Archive for Year: 2015
The Bread Lady Brings Smiles And Nourishment
The Bread Lady is a dedicated volunteer who knows how to reduce waste and help the hungry at the same time. As a supporter of 100WS grantee Loudoun Interfaith Relief (LIR), Vera Lewis gathers day-old bread from Food Lion and delivers it to her fellow residents at Madison House in Leesburg—and the rest to the food pantry. Along with the bread, which Vera knew the store would throw away, she brings a smile to the other volunteers at LIR.
One to the World Project Celebrates Community
The concept of community and community helpers are a big part of the LCPS kindergarten first-semester social science objectives, and t Evergreen Mill Elementary, kindergartners learned that ‘community’ can be your home, school, town, state or even country. Students in Jane Stockton’s class decided to help their community by making and donating 25 blankets to Mobile Hope as part of the One to the World project.
After School Program Offered for Children
December 9, 2015
100WomenStrong grant recipient INMED has been getting great publicity for its new Family and Youth Opportunity Center in Sterling that offers a safe place for children of low-income families to go after school to work on homework, get tutoring and learn from mentors. Working with schools and social services to identify families in need, INMED engages the entire family in programs like job skills training, parenting classes, cooking classes, summer school, after-school care and computer classes.
Loudoun County Launches New Homeless Prevention Program
December 4, 2014
Funded through Virginia’s Department of House and Community Development, the program will be administered locally by the Dept. of Family Service. If eligible, assistance includes help paying security deposits, utilities, and rental arrears. Read more.
Full Day Kindergarten Discussions
December 4, 2015 Loudoun Times-Mirror
At a recent meeting of state legislators, school leaders and students, discussion surrounded creating ways to build students’ competencies in critical thinking, communication, creativity and the ability to use those skills in society as a whole rather than focusing on teaching to a test. Across the state, legislators are hearing that school districts want to have more control over designing standards and accountability to help prepare students.
Fundraiser’s Success Not Trivial
December 1, 2015
The first-ever Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties (CF) Trivia Night was a resounding success! The brainchild of 100WS member and CF President Kirsten Langhorne raised money for local charities including past 100WS grant recipients All Ages Read Together, LAWS, HealthWorks and Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers, among others. A sizable contingent of 100WS joined the fun to test their knowledge of trivia while raising money for local charities and supporting the Community Foundation at this inaugural event!
Creating Homes For Vets
Virginia is the first in the nation to end homelessness for veterans. How did the state, which has the 7th largest veteran population in the country, achieve this benchmark? By using the Housing-First model, a policy that provides homeless people with safe, supportive shelter as a prerequisite for attending to other underlying issues. In the past year, Virginia has provided permanent housing to more than 1,400 homeless veterans. The benchmark also means that the state has the resources to take in any veterans who want housing in the future within 90 days. Housing-First is proving to be a cost efficient and humane way to end homelessness. Do you think it would make sense to extend this policy to nonveteran homeless people with the same focus in coming years?
A “Fine” Way To Reduce Hunger
A “Food for Fines” program is an innovative way to help hungry families in Lexington, Kentucky. For every 10 cans of food donated, $15 is taken off of parking tickets, and violators can donate to reduce multiple tickets and even past-due tickets. The city collected more than 6,200 cans last year, so it is expanding the program in an effort to support more area families.
Healthy Challenge Against Diabetes
November 11, 2015
Former 100WS grant recipient Healthworks for Northern Virginia is holding a Challenge Grant to provide diabetic testing supplies to patients with limited financial resources. Coinciding with the 75th Anniversary of American Diabetes Month, the Healthworks challenge is designed to raise awareness about the disease, which affects millions of Americans.
Fighting Absenteeism in Schools
November 4, 2015
Chronic absenteeism is a problem for many schools. Students who miss just two days a month will fall behind, which can eventually mean dropping out of school. One educator found combating chronic absenteeism, which can be a mix of truancy, illnesses and family problems, is easier when parents are involved in a child’s education.
Loudoun Interfaith Saving for the Future
December 3, 2015 Loudoun Times-Mirror
100WomenStrong grant recipient, Loudoun Interfaith Relief, has received rent abatement for its warehouse space on Miller Drive in exchange for the organization vacating the space in 2020 rather than 2023. LIR Executive Director Jennifer Montgomery thanked Loudoun Supervisors for the action and said it will allow the nonprofit to save money toward its future home.
Loudoun Therapeutic Riding at Morven Park for the Long Haul
October 30, 2015 Leesburg Today
Thanks to the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, former past 100WS grant recipient Loudoun Therapeutic Riding has the opportunity to stay at Morven Park in Leesburg for up to 90 more years and even build new facilities. LTR offers riding lessons to people aged 3 years and older to help with a wide variety of diagnoses, such as autism, cognitive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, and traumatic brain injuries. For more information on LTR, visit www.ltrf.org.
Real Food For Kids Held First ‘Food Day’ at Sully Elementary School
October 28, 2015 Loudoun Times Mirror
In an effort to bring more healthful food choices into school lunches and to address the link between physical activity, healthy eating and academic performance, Real Food for Kids partners with school nutrition services to create better food choices. At recent Food Day in Loudoun County, Sully Elementary students learned Zumba, watched a chef create a salad, and learned bike and helmet safety.
