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Andrea Worker

Stories by Andrea

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Teaching Empathy at Floris

Floris students complete 8-week young philanthropists workshop.

At 8:15 a.m. on a drizzly Thursday morning, fifteen youngsters from the fourth, fifth and sixth grades at Floris Elementary School in Herndon gathered in the school’s “Little Theater” to receive certificates for the successful completion of their 8-week Touching Heart (TH) young philanthropists workshop.

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Reston Ready for Season of Giving

Where to give, how to help in Reston area.

“I do everything early,” says Phyllis K. of Reston. Phyllis prefers to remain anonymous because “it’s not about blowing your own horn. It’s about helping others.”

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Herndon All Heart for Season of Giving

Where to give, how to help in Herndon area?

Last year in this special “season of giving section” we introduced you to “Arleta,” a Herndon mother of 8-year-old twins who had lost her husband to cancer earlier in the year.

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CyberPatriots Meet FireEye Experts

Most school field trips take in a museum, maybe a visit to a historic house or possibly a kid-centric performance of some kind.

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Transportation Strategy Update Launched

NVTA launches work on a six-year TransAction program.

Members of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) chose an appropriate location to announce the launch of the organization’s TransAction update efforts last week.

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Transportation Strategy Update Launched

Northern Virginia Transportation Authority launches work on a six-year TransAction program.

Members of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) chose an appropriate location to announce the launch of the organization’s TransAction update efforts last week.

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Vienna: Discussing the ‘Worst Freeway in America’

Residents talk I-66 with VDOT reps At Vienna Mayor’s Meeting.

Since the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)’s last large-scale public presentation of its plans to improve the I-66 corridor from Gainesville to the Beltway, that major commuter artery has won the dubious distinction of first place on the “Worst Damn Freeways in America” list.

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Reston Author Shares New Book

“Dawn kisses the grasslands of the savanna. A lion roars. Long vocal cords vibrate in his throat – back and forth, back and forth.

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Holiday Happenings in Herndon

What to do, where to shop in Herndon this holiday season?

Next-door neighbors Carmen Rodriguez, 9, and Alyson Peralta, 8, are ready for the holidays. Carmen is excited that her cousins from Texas will be joining the Herndon branch of the family for Thanksgiving and best of all they will be here in time for one of Carmen’s favorite holiday events – the annual 5k Turkey Trot, on Saturday, Nov. 21, starting at 4 p.m.

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In Reston, Neighbors in Need Offered Assistance

Resurrection Baptist Church of Reston hosts community outreach event to help homeless.

While others might have been gearing up to take the kids out trick or treating, preparing for the costumed hordes to descend on their homes, or even putting finishing touches on their own disguises, dozens of volunteers were spending their Halloween afternoon at the Reston Community Center (RCC) Hunters Woods, manning the “Stand Up for Our Homeless Community” event, hosted by Resurrection Baptist Church (RBC) of Reston’s Missionary Department.

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Democrats Claim Victories in Local Elections

But General Assembly stays in the red column.

“We didn’t win the war tonight, but we did come out ahead in some of the important local battles, and that’s a good start.”

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First-hand Lesson on Holocaust in Fairfax

Expressions of the Holocaust: GMU group gathers survivors to share memories.

“On the seventy-seventh anniversary of when supposedly civilized nations lost their collective minds, we are here to learn the lesson – first hand - of what can happen when people just stand by and do nothing.”

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‘Preferred Alternative’ Unveiled at Oakton High School

VDOT presents Plan for I-66 Outside the Beltway Transformation.

Susan Shaw, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Megaprojects director, described the presentation of plans for the transformation of I-66 outside the Beltway as the “pencils down” version of the project.

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Reston Regional Library Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Anybody remember that old ditty “It’s the latest, it’s the greatest, it’s the Library”? Well there must be a few who still relate to that sentiment, because despite rather soggy weather conditions, hundreds turned out on Saturday, Oct. 3, to kick off the month-long celebration of the Reston Regional Library’s (RRL) 30th Anniversary.

