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Henrico County general government departments and Henrico County Public Schools have earned 27 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for innovative programs. The 27 awards stemmed from 32 entries for 2019 and are the most of any county in Virginia for the 14th consecutive year. Henrico has earned 655 NACo awards since 1985.

Henrico’s award-winning programs are listed below:


Youth Experiencing Healing Through the Arts
James River Juvenile Detention Center

The arts have long been recognized as platforms for young people to develop skills in creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, and positive self-expression. The James River Juvenile Detention Center has partnered with the Cultural Arts Center to develop and facilitate a cultural arts program for residents to freely express their thoughts and feelings.


Opiate Jail Diversion
Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services

The Opiate Jail Diversion Program helps inmates in early planning and treatment programs to prevent sentencing from the opiate use disorder. As a result of this intervention and early planning in the inmate’s incarceration, these individuals with opiate use disorder will have the opportunity to return to the community with wrap around treatment services to ensure their success; experience reduced jail times.


Reducing Re-hospitalization Rates: Same Place Access
Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services

Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services organized a workgroup in response to a skyrocketing number of admissions to state psychiatric hospitals. Implementing the success of Same Day Access, HAMHDS reduce re-hospitalization through actively engaging individuals while they were in the hospital to develop a discharge plan and to link them to appropriate after-care services.


Life Enrichment for those Aging with Developmental Disabilities
Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services

The Life Enrichment Program addresses adults with developmental disabilities, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease to assist them in maintaining their skills while enjoying their retirement years. The goal is to offer activities that may emphasize improvements in memory, sensory ability and/or physical health.


Highland Springs Historic District Website
Department of Community Revitalization

Highland Springs community in Henrico County is now a registered in the National Register of Historic Places. The establishment of the Highland Springs Historic District is to provide tools to facilitate investment in both commercial and residential properties. A website was created to help facilitate information sharing with residents, businesses, property owners, and the general public a new interactive website.


Vacant Housing Tracker
Department of Community Revitalization

Community Revitalization, Building Construction and Inspections and Information Technology developed a database in order to track and resolve issues with long term vacant houses. The database brings together information from real estate assessment records; delinquent tax; building/environmental/zoning code enforcement; and GIS mapping in order to quickly evaluate properties. The goal is for vacant houses to be reoccupied or, if conditions warrant, demolished in order to revitalize mature neighborhoods.


Caregivers Kits
Henrico County Public Library

Caregiver Kits at Henrico County Public Library enable those experiencing memory loss or dementia-related illness to connect easily with family members, friends, and caregivers by revisiting familiar themes from their lives. Each kits has a theme and contain books with vibrant photographs, DVDs of classic movies or television shows, popular music CDs, and discussion prompts, all chosen with the goal of encouraging memory and conversation.


Closing the Distance Between Us
Henrico County Public Library

Henrico is a rapidly growing and diversifying County in the Central Virginia region and Henrico Public Library has responded to the changing community by a moderated discussion panel featuring local residents and staff who immigrated to Henrico, called “Closing The Distance Between Us.” The panel opened up dialogue and understanding between long-time Henrico residents and new, at a time when immigration is at the forefront of our national discussion.


Music and Memory
Henrico County Public Library

Music & Memory spark opportunities for older adults to connect to the past and others using popular music of their youth. The program successfully opens a dialogue between Seniors and their peers about their past and stimulates deep memory in older adults.


Sensory Storytime
Henrico County Public Library

Sensory Storytime is an early literacy program designed to be adaptive and inclusive to children of all abilities, with particular emphasis on serving children on the Autism spectrum. Partnering with Henrico’s Infant & Toddler Services in MHDS, designed specially- storytime for families and caregivers of children on the Autism spectrum. The program focuses on fine and gross motor movement, oral skills, songs, rhymes, and books, with time after each program dedicated to encouraging child and family interaction and bonding through play.


Route 5 Corridor Study Public Engagement Portal
Department of Planning

A fourteen-mile corridor study, with one of the oldest roads in the United States, connecting the former capital of Williamsburg with the current capital of Richmond, has experienced its share of development while retaining a decidedly rural/agricultural character. In order to reach the numerous stakeholders and increase citizen involvement, the department created a dedicated website with an interactive portal, providing a platform for public comment, maximizing options for stakeholder input and showcase the study using virtual and historic markers tours.


Basic Life Support Transport Program
Division of Fire

In 2018, more than 41,000 EMS calls for service were dispatched throughout Henrico County’s 22 Fire Stations. Due to the increasing volume of 911 EMS calls, the Basic Life Support (BLS) Transport Program was implemented to maintain our quality EMS care and consistent response times for our citizens.


Firefighter Individual Record of Exposures (FIRE) Program
Division of Fire

The Firefighter Individual Records of Exposure Program (FIRE) serves as a repository of each time a firefighter is exposed to chemicals or products that could be cancerous or dangerous over time. The program uses a reporting software that capture these exposures. The result ends up being a personal repository of information available to a specific employee, occupational health, or their personal physician when needed to evaluate potential exposures, and subsequently treatment.


