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Junior ROTC Supports UCM

Each month this school year, the Army Junior ROTC students at West Potomac High School volunteered their time on a Friday afternoon at the UCM Food Pantry to organize and bag the USDA commodities for UCM’s clients.

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International Night at Hybla Valley

Hybla Valley Elementary held an International Night on Thursday, April 3. Student-made decorations were used by the physical education, art and music teachers to transform the hallways into several Halls of Nations. Even the ceiling was lined with kites inspired by international cultures.

4-Year-Olds Learn About Entrepreneurship

“Camila’s Lemonade Stand” author visits Potomac Nursery School.

“If you could start your own business — any business you wanted, what would you choose?” asked teacher Barbara Haas to her class of 4-year-olds at Potomac Nursery School. The question prompted answers from the children of “I would have a business where I could take care of animals” to “I would want to make delicious food for people.” Some wanted to become home builders, doctors or fire-fighters; others wanted to become lawyers to help other people.

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Orange Hunt Elementary Math Night Transformed

Winter Olympics as theme of first STEM Night experience.

On March 20, Orange Hunt Elementary School revamped its former Math Night into a STEM Night that rocked the students and the community into an evening of learning and fun for the whole family. What began as a somewhat daunting endeavor, our new, small, STEM Planning Committee, which consisted of a half dozen science and math teachers and another half dozen of parent experts and scientists, planned an evening with over 20 hands-on experiments, activities and demonstrations aimed to educate students and community in the areas of Science, Technology, Math and Engineering.

Halley Teachers Honored For Inclusiveness

Joni Smith and Rebecca Bailey demonstrate the importance of inclusive preschool classrooms.

Research emphasizes that strong early learning programs dictate future academic success for all students. On March 25, at Green Acres Recreational Center on Main Street in Fairfax, Halley Elementary School teachers Rebecca Bailey and Joni Smith received the Exemplary Inclusive Practice Award from Fairfax County Preschool Division of Early Childhood Education. The honor recognized their efforts to provide their preschool students with a classroom environment that meets their unique academic needs and prepares them as respectful and empathetic citizens of diverse learning communities.

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School of the Arts Goes Blue

In support of Autism Awareness Month, Metropolitan School of the Arts is asking all of its studio students to "go blue" now through April 30. Students who wear blue during class, Monday through Friday in April, Metropolitan School of the Arts will donate $1 for each student that wears blue, per day. Go to for a full schedule of classes and registration.

Fairfax Arts Programs Receive Federal Grants

Seven local organizations involved in the arts and literature are receiving a total of $230,000 in federal grants from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11) said.

Their Last Act

Where can one find Malala Yousafzai, Blanche DuBois, Philip Wang, HUCCI and Dolly Parton on the same stage? They are all characters in Yorktown High School’s One-Person Shows, to be presented at Yorktown High School’s Black Box Theatre, on Thursday, April 24, from 6-9 p.m., Friday, April 25, from 4-9 p.m. and Saturday, April 26, from 1-10 p.m. Admission is free. The One-Person Shows are 30-minute productions written, staged, and acted by the senior Yorktown theatre students. The productions are a culminating project in the Yorktown Theatre Arts Program, requiring self-reflection, research, writing and rehearsal.

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Winning National Art Awards

Local student artists triumph.

March 2014 will be remembered by many for its late winter storms. In Arlington, that memory will be overshadowed by the successes of local high school students at the highest rungs in the National Scholastics Art Competition.

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Area Robotics Teams Compete at Patriot Center

Several NOVA teams win awards at FIRST Robotics Competition Greater D.C. Regional

Over 50 teams, including several from Fairfax County, spent the weekend at the two-day FIRST Robotics Competition Greater D.C. Regional, using their engineering and science skills to compete for a spot in the world championship.

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Special Education Graduates Could be Impacted by Possible Budget Cuts

Families will speak against these cuts at public hearing on April 10.

Lynn Ruiz’s daughter Lydia, who has Down syndrome, will be graduating from Fairfax County Public Schools this June. Ruiz, a Springfield resident, had originally planned for her daughter to participate in an employment program that helps students with special needs transition into adulthood.

Three New Members Join ACT for Alexandria’s Board

ACT for Alexandria, Alexandria’s community foundation, has added Lynnwood Campbell, David Frantz and Lori Murphy to its board of directors. Campbell, a retired federal worker, is a former member of the school board and presently serves a board role on a number of other Alexandria nonprofits including Senior Services of Alexandria, the Alexandria NAACP and the Alexandria Animal Welfare League. Campbell’s experience in business and accounting, both in the private and public sectors, will aid ACT in the business, accounting and audit arenas.

After-school Program Thrives at Gunston Elementary

Program includes stem components, helps students learn in safe environment.

There is a dull roar of talking and laughter emanating from the cafeteria at Gunston Elementary School, and it is not lunch time. Instead, the after-school program is about to get underway and students are chattering with each other as they find a seat at a cafeteria table. Ms. Ephraim, Gunston’s Guidance Counselor, calls the group to attention and explains that it is time to start working on their homework. Volunteers and other staff members hand out snacks as the kids start focusing on their work.

‘Goal Is to Spot Kids in Crisis’

Police, others take suicide prevention training.

Although there have been four recent incidents of teen suicides in Fairfax County, the Police Department has planned to offer Suicide Awareness and Intervention Training for its officers since October 2013.

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‘Luck, Be a Lady Tonight’

Paul VI presents ‘Guys and Dolls.’

Featuring a cast and crew of 90, Paul VI High presents one of Broadway’s most popular musicals ever, "Guys and Dolls." The school’s Cappies show will burst upon the stage Friday-Saturday, April 11-12, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 13, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $13, adults; $8, students and senior citizens, at, and $15 and $10, respectively, at the door. "The actors are creative and enthusiastic, and they really wanted to do ‘Guys and Dolls,’" said Director Katherine Miller. "They knew the songs were terrific, and this show has lots of roles for boys – and I’ve got lots of male actors this year. I’ve also got tremendous singers, comic actors and physical actors, all dedicated to this show."