credit scoring, qualifying and applying for a loan, choosing the right home, the need for a home inspection and what happens at a loan closing. Anyone who is currently purchasing a home or is considering a purchase in the future will benefit from this class. For some applicants, the mortgage company requires them to complete a home buyers class prior to loan approval. Participants who attend both sessions will receive a certificate of completion. Space is limited and registration closes Monday, Nov. 9. Register online at vhda.com. For more information about the First-time Homebuyer Program call 757-259-5340.

Vaughan can be reached at (757)345-2343.

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