Gruchow to Head STEP's Business Programs

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

step3With more than 30 years’ experience in private sector helping clients achieve their business and personal financial goals, Gruchow will direct, expand and refine STEP’s business and financial services programs, including existing programs in Individual Development Accounts (IDA), Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), and financial education programming. She will also provide technical assistance and advice to clients including entrepreneurs, small business owners, and individuals who need basic financial planning assistance.


“My goal is to provide financial education to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and be the premier provider of full spectrum educational and support services to potential and existing small businesses in Franklin County and beyond; enabling them to provide sustained financial security for themselves and their families,” Gruchow said. “Families who are financially stable help support a vibrant local economy.  But we also know that this is an ambitious goal, and that we will succeed only by working in collaboration with local, regional and national organizations to promote small business growth in our community.”


Gruchow is a certified financial planner with extensive experience as a financial and investment advisor with major financial institutions. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, CFP® from the College for Financial Planning and has completed professional development courses in internal corporate professional selling and public relations and motivation. She is a current member of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, Smith Mountain Lake Association and has volunteered with the Charity Home Tour as home liaison for the last four years. She is a past board member for YWCA and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.



YMCA's Land of Wonder Preschool Partners with Smart Beginnings, VA Quality Initiative

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

yyyROCKY MOUNT - The Y Land of Wonder Preschool is a proud participant of “Virginia Quality” Initiative. Virginia Quality is the state’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system geared to support programs with tools and services to achieve top quality.

Under the VA Quality, the Y Land of Wonder Preschool, focuses on high-quality standards, and adheres to the following five, nationally recognized, quality standards and best practices, that are proven to matter in children’s school success: Basic Health & Safety, Education & Assessment, Curriculum Assessment, Environment, and Interactions. 

Childcare Director Hope Vaccaro, describes the Y Program as, “a commitment to excellence.” adds, “We’re soaring in all five of the nationally recognized standards, and we are thrilled to be a partner with Smart Beginnings and VA Quality. With VA Quality, we can ensure that every child has the skills they need to be successful once they enter Kindergarten.”

The Land of Wonder Preschool, in service for more than 10 years, is fully licensed through the Virginia Department of Social Services. Services include Music and Movement; Sing, Spell, Read, & Write/Creative Curriculum; Swim Lessons; Art Discovery; Kindergarten preparation; and more. Children are provided a spacious playground, gym, and nature trail for gross motor skills.

There is an additional focus on teaching the Y core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility.

The Franklin County YMCA’s mission is to help those in need in the Franklin County community.

The Y Land of Wonder Preschool offers 3, 4, or 5 day enrollment for children ages 2–5.

For more information on the Y Land of Wonder Preschool, please call 540-489-9622, or stop by 295 Technology Dr., Rocky Mount VA.


Eagle Cheerleaders Dominate at Cougar Classic

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

Grand Champions, First Place in 4A/5A/6A Division

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DUBLIN - Franklin County's competiton cheerleading squad proved again they are number one, winning first place their division and achieving the highest overall score at the Cougar Classic in Dublin Saturday, claiming the Grand Champions title.

Franklin County has a long history of placing high in area competitions, but the awards and cheering at Friday night football games that we see are just part of all of the hard work behind the scenes. Cheerleaders are true athletes.

"We literally practice [our routine] six days a week," coach Marsha Lopez said, adding that hours are spent going over videos and perfecting the choreography. "Many of the team members put in extra time going to tumbling, stretching at home, just to advance their skills."

You'll also find Eagle Cheerleaders at working hard at community events throughout the year, including Relay for Life and the Retail Merchant's Christmas Parade in Rocky Mount.

"It's extremely exciting to win awards at competition... the atmosphere there is already so electric," Lopez said. "It just shows that all of our hard work is paying off."

Behind a great team is a great community. 

"We'd really like to thank our FCHS Cheerleading Boosters, the school, the student body, and our friends and family for the support," Lopez said. "Everything they do from making cards to providing snacks to paying for our competition entry fees and coming to competition to cheer us on means so much to us."