Rappahannock Area Kids on the Block Uses Grant to Reach Teens

August 11, 2008

Fredericksburg, Virginia The Rappahannock Area Kids on the Block (RAKOB), a unique troupe of puppets, which speak to children about understanding and awareness of people with disabilities and differences, recently completed the first of two six-week  puppeteer training session for members of the Fredericksburg Boys and Girls Club. Eight club members participated in the “Making the Right Choice for Me! Alternatives to Violence, Gangs, Prejudice, Alcohol, and Drugs by Teens for Elementary and Middle School Children” training.

The program is intended to encourage prevention and raise awareness of these social issues in the Fredericksburg community. By creating this partnership and training these volunteers from the Boys and Girls Club and RAKOB Teen Puppeteer volunteers, we hope that this program will encourage the younger audience members to take action and make choice's that have a positive impact in their lives and our community's future.

This program is provided by a grant award from The Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region, Youth in Philanthropy. RAKOB Teen volunteers proposed this grant to the YIP panel back in April 2008. RAKOB will begin the second session for in the fall.

The puppets are nearly life-size and dress and act like real children. Each has his or her own personality, and has very distinct likes and dislikes; hopes and fears; talents and limitations. The program is very upbeat, educational, and fun. All scripts are provided by the national group, Kids on the Block.

If you’d like additional information on becoming a Rappahannock Area Kids on the Block volunteer or to learn more about the program, contact Sherry Norton-Williams at 540-373-3223, ext. 3035, or snorton@racsb.state.va.us.

Formed in 1988, Rappahannock Area Kids on the Block is a program of the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) and an agency of the Rappahannock United Way (RUW). The mission of RAKOB is to educate the children of Planning District 16 about people with disabilities as well as important health and safety issues. RAKOB presents 16 different topics appropriate for many different age groups. Program topics include: Automobile and Bicycle Safety, ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs), Blindness, Bullies, Cerebral Palsy, Childhood Obesity, Emotional Disturbance, Fire Safety, Gangs, Learning Disabilities, Literacy, Life Lessons, Mental Retardation, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, and Teen Pregnancy. A typical show, which consists of two stories and a humorous vignette, lasts approximately 45 minutes. To learn more about RAKOB, visit http://www.rakob.org  


Founded in 1970, the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) provides mental health, mental retardation, substance abuse, and prevention/early intervention services to the residents of the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford. RACSB operates six outpatient clinics which provide individual, group and family therapy; specialized counseling and case management services; psychological assessment; 24-hour crisis intervention; and medication management services. RACSB operates eight mental retardation group homes providing 24-hour intensive and structured support. RACSB also offers mental health day support, residential services, and crisis stabilization. The Parent-Education – Infant Development Program provides physical, occupational, and speech therapies as well as special education and service coordination to infants and toddlers with developmental delays. Programs of RACSB include Rappahannock Adult Activities, Inc., Project LINK, Program for Teen Parents, Rappahannock Area Kids on the Block, DARE To Be You – Rappahannock Area, and Healthy Families – Rappahannock Area. To learn more, visit www.racsb.state.va.us.

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Rappahannock Area Community Service Board  |  600 Jackson Street  |  Fredericksburg, VA 22401  |  (540) 373-3223