Dr. Joann Grayson Wins Award
By: Brett Seekford
Posted: September 18, 2014
The Voices for Virginia’s Children, a private organization that champions the needs of the state’s youth, has bestowed their annual “Carol S. Fox Making Kids Count” Award to a former member of James Madison University’s faculty. Every year, they issue the award to two people whose work they see as exemplary in improving the lives of kids.
Dr. Joann Grayson, a former psychology professor at JMU and a practicing clinical psychologist, was recognized for her work. Her career has been marked by numerous efforts to bolster the standing of children. She recently sat down with Bob Corso of WHSV News for an interview.
She described how she wrote a grant for eight different agencies to start eleven services with the aim of curbing child abuse, creating parenting classes to supplement their effort. While her professional life was marked by many successes, she has remained an ardent advocate for children even in retirement.
Since 1981, she has published the Virginia Child Protection Newsletter. The Virginia Department of Social Services provided a grant to fund the newsletter and they also dictate the topics that are covered in the publication. Dr. Grayson stated that the newsletter has covered over 100 different topics since its inception. In the November issue, she will discuss the link between domestic abuse, animal abuse, and child abuse.
To cap off a distinguished career, she has also founded a tutoring program that allies JMU students with at-risk youth to help them graduate from high school. She has partnered with the Department of Social Services and the McNulty Center to make this a reality. Students work two times a week at the homes of the parents and children to help them do better in school.
“Equipping children with a high school education is one of the best things we can do to assure a good future for them,” Dr. Grayson explained.