TAYLOR COUNTY—Families came together for the start of the spring session of the Healthy Grandfamilies program, earlier this month.
The group kicked off their session on March 3, with a meeting centered on communication.
“Our guest speaker was Taylor Wyatt, guidance counselor at Grafton High School,” shared Mendy Paugh, Health Grandfamilies Coordinator, Family Services of Marion and Harrison Counties. “And our meal was donated by Grafton Pizza Hut.”
During the evening, there were four grandfamilies in attendance, serving six children. Volunteers helped keep the meeting running smoothly.
Adult volunteers for the night consisted of Regina May, Cyndee Cayton, Mary Scherziner and Drema Gainer. They helped alongside student volunteers: Olivia Bolliger, Torrie Cayton, Marty May, Justin Gainer, Jason Gainer and Abigail Paugh.
Their second meeting was held yesterday, March 10. Angela White discussed with the families how to navigate the legal system, and the attendees enjoyed a meal provided by Beulah Baptist Church.
Healthy Grandfamilies is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and led by West Virginia State University. Additionally, the program is a joint effort of Family Service of Marion and Harrison Counties, the Taylor County Board of Education and the United Way of Marion and Taylor Counties.
The program offers a series of free discussion groups with a goal of providing information and resources to grandparents who have taken on the responsibility of raising one or more of their grandchildren.
Not only do families receive crucial information and great tips during each session, but they are also able to take advantage of three months of free follow-up services, including help locating community resources, confidential assistance in meeting the family’s needs and advocacy services, when needed.
During their sessions, families will discuss various topics including stress management, family relationships, parenting in the 21st Century, nutrition and how to navigate through the legal and school systems, as well as focusing on technology and social media, just to name a few.
“This program is designed to assist and educate grandparents in multiple areas of childhood development,” said Candace Golaszewski, social worker and case manager. “Healthy Grandfamilies provides key information from local professionals specializing in each topic.”
Each session offers dinner, childcare and course materials free of charged for each participant.
“Once the session comes to an end, participants will receive a certificate of completion, a gift card and those three months of free follow-up services,” Golaszewski revealed.
Meetings are held on each Tuesday of the month, at 6:00 p.m., at the Blueville Church of the Nazarene. Dinner is served beginning at 5:30 p.m. The next meeting will take place on March 17, and guests will learn tips for navigating the school system.
For more information about Healthy Grandfamilies and how you can be a part of the program, please contact Golaszewski by phone at 304-366-4750 ext. 113 or by emailing [email protected]
Additionally, Paugh may be contacted by email at [email protected]