Henrico County’s general government departments and Henrico County Public Schools earned a combined 25 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for innovative programs and initiatives in 2020.
Henrico’s award-winning programs are listed below:
Youth Leadership Program
Advanced Digital Literacy Skill Building at the Library
LGBTQIA+ Book Group
Trailblazers Wall: Community History at the Library
Building the Future, Brick by Brick
Cosmetology Advisory Council Leads Way to Mentorship Program
“CTE NOW”: Podcast Explores, Promotes Career and Technical Education
CTE Open House: Leading and Mentoring the Future
A No-Cost Camp Expands Access to Robotics, Engineering and Coding
VARP Helps Students See Careers From the Top Down
Making Professional Development Meaningful for Assistant Principals
Who Kept the Dogs In?
What’s Christmas Without Toys?
Creating a Culture of Life-Ready Learners
Emerging Leaders: Professional Development for Non-Supervisors
A Double Win: Changing Lives Through Second Chances
Savings and Sustainability with Solar Renewable Energy
Police Division: Threat Assessment
My County Academy: One County One Community
In September 2018, Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services established an Office Based Opiate Treatment Program (OBOT) in conjunction with Daily Planet Health Services, a local public health agency, to help people recover from opioid use disorders. The combination of medication-assisted treatment, evidence-based therapy, case coordination and peer support offers individuals an opportunity to stabilize medically, socially, and emotionally.
The opiate epidemic in America continues, and Henrico County is not immune to its effects. Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services (HAMHDS) has partnered with the Henrico Health Department to get Naloxone into the hands of our citizens. Providing one training a month and a free dose of Naloxone, HAMHDS has trained about 600 citizens through this partnership and continue to strive to increase this number to save lives.
The Youth Leadership Program is a community-based program that focuses on building character, social skills, and civic responsibility. The goal of the program is to bolster youth’s success through adolescence and adulthood by strengthening leadership skills and job training. Youth Ambassadors, primarily Henrico County high school youth, develop leadership competencies that position them to promote positive change in their communities.
Henrico County Public Library sought to modernize its services and meet the needs of job seekers with advanced digital literacy and skill-building classes in its Digital Media Labs. Library staff created curricula to develop digital literacy skills in applications like Adobe Creative Suite software, 3D modeling and printing, and coding. Now all five Area Libraries provide free access to high-tech digital literacy education and digital content creation tools, removing barriers to developing digital skills.
The LGBTQIA+ Book Discussion Group was created to improve service to the LGBTQIA community through a combination of outreach, thoughtful planning, intentional materials selection, and flexible program design. The group’s success indicates that the library is establishing itself as a welcoming community space for members of the LGBTQIA community.
Librarians leveraged personal experience, professional expertise, and a commitment to inclusive services to create storytimes for English language learners that meet community needs and can be conducted by staff with or without special language skills. Languages represented in Henrico County Public Library storytimes now reflect the diversity of the County’s residents.
The Trailblazers Wall at the Fairfield Area Library is an inclusive, dynamic digital history wall that showcases biographies of many people of color and women whose historical lives and work had major impacts on the county, the state, and the nation. The wall demonstrates how community engagement can lead to more inclusive and valuable services in public libraries.
HCPS Department of Workforce and Career Development held its first ever #LifeReady Expo. This event built relationships between students and employers which enabled students to meet with employers, learn about career pathways, conduct interviews, and develop relationships.
The masonry program students at Highland Springs partnered with the construction firm James River Exteriors. Students have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field while working on an actual house project.
The ACE Center at Highland Springs hosted a cosmetology mentor/mentee program that assist cosmetology students in building moral character and professional ethics while developing their business and cosmetology skills in the salon. This program was developed to form the “whole student” and allow them to become well-rounded citizens in a salon setting.
The “CTE NOW” podcast was created to promote and elevate the Career and Technical Education program and to be used as a viable option for college and career preparation. The podcast is a tool with various topics hoping to reach as many people as possible.
