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iSchool for the Future Comes to Great Falls

Programs involve Forestville Elementary, Great Falls Library.

iSchool for the Future demonstrated its unique STEAM SELTM approach to science education during Thursday’s 2014 Annual School Environmental Action Showcase, generating interest from students and politicians alike. The 2014 Annual School Environmental Action Showcase is sponsored by NoVA Outside and George Mason University and brings together schools, students, and environmental organizations from Northern Virginia to share ideas and share eco-projects. The event, held on Thursday, April 10 on the GMU campus, had over 44 schools and 520 students in 52 teams participating. Over 30 partner organizations were invited to lead hands-on science activities for students.

Exciting Week at Lake Anne Elementary

Lake Anne Elementary had an exciting week as several employees from the Smithsonian Zoo Migratory Bird Center came to the school to work with first and second graders. The ladies captured birds, held them, tagged them (while students watched) and then released them back into the wild. In addition, the students were taken down a trial and shown how to lift logs and leaves to locate possible food that the birds might eat off of (worms, snails, etc.).

Week in Herndon

Herndon-Reston FISH to Hold Annual Fundraising Event Herndon-Reston FISH, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicating to help families meet emergencies and short-term needs, will hold its 9th Annual Fish Fling Gala at the Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport Hotel on Saturday, April 26, from 6 to 11 p.m. This gala is FISH’s largest fundraising event to acquire the financial support for its Family Assistance Program. In 2013 FISH worked with over 1300 area families.

Immigration Fraud Alert

An imposter pretending to be an immigrations officer has targeted Herndon in the latest fraud to hit northern Virginia. The fraudulent immigration officer has called two residents over the weekend, threatening to deport them over information in their immigration papers unless they give them a large sum of money, according to the Herndon Police Department.

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Cycling for Change

More than 150 attend Ride to Provide in Reston Town Center.

More than 150 people gave up their Saturday morning last week to cycle for a cause. The fifth annual Ride To Provide, an event to raise money for youth programs and healing military veterans, drew in cyclists throughout the greater D.C. metro area thanks to the balmy weather and a chance to ride with Washington Redskins football players.

President of the National Grange to Speak at the Great Falls Day

Ed Luttrell, President of the National Grange, will speak at the Great Falls Day Opening Ceremony, May 4 at 1 p.m. Luttrell, a native of Sandy, Ore., was elected the 22nd President of the National Grange in November of 2007. A second generation Granger, he is the immediate past Leadership/Membership Development Director for the National Grange. Luttrell is a 4th generation Oregonian. He grew up on a small farm outside of Portland in Shoals, Ore. He is a graduate of Hillsboro High in Hillsboro, Ore. and spent time studying livestock management at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Ore. He has worked in agriculture, automotive services and publishing.

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United Way Awards Community Impact Grants

Fairfax/Falls Church nonprofits receive $338,662.

United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA) announced that it is awarding 21 grants totaling $338,662 to member organizations serving the Fairfax and Falls Church areas. The funds came through designations to the Fairfax/Falls Church Community Impact Fund in United Way NCA's annual workplace giving campaign. Each of the grants directly addresses programs that fall within United Way NCA's focus areas of education, financial stability and health.

Vienna Town Council Candidates Speak Out

Besides voting for mayor – and Councilwoman Laurie DiRocco is the only candidate – Vienna residents will choose three Town Council members in the May 6 election. All Council candidates except responded to The Connection’s questionnaire.

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Elton Kenneth Donaldson, 80, of Great Falls, Dies

Kenny Donaldson, age 80 and Great Falls resident for 52 years, lost his battle with lung cancer on Sunday, April 6. He was born and grew up in Falls Church, where he attended Falls Church High School. He excelled in many roles throughout his life. Following high school he joined the Navy and served three years aboard the USS Worcester during the Korean War. After serving his country he married Madolin, to whom he was a devoted husband for 58 years.

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McLean Project for the Arts Honors Lilla Richards

On April 17, McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) held a reception in honor of former Fairfax County Supervisor Lilla Richards on her 75th birthday for her work 25 years ago to find a permanent home for MPA at the McLean Community Center. With Richards’ help, McLean Project for the Arts, the McLean Community Center and Fairfax County entered into the first public/private partnership in the arts for Fairfax County. MPA, founded in 1962, moved seven times from one temporary residence to another. In 1987, leaders of MPA and the MCC began discussions with the county to bring MPA to the center. Lilla Richards was elected Supervisor in November 1987 and began immediately working with MPA to bring this project to fruition.

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Jude, Reporting for Duty

Herndon PD’s new bomb-sniffing dog a friendly workaholic.

Herndon Police Department’s newest officer is charismatic, ambitious and, well, a little furry. Jude, the department’s new explosive-detecting English Springer Spaniel, is a lovable pup who will be used to snuff out bomb threats in the town and beyond. The town acquired him in February after he received six weeks of training. His partner-in-law, HPD Officer Lee Trawick, was chosen to be his handler and had to receive six more weeks of training together. Both will have some type of training each month. “My training was to learn how to read him and handle him,” said Officer Trawick. Chief of Police Maggie DeBoard said there were many good candidates to handle the dog.

Going Into Lyrical Woods

NextStop Theatre Company presents ‘Into the Woods.’

There was a cheerful bustle taking place as NextStop Theatre company members were rehearsing Stephen Sondheim's striking musical "Into the Woods." Smooth voices were warming up as the keyboard began to bring musical life into the rehearsal hall. "Into the Woods" is a big 17-member cast production directed by Evan Hoffman, with a 10-piece orchestra and a score of nearly 30 numbers, under the musical direction of Elisa Rosman. The show continues NextStop's poised move into its first year as Northern Virginia's newest professional theater company. The cast includes top notch musical theater talent who have performed at Signature, Ford's, Keegan, Toby's and many others.

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Area Students Win Scholarships

MLK Cultural Foundation Dream Makers Gala raises money for students.

Fifteen northern Virginia students received scholarships to follow their dreams last week. The Martin Luther King Cultural Foundation Dream Makers Award Gala drew in hundreds of people to raise money and hand out college scholarships on Thursday. “It’s something like this that will make me go to work tomorrow and want to make the world a better place for our children,” said Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam during a speech.

Summer 2014 Farmers Market Session Opens This Saturday

The Great Falls Farmers Market summer season begins this Saturday as the summer vendors join those who have served our community all winter. Penn Farm and Diaz Berries & Veggies will be joining Tuscarora Organic Growers Coop and Tyson Farms to bring a wide array of vegetables and fruits. Tyson Farm is a good addition to our mix, as they have abundant fruit orchards, which will broaden our selection of fruit all summer.

Area Roundups

Entrants Sought for Anti-Alcohol Awards

A Vienna-based, alcohol-education group wants to honor local, high school groups for their efforts in fighting underage drinking. To recognize high-school students for “doing the right thing,” the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) will present its 2014 GEICO Student Awards at a May 16 ceremony in Washington, D.C., and is accepting applications for the honors through Monday, April 28, at Entry is free.