09/20/20: Yancey County’s Empowering Youth and Families Program (EYFP) is getting ready for their fall cohort, although their preparations this year are quite different from years prior. Yancey County EYFP Program Assistant, Niki Maness, explains that by this point in the year they are usually, “gathering materials, hiring childcare professionals, planning menus, and doing everything possible to prepare for in-person programming.” However, due to the pandemic and most programming requiring gathering in groups moving online, they have had to adapt. It has taken months of brainstorming, reworking, and scheduling, but Yancey County EYFP has come up with a plan to provide programming for their families this fall. Instead of holding a community meal and meeting face-to-face for youth and caregiver sessions, they plan to make a virtual version of the program that will be accessible through Zoom, a video call service. They will still provide meals to participating families and supplies for all activities in the hopes of making this transition as smooth and easy as possible. They will even be able to provide age-appropriate activity boxes to keep younger siblings entertained while others in the household are in their sessions, in place of the in-person childcare they would normally provide during face-to-face meetings. Yancey County EYFP was, in fact, awarded a special grant from the Yancey Fund in order to provide these activity boxes, in support of parent education in the county. Without a doubt, EYFP will look a bit different in all of its participating counties, and it will be outside of the comfort zone of what many may be used to. Nonetheless, the staff of Yancey County EYFP are excited to start meeting weekly once again and will work hard to bring all their plans to fruition.
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