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Poetry Club

In April, Nottingham librarian Nicole Gustafson treated third graders to a special library poetry picnic. Green checkered tablecloths anchored six activity stations and third graders immersed themselves in different forms of poetry. On the menu: building a poem with Jenga blocks, listening to poetry read by famous authors, shaping bananagram poems, reading origami themed poems to classmates then trying to fold an origami dog, writing list poems and haiku. It’s sensory learning at its best.


On April 13, the public was invited to the Gunston Film and Art Showcase located in a boutique at the Clarendon Market Commons. Students of Journalism teacher Harry Costner and art teacher Pete Fitzgerald displayed their award-winning artwork and presented a screening of several films that were produced during the school year, most notably the National Scholastic Art & Writing Award Gold Key winning film “The Bracelet” by Lina Barclay.


laugh moreThis week, all three high schools participated in Stress Less, Laugh More activities. The idea is to help students cut stress by participating in fun activities.


Learning about germsEve Rutzen’s kindergarten class at Glebe was curious about how germs spread. They tested things in their classroom and then expanded their research to areas around the school. They used a gelatin solution to grow the germs and found tons of germs almost everywhere! They used a control as well and tested many surfaces such as locker handles, water fountains, hallway floors, railings, door handles, SmartBoard pens, a toilet seat, tables, cellphones and so much more. The cleanest place was the toilet seat and the dirtiest was the floor! These young scientists had a lot of fun testing for germs and seeing the outcome. They had the chance to present their findings to Kerm Towler, Assistant Manager of Plant Operations, and Jimmy Sterns, an APS Quality Control Specialist. Not only did they report their results, but they suggested ways we could help reduce the number of germs that are spread, and performed an original song to the tune of “Rain, Rain Go Away” that went like this: Germs, germs go away; We don’t want you any day; We all want to go out and play; Germs, germs GO AWAY.


Between Feb. 20 and March 9, the League of Women Voters and Inspire Virginia visited 38 senior government classes to register eligible students to vote, and visited eight 10th grade IB classes to discuss the importance of voting and registering to vote. Over 35 League volunteers, two Inspire Virginia staff and over 10 Inspire-trained students participated. During the classroom visits, 356 students were registered. That is 20% more than the number registered during the class visits in 2017. Including the fall registration drive, a grand total of 383 students registered, and 33 Pledge to Vote and 170 Pledge to Register cards were collected. All of the volunteers from the League of Women Voters were impressed with the students’ interest in and knowledge of the importance of voting, and the students’ interest in making our democratic institutions work for them.


H-B StudentsSeventeen H-B Woodlawn Secondary students and their teacher Travis Reyes visited Abingdon this week as part of their community outreach project. They spent time reading and writing with kindergartners and helping fifth graders with their Ancient Egypt research project. Their presence was inspiring to Abingdon students, as the younger kids loved learning from the big kids!


This year, Drew students represented the Republic of France at the Model UN. They researched, submitted papers, and presented a speech on various topics. During the event, students listened, debated, and presented their resolutions. Model United Nations provides opportunities for students to role-play as delegates and simulate UN committees.


Project EmpowerProject Empower is an after-school mentoring and leadership group Taylor. They’ve met six times in March and April. It is run by SRO Tiffanie Hegerty and counselor Rachel Lampert. Many other female police officers from Arlington attend the sessions and help to run the group. Each week they focused on a different topic, including self-esteem, healthy relationships, community service and more. On April 12, students volunteered at AFAC (Arlington Food Assistance Center) to learn about their center and helped to bag food for our neighbors in Arlington.


McKinley community member Paul D’Addario visited with fifth graders for the school’s Disability Awareness Read-In. D’Addario spoke to the fifth graders about his experiences being visually impaired. He emphasized to the students that when they come across someone they think might need help, they should ASK and then LISTEN. The discussion centered around the fact that everyone has challenges, and it is how you handle and solve those challenges that matters.


graphic novelist vistis GunstonGraphic novelist Victoria Jamieson visited all TAB students at Gunston on April 5. She spoke to 250 students about her own middle school experiences and how she created her two graphic novels: Roller Girl and All’s Faire in Middle School. In addition, Jamieson demonstrated drawing techniques and answered students questions.


Phoenix BikesPhoenix Bikes partners with Wakefield HILT students to teach bicycle maintenance and safety. The students participate in a program in which they learn how to take bikes apart, reassemble them, keep the bikes in good shape, and ride them safely. At the end of the program, students keep the bicycle they make, and Phoenix Bikes provides a helmet, lock and light.  While the students are learning about the bicycles, they also learn to work as a part of the team to acquire English in a useful context.