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Henrico earns VACo awards for STEM education, mentorship programs

Association also salutes regional effort to find solutions to opioid epidemic

Henrico County’s general government and Henrico County Public Schools have been honored by the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) for two initiatives offering hands-on learning opportunities in STEM subjects for older elementary students and providing role models for students at The Academy at Virginia Randolph. VACo also recognized the region’s efforts to identify community-based solutions to the opioid crisis.

VACo recognized 25 programs in its 2018 Achievement Awards competition among a record 106 submissions by member counties across the state. VACo will salute the winners of its 16th awards competition during its annual conference in November.

“One of the greatest tests of any local government is how it responds to the evolving needs of its community,” Henrico County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “In Henrico, we embrace this challenge and empower our employees and departments to continuously look for new and better ways to meet the needs of our residents. The VACo awards program is an excellent way to celebrate local-government innovation in Virginia. Congratulations to all the winners.”

Henrico received an award for the Elementary Explorers program of the Henrico County Public Library. Started in 2016, the program teaches STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) topics to third through fifth graders at the Tuckahoe Area Library. Popular with children and parents, the program offers hands-on instruction, promotes discovery and provides age-appropriate learning opportunities that complement school curriculum.

Henrico County Public Schools earned an award for the 100 Men Challenge at The Academy at Virginia Randolph. The initiative invites 100 men from various professions onto the campus one day each month to serve as role models and to motivate, encourage and support the male students.

VACo also recognized the region’s efforts to identify solutions to the opioid epidemic. Hanover County received an award for the Revive RVA: Regional Solutions to the Opioid Crisis summit, which was organized by Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover counties and the city of Richmond. The summit, held in October at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, attracted about 850 community members and included speakers, moderated discussions and training on how to save someone’s life following an overdose.

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