Send announcements to the Alexandria Gazette Packet, by e-mail to, by fax to 703-917-0991 or by mail to 1604 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Deadline is Friday at noon for the following week’s paper. Photos are encouraged. Call Rebecca Halik at 703-917-6407 with questions.

Kindergarten Readiness for Preschool Parents – a presentation and question/answer session will be presented on Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Queen of Apostles Catholic School library. All parents of preschoolers are invited to attend. For more information call 703-354-0714 or visit

The Westminster-George Mason Tutoring Program needs tutors and substitute tutors to work one-on-one with elementary school children who need extra help. Tutoring takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school from 2:35-3:35 p.m. in the library at George Mason Elementary School. Tutors are asked to make a commitment of one hour per week from October through May, excepting school holidays and snow days. Substitute tutors are also needed to be available once or twice a month to fill in for weekly tutors. Contact Kathy Hart at 703-706-4470 or to learn more.

A new Online Career Center, school-based community college career coach and community college outreach counselor are helping Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) students plan for life after high school. An Online Career Center created for ACPS students includes sections related to career exploration, researching occupations and colleges, job search skills, employment Web sites and more. The site also features a section for employers, parents and community members who are looking for opportunities to become involved with the schools. The Online Career Center can be found at: For more information about Career Center-related opportunities at T.C. Williams, contact the school at 703-824-6800.

The Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) Special Education Parent Resource Center is presenting three upcoming events featuring topics of interest to parents of special education students. To register for any of these events, call Anne Lipnick at 703-706-4552 or email

* A support group for parents of children with autism spectrum disorders will meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30, at the Special Education Parent Resource Center at Jefferson-Houston School for Arts and Academics, 1501 Cameron St., Alexandria. Enter through door No. 4 on Cameron Street. Autism Resource Specialists Deborah Hammer and Sarah DiGioia will present ÒA Sense of Calm,Ó focusing on increasing the understanding of autism spectrum sensory issues and learning calming strategies to use at home. Light refreshments and free babysitting (available by advance RSVP) will be provided.

Francis C. Hammond Middle School is seeking vendors to sell crafts and other products at the school’s Holiday Bazaar, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, in the Hammond cafeteria, 4646 Seminary Road, Alexandria. The cost to vend is $35 for one 60-inch-by-30-inch table. Vendors may share a table. Table fees benefit after-school clubs, and all sales profits go to the vendor. The application deadline is Nov. 29. For more information, contact Leslie Ridley at 703-461-4109 at Hammond, or by e-mail at

Brian Story of Alexandria, has been awarded membership into the Virginia Tech chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH). Story is a sophomore majoring in chemistry in the College of Science.

The Curriculum and Instruction Committee of the Alexandria City School Board nvites the community to a presentation on "High School Smaller Learning Communities" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, in the T.C. Williams High School Cafeteria, 3330 King St., Alexandria. T.C. Williams Principal Mel Riddile and other Alexandria City Public Schools staff members will talk about smaller learning communities, which are included in the academic plan for the new T.C. Williams, opening in September 2007. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. No reservations are required for

the free event. For more information, contact the Office of Information and Outreach at 703-824-6635.

Give the gift of literacy this holiday season, by getting involved as a volunteer. The "Wright to Read" program, which is funded by the Frank and Betty Wright Foundation and administered by The Campagna Center, is always looking for individuals who wish to make a difference in a child’s life. Through its three programs, Tutor/Mentors; Book Buddies and Reach Out and Read, the Wright to Read program matches dedicated volunteers with first-fifth grade students, referred by their teachers as needing help with reading.

Volunteers meet one-on-one, for a minimum of an hour per week, at a time that’s convenient for them. Initial and ongoing training is provided. For more information and upcoming orientation dates, call Ginny Biggs at 703-549-0111, ext. 142.

George Washington Middle School is partnering with Barnes & Noble, Potomac Yards, for a benefit book sale on Dec. 8, 9 and 10, just in time for holiday shopping. Present a free voucher, available at the store by request, or in advance from the school's Web page at, and the store will donate a portion of the sale to the school. Vouchers are valid during store hours, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. daily, from Friday, Dec. 8, through Sunday, Dec. 10. During the day on Saturday, Dec. 9, students will provide a variety of entertainment. A gift wrap table, set up from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, will benefit George Washington’s music programs. The store is at 3651 Jefferson Davis Highway, Alexandria. For more information about the event, contact George Washington Librarian Gertrude Sherman at 703-706-4500 or call the store at 703-299-9124.