Volume 15 | September 2023

It's that time of the year again - back to school! We at FHF are thrilled to announce that we're going into our FOURTH year of serving the amazing ACPS community. We couldn't have done it without your support and encouragement! As we gear up for another exciting year, we're also excited to welcome a new board member and a new FHF rep to ACPS Parent Council to our team (keep reading for more details).

Together, we'll continue to work tirelessly to provide the best possible resources and support for our students, parents, and teachers. Thank you for choosing FHF - we can't wait to see what this year has in store for us!

If you are new to Families Helping Families, check out our explainer video below for deets on the organization.

Share this newsletter freely. It takes a village to raise a child and we hope that together, we can make it a bit easier!

Visit our Website

Upcoming FHF Meetings:

To be determined (TBD). Watch this spot for updates!

Congratulations are in order, as Latara Ragland, FHF co-president was recognized as an Allen Allen Allen & Allen hometown hero earlier this summer. "It's not about me by any means, it's the people I am connected to and this work with Families Helping Families is 100% volunteer, so the people come with their heart," said Ragland.

Families Helping Families at Soul of Cville

Families Helping Families recently participated in the three-day Soul of Cville festival. The festival, which celebrates Black culture and excellence in the Charlottesville and Albemarle County area, provided an ideal platform to connect with families who may benefit from our services.

During the festival, Families Helping Families set up a community resource table where information was shared about our mission and how we work to ensure that every child in Albemarle County Public Schools receives the support they need to reach their full academic and social potential. By removing barriers to learning, such as lack of resources or financial hardship, Families Helping Families empowers children and families to succeed in school and beyond.

The organization's participation in the Soul of Cville festival highlights a commitment to building a stronger community through education and social connection. Families Helping Families looks forward to continuing to serve families in ACPS, and invites those in need of support to reach out and learn more about FHF services.

In a partnership between the Counseling Alliance of Virginia, the Office of Community Engagement and ACPS Family Council, we are inviting participation in a series of unique and powerful conversations to seed positive changes for racial awareness, sensitivity & responsibility in our region. We are looking for a representative from each school in Albemarle County Public Schools to engage in honest and disruptive conversations to develop personally and to bring insights and initiatives to each PTO and school community.
The series, Race Matters in School Communities, will be on the second Tuesday of the month from 5:30-7:30pm. The dates are: October 10, November 14, December 12, January 9, February 13, March 12, April 9, and May 14. Spaces are limited!
Here's what we're looking for:
  • one representative per Albemarle County Public School
  • to attend all eight monthly discussion groups
  • that will happen in the evening in an ACPS building (location still being finalized)
  • where a dinner meal will be provided
  • and childcare offered
  • where they will engage in honest and disruptive conversations that they are willing to bring back to their PTO or school community.

CAVA, Counseling Alliance of Virginia, will facilitate the series. Over the past six years, CAVA has been convening a 4-day series entitled "Race Matters: How to Talk Effectively about Race and Conducting Cross-Racial Conversations" for therapists, educators, and other service providers in Charlottesville, Richmond, and online. Additionally, CAVA offers groups for adults to promote healing from racialized trauma in our society: The Breathing Room is specifically for Black and African American people to process experiences of racism and the ongoing abuse and victimization of Black Americans and Racial Awareness and Sensitivity Support Group is a multiracial group to discuss how to effectively engage in conversations about race across racial lines to promote an increased understanding of the impact of privilege and subjugation roles and its impact on interpersonal relationships within our communities.
If you are interested in participating in the entire series, including sharing your insights and initiatives with your PTO and school community, 
complete this form
Questions about the series can be directed to Emily Mathon, emilymathon@gmail.com.

*Reminder if you know of any projects taking place to support ACPS families, let us know, and we are happy to share them with our network.

Are you ready to take your fitness game to the next level AND for free? Look no further than Xtreme Hip Hop with John! It is hard to pinpoint what is more high-energy...the instructor or the cardio. These classes will have you sweating and smiling with ALL your teeth every session. Using an aerobic step set to fire hip hop hits, you'll feel like a pro as you turn up to the routine and vibe with the group. An extra bonus - group exercise classes inevitably make fast friends! Don't miss out on the fun - make your way to Xtreme Hip Hop classes today and let's get this party started!

**There is another opportunity to step Wednesdays 6:30pm at Wartime Fitness 1147 River Road $10 drop in fee for non-members.

For details of things to do in and around Albemarle County visit Things to Do In Charlottesville and Albemarle County

Wartime Fitness Warriors presents Gloves Up, Guns Down Boxing Event

Wartime Fitness Warriors is proud to present Gloves Up, Guns Down Boxing Event. This in-person event will take place at 1170 River Road, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Come watch local boxers and other Charlottesville natives battle it out in the ring! This event will be fun for the whole family with music, food vendors and pop up shops. You won't want to miss it! Let's Get It!


Community Day at Simpson Park

Booths from various local community-serving organizations will be on-hand to have discussions on how our community can unite to make Southern Albemarle even better than it already is.

Community Partners You'll Find at Community Day at the Park:

(more added as confirmed)

International Day of Democracy September 15th

International Day of Democracy is an annual day that has been running for 10 years. It is a United Nations, (UN), day of observation, the purpose of the day is to review the state of democracy in the world and uphold and and promote democracy and its principles. The day was founded on the 20th anniversary of the First International Conference of the New or Restored Democracies, which promoted global democracy.

More Info

Healthy Virginians/Healthy Students Week

September 17 - September 23

Responsible Dog Ownership Week

September 24 - September 30

Internet Safety Month

Kinship Caregivers of Children Month

Older Virginians Month

At Families Helping Families, we recognize the incredible contribution of volunteers, school representatives, and family support workers. You are the backbone of our organization, and we couldn't make the impact we do without you.

We want to invite ACPS families to join our FHF family and combine forces for good in your community! Whether you want to donate your time, skills, or resources, we welcome you with open arms. Together, we can make a real difference in Albemarle County. So what are you waiting for? Come join us and let's spread the love!

“In the coming year, we’re hoping to raise even more funds to be able to meet an increasing number of requests for emergency needs,” said FHF co-organizer Amanda Alger. “Mental health and transportation are two key needs that come up again and again.”

Any and all donations are greatly appreciated and tax-deductible.

Full release...