Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation grant to fund ROC’s play programming

The Rural Outreach Center (ROC), a nonprofit organization offering a wide variety of social services throughout the rural areas of southern Western New York, will receive a three-year grant of $395,400 from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to fund the organization’s play programming initiatives.

“The Rural Outreach Center utilizes play programming to address issues of childhood trauma,” said ROC Executive Director Frank Cerny. “This grant will enable us to increase personnel and program resources and significantly expand our efforts to meet the needs of the community we serve.

“We are incredibly thankful for the support of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and humbled by the generosity of their grant,” Dr. Cerny added. “It is also very gratifying that they appreciate our mission and join us in the support of play through a variety of unique and greatly needed programs.”

Play is an essential part of normal childhood development, allowing children to use their creativity while developing imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive and emotional strength. Play is also important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. Formal and informal structured and unstructured play is used at the ROC to help traumatized children deal with their traumas and provide some stability and normalcy in their lives.

Located at 730 Olean Road in East Aurora, the ROC’s mission is to assist, empower and elevate the impoverished rural populations in southern Erie County and surrounding areas. The organization’s staff and volunteers serve with compassion, empathy and respect for all people.  For children, the ROC’s goal is to break the cycle of multi-generational poverty by providing counseling, play therapy, educational opportunities and programs. For more information on the good work being done every day by the Rural Outreach Center, please call (716) 240-2220. You can also follow the organization on Facebook for frequent updates.

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