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School’s Picnic Brings Family Fun

London Towne welcomes students and parents.

Enjoying London Towne Elementary’s picnic are mom Emily Horning and sons (from left) William, 7, and Dimitri, 9.

Enjoying London Towne Elementary’s picnic are mom Emily Horning and sons (from left) William, 7, and Dimitri, 9. Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.

Students at London Towne Elementary eased back into the school year with a back-to-school picnic. The family-friendly event was held the evening of Aug. 29 on the school playground.

Among those attending were Emily Horning and sons William and Dimitri, in third and fourth grades, respectively. “We met William’s teacher and she was really nice,” said Horning. “London Towne is family-oriented, always coming up with new activities for the families to do. I’m amazed at how hard the teachers work. Even at this picnic, they were grilling hot dogs.”

William attends London Towne and Dimitri’s in the advanced academic program at Bull Run Elementary, but both boys like math best and looked forward to making new friends at school.

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London Towne first-grader C.J. Green and mom Deanna Green at the swings.

London Towne fourth-grader Isabella Diaz was excited to be in her school’s Spanish Immersion program with teachers Dana Moury and Tamara Miranda. Among her goals this year are “to not fail my SOLs, get better at reading and start reading more chapter books, get good grades, meet new friends, learn a lot and improve my Spanish a little.”

Isabella’s favorite subject is social studies. “I topped it on my SOLs,” she said. “I like learning about the past and ancient cultures.” As for the picnic, she said, “The food was good and I had fun playing tag with my friends.”

Her mom, Rocio Pastrana, was pleased that school was starting again. “I’m excited about it,” she said. “Fourth grade will be a fun and challenging year for Isabella.”

Deanna Green was there with 6-year-old son C.J., a first-grader in the Spanish Immersion program. She was a bit anxious about the start of school, she said, because “It’s a new school for him; he went to a small Montessori school before and this is bigger. He’ll have to get used to it, so I’m hoping he’ll do OK. Summer was fun, but I’m ready for him to go back to school.”

C.J. was ready, too. “I like school because we get to learn new things every day,” he said. “And I really like math and music.”

Also enjoying the picnic were moms Lilia Charcas and Maria Csernecky, chatting together on a bench while watching their children on the playground. Charcas’s son Facundo is a fourth-grader in the Spanish Immersion program and she’s delighted about it.

“We’re so happy to have this program in our school and in our neighborhood,” she said. “It’s a very welcoming school; I’m happy with the families that come to London Towne. We also met the teachers tonight and got the welcome-back paperwork and forms to fill out.”

However, added Charcas, “We used to have full [school] days on Mondays, a few years ago, but it was taken away because of budget cuts. That’s the only flaw I see with FCPS. We’d like to have it back.”

Csernecky has two children at London Towne, son Mateo in fourth grade and daughter Sasha in first grade. “The teachers are very friendly and like to communicate with you and let you know what’s going on,” she said.

“I think the picnic was awesome,” continued Csernecky. “You not only get to meet the teachers, but the parents, too. That way, you slowly get to know who they are so you can arrange play dates, too. It’s also great because the kids get to see their friends before their first day of school. And then, it’s easier for their teachers on the first day because the children are calmer.”