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BrightView Great Falls Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

“When you live in a retirement or assisted living community, every birthday is a reason to celebrate – so why not give three cheers to the place itself!” quipped one resident (who decided to remain nameless) of the BrightView Senior Living community in Great Falls, speaking at the facility’s one year anniversary bash

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Elected Officials Discuss Ways to Support Fairfax County’s Residents in Need

“We can’t do enough to spread the word that in the midst of affluent Fairfax County there is another, ‘hidden Fairfax’ that needs our urgent attention.” T

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DockDogs Demonstration Highlights Lake Anne Pet Event

PetMAC Marketplace and Adoption Center in Lake Anne Plaza, Reston, hosted another Pet Event on Saturday, Sept. 12.

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Herndon Celebrates National Night Out

Neither intermittent downpours, nor recent confrontations that have sparked tensions and even violence between communities and law enforcement nationwide seemed to dampen the positive spirits of the hundreds of diverse Herndon residents who participated in the town’s August 5 National Night Out events

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PetMAC Opens at Lake Anne with a Splash

Pet marketplace and adoption center comes to the Reston area.

Although Cindy Williams actually opened the doors to PetMAC, her pet supply and adoption center located in Reston’s Lake Anne, in January of this year, the official grand opening was only recently celebrated - and done so in style.

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Nysmith ‘Know Brainers’ Keep on Competing

Eighth graders take “You Be the Chemist” and Odyssey of the Mind challenges.

The school year is coming to a close – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for the students at the Nysmith School in Herndon to squeeze in a few more competitions and maybe a trophy or two before that last bell rings.

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Transportation Forum Discusses Options and Obstacles

High Level forum discusses regional transit options and obstacles.

Local, state and federal elected and appointed officials, business leaders, researchers and directors and staff from transportation and economic development agencies gathered on Friday morning, May 8, at the Greensboro Conference Center in he heart of Tysons.

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Reston’s ‘Tropical Resort’

Young swimmers enjoy a tropical environment at Goldfish Swim School.

The story behind the Goldfish Swim School in Reston might sound like a bit of a fish tale, but there’s plenty of evidence to prove otherwise.

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Wheeling Their Way to School

Lake Anne Elementary students join International Bike to School Day.

Melissa Romano, mother of two students at Lake Anne Elementary School in Reston and one at Forest Edge, has been coordinating a monthly “bike to school” for about two years, but even she admitted that she had to up her game to organize Lake Anne’s participation in this year’s International Bike To School Day.

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‘Hamlet’ Comes to Lake Anne Park

Local theater company presents its debut production on May 16-17.

“To be or not to be. That is the question.” Thanks for that, Shakespeare, but in this case the question has already been answered. The young co-founders of Any Stage Theater Company declared that “Hamlet,” the debut production from their new theatrical outfit, will take place at Lake Anne Park, 11301 North Shore Drive, in Reston, rain or shine.

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Rachel Carson Middle School Wins ‘We The People’ Nationals

Herndon middle schoolers crowned national champions.

They did it! In February, The Connection reported that the students of Cynthia Burgett’s special Civics class at Rachel Carson Middle School in Herndon had won the State Championship of the “We The People Competition” and were determined to bring home the gold at the National Invitationals.

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Local Nonprofit Group Presents 'Perils of the College Drinking Culture' Program

The final quarter of the 2014-2015 school year has arrived. For thousands of area high school seniors that means time to say farewells to friends, teachers, and the familiarity of the routines and activities of the past four years. For many of them, it also means time to prepare for that first year of college, and possibly their first time away from home and daily parental guidance.

Outlook Optimistic for Local 2015 Real Estate Market

After what seemed to be an endless winter, spring has finally come calling, signaling the start of the year’s first real estate high season. Homes trade hands all year long, but spring is often for buyers, seller, agents, brokers and lenders like those weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas; buyers at full speed searching out the best bargains and sellers looking to move their wares without having to resort to price-slashing sales tactics.

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‘Your Life Is Today and Tomorrow’

Residents of local senior living communities share their experiences.

