<lst>On Oct. 5, several schools participated in Walk to School Day activities. Several reporters from local television stations and newspapers attended the event at Randolph. Superintendent Dr. Robert G. Smith and school board member Mary Hynes were joined by County Board chair Jay Fisette at the school that morning. Hynes and Fisette were interviewed on "Wake Up Randolph" that morning. They each spent a few minutes telling students about the importance of walking to school.

On Wed., Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m., the Clarendon Barnes & Noble, 2800 Clarendon Blvd., will host, "Moving Words Student Poetry Reading." Students, parents, and community members are invited to attend. The following teachers have been working with their students who will read their poetry at the event: Jack Whalen, Christina Robles, Rosa Berrocal (Key), Suzanne Stork (Drew), Kathy Bates and Jane McCommons (McKinley), Melanie O’Brien (Swanson), Laurine Musto and Susan Hodgkins (Ashlawn), Jill Shull (Tuckahoe), Kathi Aagaard (Abingdon), Laura Cuorato and Judy Freeman (Kenmore), and Susan Matthews (Nottingham). Attending teachers will stand and be recognized at the ceremony. For more information about the event, contact Mary Eckstein at x6299.

Key students will participate in their annual Halloween Parade on the morning of Oct. 31. Students will follow a parade route winding through the Court House area, visiting 25 businesses and Arlington government buildings. The parade is coordinated by Key physical education teachers Kristy Bergmann and Michael Fava.

<lst>Two groups of Dutch school superintendents visited Arlington Traditional and Claremont on Oct. 4, to learn about education in the U.S. At Claremont, the educators were treated to "A Taste of the Netherlands’’ and at ATS they looked at the facilities available to Arlington students. On Oct. 3, a group of 30 Dutch superintendents met with Superintendent Robert G. Smith to discuss strategic planning and how it is incorporated into the annual budget. Claremont principal Cintia Johnson and ATS principal Holly Hawthorne hosted the visiting superintendents at their schools and explained the role of the school principal in the United States. At Claremont, the Dutch also met with a group of students and made a presentation on the Netherlands. At the end of the visit, the students learned some Dutch phrases and they taught the visitors some Spanish phrases. The Dutch were in the United States as part of a study visit put together by the Association of School Heads of the Netherlands. In addition to meeting with educators in Northern Virginia and DC, the group visited New York City. Earlier this month, a group of 10 teachers from Norway and 14 from DC visited Key to experience the Key two-way Spanish Immersion program. The same group visited Arlington Science Focus to learn more about American education.

On Sept. 22, 100 APS student leaders participated in the Office of Minority Achievement’s Second Bi-annual Black Student Leadership Conference at the Fairfax Campus of George Mason University. Young student leaders were asked to participate in all aspects of the leadership conference, from opening the program to handling the introduction of the speakers. Coordinators from each middle and high school selected students to engage with a highly motivational group called Destiny Outreach. Its co-founders and workshop presenters Milano Harden and Danita Patterson challenged the students to find and fulfill their goals and dreams. The student leaders were asked to complete a goal-oriented personal assessment online prior to the workshops and used the results from their surveys to discover strengths, weaknesses, and to develop both short- and long-term goals for their futures. The day’s activities were a hit with the young leaders and they remarked that they were looking forward to using the information gained to get their futures off to a powerful start. ?

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage month students across the county are participating in a variety of activites, some of which include:

*At Washington-Lee, a Hispanic Heritage Display in the main hallway includes artwork created by Hiromi Isobe’s Art One class, as well as Hispanic artifacts and books based on Latino issues. Earlier this month, the school’s Latin music dance team sponsored by Ricia Weiner, school psychologist, demonstrated and taught basic dance steps in the Little Theatre to students and staff who wanted to learn Salsa and Merengue. The Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), sponsored by Jennifer Zimmerman, baked cookies for the dance demonstration.Additionally, students had the opportunity to participate in a variety of related activities in the library during lunch throughout the month thanks to librarian Esperanza Sisneros. A Latin Lunch Jam music session was held on Oct. 13.

*On Sept. 22, Key students were treated to a day of Hispanic Heritage Month activites, including a performance from the Mamauca Hispanic Folklore dance troupe from Peru and a visit from author Monica Brown. The Mamauca Hispanic Folklore dance troupe of adults and children demonstrated dances representing different parts of Latin America. Key music teacher Fidél Córdoba coordinated the visit. Brown read from one of her book’s and led participants in Latin American dancing. Parents were also invited to attend the event. Brown specializes in bi-lingual children’s literature and recently received the Americas Award for Children’s Literature at the Library of Congress.

The Long Branch community has collected two carloads of pet and medical supplies that have been taken to "A Forever Home Rescue Foundation." The Foundation will distribute the supplies to Louisiana and Mississippi. The collection drive is being coordinated by social worker Mary Ellen Finn. Examples of items that have been collected include bowls, leashes and collars, food, litter, carriers, and latex gloves.

