The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

October 18, 2012

Raleigh schools get Stewards of Children training

BECKLEY — Just For Kids Inc. held a facilitator’s training Wednesday in preparation for training Raleigh County School personnel next week.

Just For Kids Executive Director Scott Miller said around 30 individuals from across West Virginia attended the training at the First Century Bank board room. The group took part in the video-based, hands-on training that empowers adults to prevent child sexual abuse.

“Working with the new Raleigh County Superintendent Jim Brown and Miller Hall, director of secondary education, Just For Kids is planning to train all 1,000 teachers in Raleigh County using the Stewards of Children curriculum on Oct. 24.  In order to carry this out, Just For Kids needed a number of new trainers to handle the large number of people to be trained,” explained Miller.

“Raleigh County Schools’ motto is ‘Making a Difference One Student at a Time.’ We want to make a difference in each kid’s life and that is the foundation we are building in our schools with this type of training,” said Hall. “Our students can look to teachers and know that they can go to them for help if they need it and our teachers will feel more confident in knowing what to do if they suspect abuse.”

“When it comes to education, our focus is not just on the academics, but the total well-being and social health of our kids. And those things directly affect academics,” he added.

In addition to building the capacity for trainers in Raleigh County, Wednesday’s stewards training nearly doubled the number of accredited facilitators in the state, said Miller. Trainers from both panhandles, Morgantown, Logan, Boone, McDowell, Harrison, Jackson, Lincoln, Wyoming, Greenbrier, Mingo, Kanawha, Summers, Mercer, Barbour and Braxton counties participated in the workshop.

Miller added that it was exciting to have two children’s advocates from Slovakia in Eastern Europe participate in the training and talk about the lack of services for children regarding sexual abuse in their country.

 “They were excited to hear about the work that is taking place here in West Virginia and across the country to reduce the trauma that children experience when they are sexually abused,” he said.

According to the national organization that designed the Stewards of Children program, for every individual trained using the program, 10 children will not have to experience the trauma of child sexual abuse.

Founded in 2002, Just For Kids works with hundreds of children in Raleigh, Fayette and Wyoming Counties each year who are experiencing sexual abuse in their lives.  

Just For Kids is a nationally-certified Child Advocacy Center located in uptown Beckley. It also maintains offices in Oak Hill and Pineville.

Wednesday’s training was made possible through donations by the United Way of Southern West Virginia, the Healthy Families Healthy Children’s Coalition of Nicholas/Fayette Counties and Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia.

For more information, contact Just For Kids at 304-255-4834 or by e-mail, cathy@jfkwv.com. For more about the Just For Kids Child Advocacy Center, visit jfkwv.com.  

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com

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