“I didn’t want to come here,” said Bill Woessner, referring to Brightview Assisted Living Community in Great Falls. “That’s right,” agreed Sheila, his wife of more than 50 years, with plenty of her native Scottish brogue to be heard in her voice. “He really didn’t. We have a lovely house here in Great Falls and I don’t think he was ready to budge. But how long after we got here did that change?” she turned to her husband and asked. “At least a day,” he laughingly replied. “Seriously,” said Bill Woessner, “it probably wasn’t more than the first 48 hours.”

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Centreville/Chantilly: Housing Expo Draws Crowds

Home-ownership, rental opportunities and related services dominate event.

“Those most in need of these services and resources benefit the most when we can bring so many providers and organizations together in this one-stop shop format.” In that one sentence, Laura Nickle, owner of Communi-k, Inc. and the organizer – for the fourth time – of the Northern Virginia Housing Expo, summed up the event being held at Herndon High School on Saturday, March 21. “There is still a great need for affordable housing throughout our entire region,” she added, “and this is a great partnership of related services that can bring the information and assistance to the largest audience.”

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Virginia Housing Expo Draws Crowds

Home-ownership, rental opportunities and related services dominate the event at Herndon High.

“Those most in need of these services and resources benefit the most when we can bring so many providers and organizations together in this one-stop shop format.”

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I-66 Inside the Beltway Plans

Officials present transformation plans for the eastbound section from I-495 to Route 29 in Rosslyn.

Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne headlined the “I-66 Inside the Beltway Transformation Project Kick-Off” briefing on Thursday, March 12 at the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Northern Virginia District office.

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Special Guests Highlight Great Falls Citizens Meeting

Local Boy Scouts meet State Sen. Favola, Del. Murphy.

The monthly Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA) meeting offered several special guests on the agenda for the March program, both as speakers and as attendees. Nearly one side of the meeting hall was taken up by Great Falls Boy Scout Troop 673. Scout Master Glenn Prickett explained the scouts’ presence at the school night event.

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Leadership Fairfax Hosts Supervisors Breakfast

State of the County Address, supervisors’ questions and an award ceremony top the agenda.

The agenda and the speakers have to be of significant interest to get some 300 people to brave local traffic and attend a meeting that started at 7:30 a.m. Leadership Fairfax (LFI) apparently succeeded in offering both in the ballroom of the Fairview Park Marriott on Friday morning, March 13, hosting its 24th Annual Board of Supervisors Breakfast.

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Promoting STEM, Hands-on

Sen. Tim Kaine and Virginia Secretary of Education Holton headline K-12 STEM Symposium at the Nysmith School in Herndon.

With Fairfax County police officers directing the line of cars and the pedestrians crossing EDS Drive from the overflow parking lot, you would be forgiven if you thought all this activity was because of a sold out rock concert or championship sporting event. What was taking place, however, was much more important than any type of entertainment.

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People and Pets Love Stories

t’s that time of year again! Nope, not a holiday - although perhaps it should be! It’s that anticipated edition when the Connection Newspapers celebrate the furry, or finned or feathered or scaled or clawed creatures that make themselves a cherished part of the family. Although Reston and Herndon probably number as many pets as people in their populations, sadly we’ve only got room to introduce you to a few – so here we go!

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Competing for ‘We the People’ Title in Herndon

Rachel Carson Middle School takes aim at national title.

Rachel Carson Middle School in Herndon has every reason to be proud. For the second year in a row, History and Social Studies teacher Cynthia Burgett’s special Civics class took home first place in the “We The People Competition” (WTP) at the state level and have their eyes on the big prize at the WTP National Invitationals Title round to be held on the campus of George Mason University between April 17-20.

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Super-Insulation Talk Attracts Homeowners in Reston

How to lower electric, gas and water bills?

The Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center at Lake Anne in Reston was the venue for a well-attended presentation by Rich and Marian Taschler on proper home insulation and its mostly unknown benefits. The program was offered under the auspices of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at George Mason University.