Henrico County Public Schools

A group of caring volunteers joined forces and created #TheALEXProject. Volunteers at Donahoe Elementary School are with a classroom teacher weekly assisting students in academic and emotional support. The project aims to cultivate a community that is Actively Loving and Encouraging eXcellence.


Fiscal Program Appraisals
Division of Fire

Fiscal Program Appraisals tie DOF strategic goals, objectives, and tasks to the budget, measure progress, evaluate their relevance in a constantly changing environment, and serve as a record for program accomplishments. Program managers complete these appraisals, as a self-assessment tool on their progress and priorities.


Tech the Halls: Reaching Our Community With a Holiday Event
Henrico County Public Schools

“Tech the Halls” is a holiday event at Hermitage ACE Center to bring the community together and share some of the center’s career and technical education programs. Families came into the school and were able to experience the center’s programs and offerings in various demonstrations and displays.


Building Book Nooks, Building Community Literacy
Henrico County Public Schools

Public libraries and neighborhood schools do an amazing job in literacy development but can leave gaps in providing reading material to citizens. In effort to make reading material HCPS and HCPL teamed up to install 30 small “book nooks” – tiny lending libraries with hinged doors – on posts outside of many of the schools in Henrico.


3-Es of K-12 Education: Enrolled, Enlisted, and/or Employed
Henrico County Public Schools

While the purpose of secondary education is to help students learn what is needed to be successful in the future, instruction must encompass more than academics alone. The school division’s goal is to have students graduate from high school with a plan to be Enrolled, Enlisted and/or Employed.


A Conference Room Renovation Meets Needs of Students and Their School
Henrico County Public Schools

The electricity, carpentry and masonry departments within the Advanced Career Education (ACE) Center at Highland Springs High School guided their students to make trade theory a reality as they collaborated to create a new conference room for the school. Members completed tasks: creating blueprints, timetables, and process structures for each department.


Driven for Success: A New Kind of Open House
Henrico County Public Schools

The ACE Center at Hermitage High School wanted to spark the interest of students, families, business owners, car dealerships and postsecondary schools for the automotive industry. An all-inclusive open house served as a way to increase opportunities for local businesses interested in hiring HCPS students.


Learning Carpentry While Supporting a Local Elementary School
Henrico County Public Schools

Carpentry students at the Academy at Virginia Randolph, exercised their hands-on experience to help Lakeside Elementary School extracurricular programs. Students constructed a shingle roof, vinyl siding shed to increase the storage capacity for athletic equipment. A true win-win project, students were able to learn and develop skills, while helping and supporting the students and programs at Lakeside.


Setting the Bar High: CTE Letter-of-Intent Signing Day
Henrico County Public Schools

Career and Technical Letter-of-Intent Signing Day recognized and celebrated high school students who completed a career and technical education program and were offered positions in the workforce. Students and representatives of their future employers signed symbolic letters of agreement, as families shared in their excitement and members of the media.


A Practical Nursing School Collaborates for a Healthier Community
Henrico County Public Schools

As a part of Henrico County Public Schools, the practical nursing program prepare nurses to provide people with safe, effective and culturally competent nursing care. Clinical sites are imperative and provide positive learning environments, enabling them to support the mission for our students. A partnership with HCPS and Nationz Foundation provided educational information related to HIV-prevention and overall health and wellness, while inspiring the community to take responsibility for its health.


Helping First Responders and Visitors Find Their Way
Henrico County Public Schools

The Technology Education Pumas club at Short Pump Middle School collaborated to make the school safer and easier to navigate. Students in the manufacturing class worked with administrators to carry out a project of assisting first responders entering the building in emergency situations. Student design teams created signage to be used by public safety personnel and visitors, to help provide easier and effective navigation.


Specialty Center Partnership Shares Expertise
Henrico County Public Schools

The ACE Center at Highland Springs and the Center for Communications at Varina High School created a collaborative four- week project for students to experience the expertise of other specialty centers objectives. The project enhanced the educational options for students and gave them insight into another discipline.


Partnership with Roofing Professionals Gives Students a Broader Career View
Henrico County Public Schools

Henrico County Public Schools’ Department of Career and Technical Education paired with the Virginia Association of Roofing Professionals to help find solutions to shortage among jobs in the roofing industry. VARP has been able to educate students, teachers and parents about the opportunities in roofing and has created internship opportunities enabling students to experience the industry firsthand.


Making Peer Socialization a SNAP
Henrico County Public Schools

In 2017, Henrico County Public Schools launched a summer program called “SNAPS,” an acronym for “Students Navigating Appropriate Peer Socialization.” SNAPS is geared towards students with high-functioning autism who struggle with everyday social skills. They practice social skills in the classroom and during real-world opportunities with age-appropriate general education peers as role models. Students go into the community Tuesday through Thursday to apply these skills in everyday life.

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