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Week in Reston

DOGWOOD BACK in Session

After a month-long summer break, students at Dogwood Elementary School are back. The school, which has operated on a modified year-round schedule since 2002, opened its doors again on July 31. While six more Fairfax County schools operate on a similar schedule, most students in the county won’t return from summer break until Sept. 5.

It’s argued the year-round schedule helps students retain knowledge, requiring less review time when students transition from one grade to the next.

The school has struggled in recent years to meet the federally mandated adequate yearly progress among economically disadvantaged students and among students with limited English proficiency. About 57 percent of the student body receives free or reduced meals and 34 percent are enrolled in English Speakers of Other Languages.

RESTONIAN IN New Yorker

Longtime Reston resident Ralph Lee Smith has captured the attention of a national audience.

Smith, described as a “hero” by Liz Milner in her award-winning entry for a contest sponsored by Backfence.com, received mention in the New Yorker when an article quoted a portion of Milner’s essay that highlighted Smith’s life.

Not only was Smith’s music celebrated, but also his ability to play the mountain dulcimer, which according to Milner had been on the “verge of extinction.”

VOLUNTEER FOR Reston Triathlon

The Reston Triathlon is looking for volunteers to help with the event which this year will be Sunday, Sept. 10. Volunteers are needed for packet pick up on Saturday, Sept. 9; then on race day volunteers are needed for the swim course, transition areas at Lake Audubon boat ramp and South Lakes HS, post race food, run sentry, markings, bike marshal and finish line. For those who live on Lake Audubon, the event could use assistance from those with a small boat or a canoe.

A free Triathlon T-shirt and free food after the race are rewards for helping. E-mail restontri@aol.com or go to www.restontriathlon.org and follow the links for volunteers.

VOLUNTEER FOR ‘Works Sunday’

Works Sunday, an annual event sponsored by 15 faith communities in Reston and Herndon, will take place Aug. 20. Volunteers are needed for the event, which features 15 separate service projects and five donation opportunities.

This year’s event features two new projects: preparing and serving a hot meal at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter and cleaning kitchens at the Herndon Harbor House.

Perennial projects include a food collection drive at three local supermarkets for the Reston Interfaith food pantry, stuffing backpacks for needy schoolchildren, doing maintenance at several local Gabriel Homes group residences, making bag lunches for homeless people, holding worship services and luncheons at the Hunters Woods and Lake Anne Fellowship Houses, and providing musical programs at Sunrise/Reston and Cameron Glen Nursing Home.

In addition, Works Sunday is collecting used videos suitable for children and teenager who are patients at Reston Hospital, school supplies for children at the Herndon Neighborhood Resource Center, underwear and children’s clothes for Laurel Learning Center, gift certificates for the Fairfax County Abused Women’s Shelter, and a list of items for the Rucker Shelter. For more details, anyone interested can visit www.workssunday.org, or call Marilyn Silvey at 703-860-5141.