Other schools are continuing their efforts to raise money and supplies for the victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Some of these activities included:

*Barcroft students collected more than $1,100 for the American Red Cross through a penny drive.

*Glebe has collected over 50 boxes of food, diapers, water and toiletries. Principal Jamie Borg, with help from Glebe parent Bob Ridgeway, spearheaded the collection drive.

*H-B Woodlawn’s "Tuesday Society" is raising funds to take a group of seniors to the Gulf Coast states to help with cleanup and rebuilding. The group sponsored "Movies on the Green" to begin raising funds. In addition, when classes sponsor dances, they will collect donations for hurricane relief.

*Under the direction of Karen Darner, speech therapist, Randolph students filled 36 backpacks for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Twenty-four backpacks filled with school supplies, toiletries, personal notes and pictures were sent by truck on Sept. 30 to Ponchatoula, LA. Twelve additional backpacks will be sent to a school in Louisiana which Randolph PTA and Douglas Park Civic Association have adopted.

*Tuckahoe students have raised $2,022, $600 of which came from a parent. Students sold lemonade and cookies, donated their allowances and did extra chores to raise the money. Tuckahoe will make donations to both the Louisiana Schools Disaster Relief Fund and the Mississippi Hurricane Katrina School Relief Fund.

*The Good Fellowship Committee, comprised of Education Center and Annex Building employees, raised $1,215 during a Mardi Gras luncheon and auction on Sept. 29. Live auction items included a sail boat trip for two on the Chesapeake, an Army-Navy Country Club lunch for three, and a Dessert of the Month Club. Participants enjoyed BBQ and gumbo from King Street Blues, Mardi Gras beads and masks and homemade mud pies for dessert.

Northern Virginia Festival Chorus Concert. Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Schlesinger Center in Alexandria. The voices of the NOVA Community Chorus, the Annandale Chorale, and choirs from JEB Stuart, Falls Church and Edison High Schools will join in "Requiem" by John Rutter. The NOVA Community Chorus will perform selections from Mozart's "Requiem." For information, call 703-845-6026. The Schlesinger Center is on the Alexandria campus of the Northern Virginia Community College at Beauregard St. and Braddock Road; directions are on the Web at

On Oct. 1, the Randolph Players held their first meeting. The purpose of the group, which was created by music teacher Mary Lopez, is to work with families to improve their English skills through music and performance. Using comedy and focusing on common usage and idiomatic expressions, this group will stage their own play, act, sing, dance, practice computer skills and make a TV show using the Wake-Up Randolph broadcast studio. For their first meeting, they were entertained by Lopez as well as several professional entertainers and the after-school activities coordinator Bridget Kraft. After the show, the group toured the Kennedy Center. The next meeting will be on Oct. 22.

On Sept. 20, Nottingham third grade teacher Martha Stewart traveled to New York City where she was an audience member during a taping of Martha Stewart’s new daytime television show. Nottingham’s Martha Stewart was one of 164 women named Martha Stewart in the audience. A taped video clip of Nottingham’s Martha Stewart, along with her third graders, was aired as part of the show. The audience made the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest first and last name gathering with 164 Martha Stewarts.

Under the director of band director Ben Williams, the Yorktown marching band earned the top awards in its class for best percussion, best brass, best woodwinds, the first place/superior award. The band was also named a division champion. This is the fourth year in a row that Yorktown’s band has earned first place at this competition.

On Sept. 17, Drew, the Nauck Civic Association, and Drew Community Center collaborated to celebrate the 79th Nauck Civic and Community Pride Day. This year’s theme was "Unity." Activities included all day health screenings, a visit by Clifford the Big Red Dog, a car show, stage entertainment, and a basketball game between the Police Department and Drew Recreation. Drew’s teachers and staff volunteered their services during the day, including manning the moonbounce and operating the games for the kids that were provided by the Drew Model School Association. Dr. Jan Adkisson, principal, gave greetings to those in attendance from the staff. At the Drew table, books and gifts were given to the students. Vendors and tables included clothing, jewelry, and accessories, Arlington Emergency Preparedness, Arlington’s Sheriff Department, and various community service providers.

Career Center teachers Louise Vogel, language arts, and Dr. Ann Kennedy, reading specialist, gave two presentations at the South East Regional TESOL (Teachers of English as a Second Language) Conference on Sept. 23-24, in Myrtle Beach, SC. The presentations were titled "Putting the Means of Production in the Hands of the Students" and "Motivated Delayed Readers: What Works?"

ESOL/HILT Supervisor Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez has been appointed by the Arlington County Board to the Board of Directors of Northern Virginia Community College for a term ending Sept. 30, 2008.

Kris Martini, supervisor, Technology Education/Trade & Industrial Programs, has been elected president of the Virginia Technology Education Association.

Wakefield counselor, Amy Shilo, recently returned from two weeks in Biloxi-Gulfport, Mississippi, where she worked with evacuees in two shelters. Shilo was part of a group of 35 volunteer Red Cross crisis mental health therapists from across the country.

David Padmajerski of Arlington was awarded the Dean's Scholarship from Devry University.