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Woodson High School Inducts 2014-2015 Hall of Fame Athletes

W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax welcomed eight new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 7 at the Grand Atrium Banquet Venue in Tysons Corner. This is the third Hall of Fame “class” for Woodson. The honors program was established in conjunction with the school’s 50th anniversary in 2012.

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I-66 Improvements Draw Crowd in Oakton

Public Information Meeting held at Oakton High.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) in partnership with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) recently held several informational meetings on the “I-66 Outside the Beltway Improvements Project” to give the public the opportunity to better visualize its scope and ask questions of the people really in the know. One of these meetings was held at Oakton High School on Feb. 3 and drew a crowd of several hundred to the school cafeteria to learn more about the project that covers a 25 mile path from the 495 Beltway to Route 15 in Haymarket.

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Nysmith School Students Tackle Cybersecurity in Nationwide Competition

The security of the internet is a hot topic in the news these days – think hacks into retail credit card data, student identification and information, personal correspondence a la Sony, and even more worrisome, infiltrations like the recent “CyberCaliphate” hacking into the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the U.S. Central Command. With

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Herndon Author Writes New Book on Sports Training for Young Athletes

According to Wendy LeBolt, Ph.D., in her new book “Fit 2 Finish – Keeping Your Soccer Players in the Game” the cycle of success boils down to “Develop – Balance – Observe – and repeat” to keep our young athletes fit and on the field, and taking their sport as far as their interest and skill can take them. Herndon resident LeBolt has some real skin in the game of soccer – literally.

PenFed Realty Joins Forces With Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Both companies have demonstrated the ability to achieve impressive growth goals.

It wouldn’t be stretching the truth to describe this partnership as a potential match made in heaven. On Dec. 4 the press releases went out, announcing that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, part of the HSF Affiliates LLC family of real estate brokerage franchise networks, was officially welcoming regional powerhouse Prudential PenFed Realty into the fold, where it will now operate as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty.

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Pakistani Ambassador Keynotes Interfaith Event

Local organization seeks to promote religious harmony and cooperation throughout the world.

A Hindu, a Presbyterian, and a non-denominational Christian were sitting at a table listening to a speech by Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States... The occasion was a fundraiser for Reach Out International (ROI), a nonprofit interfaith organization founded by Restonian Sam Mall.

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Season of Giving to Help Neighbors in Need

Communities come together to support neighbors in need in Reston, Herndon area.

2014 hasn’t been a good year for “Arleta” (name has been changed for anonymity) of Herndon. It started off with the loss of her husband to cancer, leaving her the single parent of twin 8-year-old boys.

Vienna Travel Club Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Shillelaghs Travel Club of Vienna celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a gala luncheon at The Westwood Country Club that was attended by more than 175 members, vendors and guests. The atmosphere was “family reunion.”

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Ready for Winter Skating Fun at Reston Town Center

Meteorologists around our region have been gleefully talking about the earlier-than-normal return of Polar Vortex-like weather for weeks, but the forecast for the Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion this past weekend was appropriately chilly, with brilliant blue skies overhead, holiday decorations all round, and buckets of fun on the ice.

Writing a Novel in 30 Days

Hunters Woods fifth graders gear up for 2014 Young Writers Project.

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and for years the NaNoWriMo organization has put forth the challenge to write a novel in 30 days.

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Focus on Transportation

Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance presents regional priorities at 10th annual event.

“What You Need to Know about Transportation in Five Minutes or Less” was the working title of this year’s Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance (NVTA) seminar and reception held on Sept. 30 at Capital One’s auditorium in McLean.

Herndon Mom Chronicles Her Preemie Blessing

Michelle Stevens shares her family’s experiences in blog, book.

“We went to the NICU [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit] early that morning to learn how to mix Emily's high-calorie formula and administer her vitamins.

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Kids Sending Smiles Raise Funds for Local Charity

They’re at it again. Who’s at what? Those girls from Kids Sending Smiles (KSS) – that’s “who.” The “what” is yet another charitable mission completed by this band of energetic and socially conscious Springfield/Lorton area elementary students, who several years ago formed their own 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the goal of “bringing happiness to ourselves and others by helping those in need in the United States and around the world.”