The CTE Open House is an event to show fifth graders some of the career and technical education programs and allow the Academy at Virginia Randolph students to assume leadership roles and presentation skills. The AVR students work together to develop hands-on demonstrations and presentations about each program, in formats that grab the attention of their fifth-grade audience.
“Queens UNITED” is a program designed to foster a positive and loving environment for teenage girls by cultivating self-awareness and accountability, personal goal setting and community service opportunities. UNITED is an acronym for Unity, Nobility, Integrity, Trustworthiness, Education and Destiny.
A collaborative program provides 40 rising seventh-graders the chance to explore computer science at no cost. The mission of the program was to promote, enrich and increase learning experiences available to underrepresented — and often underrecognized — students by removing obstacles and putting a focus on engaged learning in the computer science fields.
The sports medicine program at Hermitage acted to support Henrico Schools’ cornerstone of student safety and wellness in creating a partnership with SwimRVA. The collaboration aims to teach students to swim and possibly earn lifeguarding credentials while developing more opportunities for overall water safety in the region.
The Virginia Association of Roofing Professionals created an event where students interested in the roofing industry could see a hands-on demonstration and talk with industry professionals. Students assisted to create a video which helps explain roofing work accurately. VARP uses the video for training and publicity.
Professional development for assistant principals has been associated with better classroom instruction, teacher retention and a positive climate in schools. This work provided individualized expert coaching for each assistant principal and has shown an increase in their self-efficacy to solve problems in their building, their comfort in using research and data to guide their decisions as leaders, and their opportunities to collaborate with other professionals in the division.
HCPS collaborated with the K-9 unit of the Henrico Police Division to install an 8-foot chain-link fence topped with barbed wire to keep police dogs contained during training exercises.
Students from Deep Run, Douglas Freeman, Glen Allen, Hermitage and Highland Springs high schools took on a mass-production project of creating toys to be donated to the Henrico Christmas Mother program. Each school agreed on a design for a toy that could be mass-produced and used the combined applicable skills taught in the classroom as a way to benefit the community.
The rapidly changing workforce has expanded HCPS’ understanding of what it means to provide every child with an education that prepares them for a full and productive life. HCPS developed a “learner profile” that would synthesize seemingly different frameworks into a common vision for all students and give them the opportunities to cultivate their knowledge, skills and aptitudes necessary to thrive in an increasingly diverse and global society.
The Emerging Leaders (EL) program provides non-supervisors with the framework, tools, and experiences to strengthen their leadership skills, self-awareness, and initiative. Participants invest in their own development; support and collaborate with others; and make an impact at every level of the organization. This requires an empowered workforce with the skills and support to step out of traditional hierarchical roles and take personal accountability for success.
The Employment and Compensation Services in the Division of Human Resources collaborated with the Sheriff’s Office to provide ten ORBIT participants with the tools required to seek and hold steady jobs, such as: creating resumes; matching skills with job vacancies; mock interviews; submitting job applications; and providing individualized feedback to each participant.
Henrico County completed its first two rooftop solar systems at Libbie Mill Library and the Mental Health and Developmental Services East Center in 2019. The new renewable energy systems add an element of sustainable operations, expanding on the energy efficient design and construction of these buildings. Over the next 25 years, these systems are projected to save over $450,000 on electricity costs and signal the beginning of a transition to renewable energy sources for county facilities.
Threat assessment is the process of documenting and assessing received threats to assist law enforcement in determining the appropriate emergency response. The process aims to intervene with people on a pathway to commit predatory or instrumental violence in public arenas and the response is determined by the facts presented when the threat first comes to the attention of law enforcement.
My County Academy was designed to bring a new light to Henrico with residents from various nationalities and multilingual communities coming together to learn how to be effective in their local government. Henrico partnered with the Asian & Latino Solidarity Alliance of Central Virginia to offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the many ways they can access and navigate county services and resources.