Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
The Prince William County Human Rights Commission has awarded Minnieville Elementary School and Graham Park Middle School the Human Rights Award to honor their outstanding contributions promoting equality for all people in the county. There are only six awards given annually. Award-recipients will be honored during the commission’s annual celebration of Universal Human Rights Day on Jan. 19.
Minnieville Elementary School was recognized for its family engagement team, and Graham Park Middle School was recognized for the R.A.P. Club, which stands for Responding to the educational need for knowledge about Mental Health And to Protect and support mental health awareness.
“The Family Engagement Team at Minnieville understands that as a public school, the work to assist families cannot be done without significant and strategic business/community partnerships,” said Debbie Ellis, assistant principal at Minnieville and award nominator. “Over the years, Minnieville’s Family Engagement Team has brought together powerful partnerships that have greatly enhanced the entire school community.”
Ellis said Minnieville Elementary School has collaborated with several community organizations to benefits the students and their families, such as the Old Dominion Chapter of The Links, Inc., Anti-Defamation League, Prince of Peace Methodist Church, Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, and the Prince William County Police Department. Through these collaborations, Minnieville has been able to provide a variety of support such as a weekend backpack snack program, student/police officer mentor program, and science/arts-based programs.
Graham Park Middle School
The R.A.P. Club at Graham Park Middle is co-sponsored by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Prince William County Chapter, Inc., the Potomac Health Foundation, and Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. RAP is an afterschool club for students that supports mental health wellness, and it is the first of its kind in Prince William County Schools. Members of the R.A.P. Club receive hot meals before engaging in conversations and interactive topics including brain health, substance abuse, school violence, healthy relationships, wellness and stress management.