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The Subaru of America Foundation Supports Children’s After-School Program at WAA’s Emergency Shelter

PHILADELPHIA (February 11, 2013) – Women Against Abuse (WAA) received a $4,000 grant from the Subaru of America Foundation to support a trauma-informed After-School Program for young survivors of domestic violence residing in WAA’s emergency shelter.

WAA operates the only shelter in Philadelphia specifically for victims of domestic violence. Each year, the shelter provides safety and comprehensive supportive services to approximately 600 individuals. More than half of shelter residents are children, many of whom are at risk of falling behind in school and experiencing symptoms of trauma as a result of exposure to abuse in the home. Children exposed to domestic violence are also more likely to become a victim or perpetrator of intimate partner violence.

WAA’s After-School Program provides individual academic support, hands-on learning projects and therapeutic activities to help support school-aged children during their stay in shelter. The program incorporates project-based learning and afterschool program enrichment activities to strengthen children’s skills in reading, writing, numeracy and technology. The program also includes a strong behavioral health focus to help children cope with the impact of trauma. Behavioral health activities include creative arts and music therapy run by staff from Build-a-Bridge, as well as therapy groups run by WAA behavioral health staff and activities facilitated by children’s case managers. Build-a-Bridge is a non-profit organization that engages the transformative power of the arts to bring healing to children and families. WAA’s After-School Program serves approximately 45 children each year.

“Support from the Subaru of America Foundation means children can access education and behavioral health services that help them heal during their stay in shelter,” said Executive Director Jeannine L. Lisitski. “For many children we see, the individual support and nurturing environment of the After-School Program means that children have a real opportunity to move beyond trauma during this time of enormous transition. It makes an incredible difference.”

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