Mermaid Tales from Mermaid Hales

Mermaid Hales reads
Mermaid Hales reads to children at The Barry Robinson Center.

It’s not every day that a mermaid comes to visit the campus, but children at The Barry Robinson Center gathered around Mermaid Hales on Monday, September 11, for an undersea look at how they can help keep the environment clean.

Mermaid Hales travels throughout the Virginia Beach and Norfolk region, sharing stories written by Daniel R. Ford, a local children’s book author. The children enjoyed hearing her read, The Marlin and the Mermaid “Investigate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.”

Earlier in the summer, Ford visited the campus and read his first book, Marlin and the Mermaid “Help Save the Bay.” The rhyming book, targeting students in grades K-4, takes readers on a journey in the Chesapeake Bay to find the source of pollution in the water.

From the children’s response, it’s clear many of them appreciate the environment and know how they can help protect it. Mermaid Hales engaged the children in lively discussion about picking up trash and recycling.

“Our students were excited about the reading program,” said Julie Carey, assistant director of education. “Overall, they enjoyed the story and were very  engaged during the reduce, reuse and recycle discussion.”

While the children shared a healthy ocean-themed parfait created by The Center’s dietitian Paula Livernois especially for the event, Mermaid Hales read another story. The Brave Mermaid, written by her friend from Hawaii, Mermaid Kariel, taught important lessons about letting go of fears and sharing talents with others.

Bringing guests to campus to interact with residents is an important aspect of The Center’s education program. Enrichment activities such as guest readers give the children opportunities to learn and to reinforce listening and group participation skills.

Hurricane Irma Protocols

Dear BRC Families,

Impacts to VA, MD and Eastern NC will depend on the storm track, but at this time expected impacts from wind and rain remain limited. Minor tidal flooding is possible late this weekend increasing into early next week due to the long period east swell and easterly winds. Heaviest rain from Hurricane Irma will remain primarily along and east of the storm track. Rain chances increase from south to north Monday and persist through the evening and into Tuesday. Highest rainfall totals will be in the west and least in the northeast. Rain chances will persist through mid-week as Irma stalls, weakens and eventually turn east. Exact rainfall amounts and impacts continue to trend down, but could change with later forecasts.

General Protocols for Natural Disasters are as followed:

  • We want to share our plans for Storm preparation, as the safety of your child is our top priority.
  • We are receiving regular weather forecast updates and meeting daily to review preparation plans.
  • We have food, water, and supplies on hand for 3 days.
  • We have a backup generator in the case that we lose power. When power goes out, hospitals are given priority in terms of getting power back on.  We share the electric grid with the Sentara Hospital across the street, so our power is usually brought back up quickly.
  • We are having “drills” to prepare the children should we have to move them to higher ground.
  • In the event that water levels rise, we have plans to evacuate to the second level of the education and clinical buildings.
  • Plans include having activities and entertainment available for the children.
  • In the highly unlikely event that we have to evacuate the campus, we will follow the Norfolk Emergency Management Plan instructions about where to re-locate. We have made sure we have enough vehicles for transportation.
  • We have staff standing by prepared to come in. We have hotel rooms close by reserved for staff in case roads are closed.
  • We have staff that has been through storm events at RTCs in past years.
  • The storm may knock out our phones, or our phones may be extremely busy with parents calling in.
  • Know that your children will be protected and cared for as if they were our own, and we will update you as we can via our website.

Contact Information below. Refer to your dorm contact list to reach children and direct care staff.

Rob McCartney, Chief Executive Officer
Contact # 757-510-1227

Charlene Hoobler, Chief Operations Officer
Contact # 512-422-7095

Justin Hoover, Director of Operation
Contact # 757-362-8343