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Camps & Schools

Marshall High School is one of 23 schools to receive Teacher Leadership Grants for the 2006-07 school year. Funding of $2.5 million for the project was approved by the Fairfax County School Board at its May 25 business meeting. By extending some teachers’ contracts so that they are paid to work additional days during the year, the grants will enable those teachers to focus on strategies that affect student achievement. At Marshall, the funds will be used to extend the number of contract days of all instructional staff members, including teachers, curriculum team leaders and administrators. Marshall staff members plan to study past and current data, refine skills in writing, create assessments, and plan interventions and enrichment to help students. Grants were also awarded to Thoreau Middle School and the Kilmer Center in Vienna.

Two Kilmer Middle School students have qualified to compete in the National History Day competition by placing first or second in the state competition, which was held last month in Williamsburg. The category was "Taking a Stand." Alexander Bellini took first place in Individual Documentary in the Junior category for his film, “Taking a Stand by Taking Flight: The Hot Air Balloons of the Civil War.” Hannah Rak took second place in Individual Paper in the Junior category for her paper, “Billie Jean King: Taking a Stand for Title IX.” The National History Day competition is scheduled to take place at the University of Maryland in June.

The Madison High School Band, directed by Michael Hackbarth, is one of 10 Fairfax County public high school bands designated as Virginia Honor Bands by the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association. Bands selected as Virginia Honor Bands are required to demonstrate success in the areas of concert and marching band performance. Honor Bands earned superior ratings at the association's State Marching Band Festival, as well as its district festival.

Yang Dai and Kun Liu of Louise Archer Elementary competed at the 2006 Burt Lerner National Elementary School Chess Championship in Denver, Colo., May 12-14. The championship drew 2,000 participants. Yang Dai, a sixth-grader, won five games and tied two in the National K-6 Championship Section. She tied for second place against a player with a rating of over 2000 and finished third in the tiebreak. Kun Liu, a fifth-grader, entered the tournament ranked at 61st out of 283 in the K-5 Championship Section. He won six of seven games and catapulted to a five-way tie for second place. He finished seventh after the tiebreak.

Alexander Tievsky of Oakton High School is one of seven Fairfax County Public Schools students named winners of college-sponsored scholarships by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Tievsky received a University of Chicago merit scholarship. College-sponsored merit scholarships provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. The final group of NMSC scholarship recipients from the class of 2006 will be named in July.

Club Phoenix Teen Center. Vienna Community Center features a big screen TV, jukebox and CD player, Dreamcast, pool and pingpong tables and more for Vienna-area middle-school students. Hours of operation are Monday-Thursday, 2:30-6:30 p.m. For more information, call 703-255-5721.

Reserve a place in history at Cunningham Park Elementary. Buy an Engraved Brick that will be placed in the courtyard to raise funds to improve the school grounds. Obtain order forms at the school office, or contact Paula Williams at 703 689-8928.

Traveling Players Ensemble is moving its outdoor theater camp to Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna. Traveling Players provides theatrical instruction as well as outdoor adventures. The partnership with Meadowlark Gardens provides space for the theater company's expansion. Traveling Players Ensemble Camp's four-week sessions consist of daily rehearsals of a classical play (Shakespeare and Moliere); weekly classes in stage combat, improvisation and theatrical design; low ropes coursework to build cooperation and communication skills; and training in Leave No Trace outdoor ethics. This is a day camp that features a campout every Thursday. Each session culminates in a backpacking trip to perform the shows, giving participants the experience of wandering entertainers who carry their dinner, their tent and their props in their pack. Traveling Players Ensemble has hired actor, director and teacher Henry Hoffman to direct their production of "Two Gentlemen of Verona" this summer, as part of the ensemble's theater camp. Hoffman was named as one of the top 20 teachers in the country by USA Today in 2001. Spaces are still available for interested students this summer, including the ensemble that will work with Hoffman. For ages 11-18. The camp runs June 19-July 14 and July 17-Aug. 11. Call 301-573-2521 or visit www.travelingplayers.org.

Pollination Celebration Camp. Campers 4–6 years old will don antennae and fasten on wings for a pollination celebration and explore pollination from a pollinator's perspective. Activities include planting a pollinator's paradise garden, examining the power of flowers on a hike to the Butterfly Garden and designing a pollinator costume. Parents are invited back on the last day of camp to participate in a Pollinator Parade and fruit cocktail party. Offered for the weeks of June 12-16 and July 3-7 at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-noon costs $260. Extended hours of 9 a.m.-3 p.m. cost $405. Because there is no camp July 4, the July 3-7 week costs $208 for regular hours and $324 for extended hours. Call Discovery Creek Children’s Museum at 202-337-5111 or visit discoverycreek.org.

Color Me Curious Camp. Campers ages 4-6 will take a close look at the colors and textures throughout the ecosystem as they explore the natural world through crafts, games and eye-opening activities. At the end of the week, campers will display their masterpieces with an art show for family and friends. Offered for the weeks of June 19-23 and July 10-14 at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-noon costs $260. Extended hours of 9 a.m.-3 p.m. cost $405. Call Discovery Creek Children’s Museum at 202-337-5111 or visit discoverycreek.org.

Sensational Senses Camp. Campers ages 4-6 will tickle their senses as they meet the box turtle (who can smell food from a mile away), hike Meadowlark's trails with their own bug boxes and play animal adaptation games. Campers will experience nature though engaging multi-sensory activities. Offered for the weeks of June 26-30 and July 17-21 at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-noon costs $260. Extended hours of 9 a.m.-3 p.m. cost $405. Call Discovery Creek Children’s Museum at 202-337-5111 or visit discoverycreek.org.

Wilderness Wizards Camp. Children ages 7–9 learn how to track and observe animals, improve navigation skills through map-making and compass work, and create the ultimate "leave-no-trace" campsite. Campers will take on wilderness challenges, develop a sense of environmental awareness and learn about the importance of conservation. At the end of the week campers will set up a campsite for an overnight of cooking out and stargazing and a fireside talent show. Offered for the weeks of July 24-28 and Aug. 7-11 at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost is $405. Call Discovery Creek Children’s Museum at 202-337-5111 or visit discoverycreek.org.

Choose Your Own Camp Adventure. Campers 7–9 years old will learn special survival skills to help them make the most out of the wild. They will explore the outdoors through hiking, canoeing and climbing. Each day campers will choose their own destination to gain more knowledge, see new sights and work with friends to write the story of the day's adventure. Offered for the weeks of July 31-Aug. 4 and Aug. 14-18 at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost is $405. Call Discovery Creek Children’s Museum at 202-337-5111 or visit discoverycreek.org.