COVID-19 UPDATES: April 19, 2020
A Message from Angelia Perry, Executive Director
Good morning friends,

I would like to give a brief update on happenings at the Center.

First and foremost, we are excited to announce that GYAC recently awarded scholarships, totaling $42,500 to 15 graduating seniors! The colleges the recipients will attend include Florida A & M University, Boston College, Indian River State College and the University of North Florida.

In terms of staffing, GYAC's Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve paying employees during the closure. In addition, GYAC applied for the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) under the stimulus package.

We continue to stay abreast of COVID-19 updates through a variety of community updates via email and teleconferencing meetings, and we are committed to assisting students, adults, seniors and the community any way we can.

Despite obvious interruptions to normalcy, we continue to move forward, flexing and adjusting as we go, so that when the time comes to reopen we are ready.

Stay well,

Angelia Perry
GYAC Mobile Food Pantry
GYAC's Seniors Program Coordinator, Theresa Baxter, continues to work diligently alongside the Treasure Coast Food Bank ensuring GYAC's bi-monthly food giveaway remains available, as it is a vital resource for many in the community.

On Wednesday, April 15, with helping hands from the community and the Salvation Army, GYAC served 177 families! In addition to sorting and distributing food for the drive-thru pickup, volunteers packed and delivered food to home-bound seniors.

To ensure everyone's safety, Theresa seamlessly transitioned our traditional food assistance program into a mobile food pantry, and all volunteers wore masks and gloves.

We look forward to continuing this bi-weekly community outreach in partnership with the Treasure Coast Food Bank. The next one is scheduled for April 29.
Activities, Assistance & Storytime
Our teachers are eager to help their students however they can. They continue to reach out to parents, offering students academic support and encouragement.

A couple of our teachers have even ventured into the world of virtual storytime. Their videos are available for viewing on GYAC's YouTube channel. Links to the videos can also be found on GYAC's webpage dedicated to student activities, homework assistance and storytime.

Click here to be taken to GYAC's YouTube Channel!

The chart below, which was emailed to parents, shows our teacher's availability throughout the week, although, many of our teachers have offered to help anytime they are needed.
May 5 is #GivingTuesdayNow
What is #GivingTuesdayNow?

#GivingTuesdayNow is a new global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020. This special day was created for non-profits to spread their message, give thanks and raise funds for much-needed programs hit hard by COVID-19.

We invite you to save the date and stayed tuned for important updates regarding GYAC's #GivingTuesdayNow plans.
Summer Appeal
You should have recently received our appeal in your mailbox, with the reminder that we continue to work with students and that our mission is just as important now as it was last year. 

To find out the impact our efforts are having on parents and students, keep scrolling to the "Tell Me Something Good" section of this email.

We hope you can respond to the request to help insure that we are here tomorrow, throughout the summer and next year to help our students in any way possible. For online giving, click here .
Mrs. Darrisaw finally reached a student's parent that she had been trying to contact since schools started online teaching. She believes their conversation will help with this student's work ethic going forward. Plus, a couple of her students are on the A/B honor roll for the 3rd nine weeks! 

Mrs. Rogers had a student call to say hello and they missed her. She comforted them, saying she would be checking on them weekly and she hopes to see them soon.  

A student contacted Mrs. Strowbridge simply because she missed her and GYAC. Mrs. Strowbridge let her know that the teachers would be posting fun stories and activities on our website and said she should check it out. Hearing the student say that she was glad to hear from Mrs. Strowbridge "truly made [her] day!" 

Mrs. Weaver had the pleasure of speaking with a parent whom she was not originally able to reach. Shortly after they spoke, the parent called back needing help. The student and parents were struggling to see eye to eye on a reading assignment. Mrs. Weaver effectively mediated the situation, explaining that she was supposed to complete the computer assignment, read the book and it would benefit her to answer the questions that followed. The student said, "Okay, yes ma'am, I will do that." Afterwards, the father said, “Thank you so much. I really appreciate all the help that the staff from GYAC gives, and I am so happy that I was able to call you back to get help and clarification with this assignment.” 
Ms. Horskin  was so happy she was able to help a parent retrieve not only her child's report card but also upload his assignments using Canvas with the help of another co-worker. The parent was so overjoyed that GYAC staff was there to help. 
GYAC Legacy Society
Join GYAC's growing list of Legacy Society members who have expressed a desire to support GYAC for generations to come.

Members include:
Cis* and Bill Glavin
Walter Jackson*
Doris R. Jorgensen*
Liz and Nick Melnick
Danforth K. Richardson*
Joyce Steggles*


Click here for more information about becoming a GYAC Legacy Society member or email Director of Philanthropy, Peggy Gibbs.
" We've always had a devotion to GYAC. As time went on we got to know the people better and decided this is where we want the bulk of our money to go . " -Liz and Nick Melnick
Thank you!
Once again, we love hearing from you. Thank you for sticking with us, for checking in, for following along on social media, for finding ways to help, and most of all, for your continued support of the life-changing work we do at the Gifford Youth Achievement Center. Without you, we would not be here, impacting the lives of countless families. Again, our thoughts are with you and we cannot wait to be reunited.