Windy Hill Coordinator Encouraging Self Sufficiency and Improvement
October 2015 Middleburg Times
The Windy Hill Family Programs Coordinator is focused on helping community residents, especially students, learn self-sufficiency and the value of effort. Thomas Garnett, who moved to the United States from Liberia, is working hard to develop strong educational programs for students who live there as well as creating a “family” environment for residents. Learn more about Garnett and his programs here.
Early Intervention for Food Insecure Children
October 23 2015
Children in food insecure households get sick more often, recover more slowly from illness, have poorer overall health and are hospitalized more frequently. Pediatricians will start asking questions such as: “Within the past 12 months, the food we bought didn’t last, and we didn’t have money to get more. Yes or No?” to identify and help those who are potentially struggling with malnutrition. Read the full article.
Crisis Intervention Team Created
More than 1700 people suffering a behavioral crisis have been assisted by Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies in recent years. The new Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Assessment Center increases immediate access to crisis psychiatric evaluations and minimizes the time law enforcement is pulled from community policing duties.
100WomenStrong Member a Power Achiever
October 12, 2015
Congratulations to 100WS member Kristina Bouweiri for being a Washington-area “Power 100”! This group of connectors are executives who seem to know everyone in the region and make things happen, according to the Washington Business Journal. Bouweiri, who owns Reston Limousine and started Sterling Women definitely fits the bill!
Boots, Beer, and BBQ Fundraiser
Get ready to do some “boot scootin’” at the Loudoun Free Clinic’s 4th Annual Boots, Beer & BBQ Fundraiser on November 20. The event will be held at the Stables at Bluemont Vineyard and include great food, beer, a silent auction, live music and a Best Boots contest! Come join in the festivities and help the Loudoun Free Clinic continue to provides high-quality medical care to low-income, uninsured adults in Loudoun County!
Service Challenge Begins
Northern Virginia Family Service, a past 100WS grant recipient, could use your help! Watch this very short video and then vote to help NVFS earn a chance to win $1,000,000 from the Super Service Challenge, a national movement that encourages teams of coworkers to serve a nonprofit of their choice and then enter a video clip of their service into the Challenge. Turn up the volume on your computer to hear how NVFS and SRA International support those in need in our communities. (Don’t forget to vote after you watch the video.)
Early Head Start Program Ready to Expand in Loudoun
Past 100WS grant recipient, Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) is expanding its reach in Loudoun County with the addition of a new Early Head Start program in Sterling. A grant from the US Department of Health & Human Services for Children and Families will provide slots for children ages 0 -3 years old prepare for kindergarten. The new Early Head Start classrooms will be housed at Galilee United Methodist Church and will offer multiple classrooms and an infant room. For enrollment information, please contact [email protected].
Area Students Challenged To ‘Step Up’ To Help Loudoun County Resolve Issues
Tapping in to the creativity of Loudoun County middle and high school students, the 6th Annual Step Up Loudoun competition will award up to $2,500 in cash prizes for plans that identify an issue facing county residents and offer a plan of action to resolve it. Written proposals are due on December 18. For more information, visit www.steuploudoun.org or email Marianne Moore at [email protected].
Area Students Challenged to ‘Step Up’ to Help Loudoun County Resolve IssuesArea
Fifth Annual Horseshoe Hoedown on September 26th!
Come join All Ages Read Together (AART) for its 5th Annual Horseshoe Hoedown! Proceeds will go toward AART’s free kindergarten readiness program for at-risk children. The program prepares children for school and also provides them with free books to start an in-home library. AART is a 100WomenStrong grant recipient, and we hope to see you at the Hoedown on Saturday, Sept. 26 starting at 5 pm! Sponsorships available. Buy tickets at www.allagesreadtogether.com
LAWS Fundraiser Held on September 26
Put on your “stable chic” and join the Leesburg Abused Women’s Shelter at its Stars and Stables 2015 fundraiser this Saturday! The event – which will include a Hunt Country barbecue, carriage rides and live music by the Ken Wenzel Trio – will be held at the Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg and proceeds will help LAWS provide help to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse in Loudoun County.
LCPS Expands Full Day Kindergarten
September 17, 2015 Leesburg Today
Many are concerned about Loudoun being one of only three counties in the Commonwealth to not offer universal full day kindergarten (FDK). It is now offered at 35 of the county’s 58 elementary schools (or 31% of the county’s 4,880 kindergartners). While others are concerned about prioritizing FDK ahead of other programs or overall costs, political momentum in support of FDK is growing.
Will Loudoun students do better in school when they start the day on a full stomach?
Sugarland Elementary now offers free breakfast to the entire student population, as one step in reducing impediments to learning that are out of the school’s control. While the program has already resulted in increased on-time attendance, the hope is that it will also contribute to higher achievement in the classroom. State and local officials will be watching carefully to understand how programs like this will impact classroom performance. http://bit.ly/1OjvKL5
How can the Loudoun Business Community Support LCPS?
September 9, 2015
The Chamber is hosting Superintendent, Dr. Eric Williams and other education leaders for an in-depth look at the “State of Innovation in Education” on Friday, Sept 18, 2015. The discussion will include how the Loudoun business community can support LCPS’ efforts to transform its education model.
Redesigned Virginia School Aims To Help Kids Lose Weight
To combat childhood obesity, a school in rural Buckingham, VA, worked with architects to make the entire school more conducive to a healthy lifestyle. From school gardens, to a commercial kitchen allowing students to watch as their lunch is made, food labs and other innovative techniques, they are teaching healthy eating along with the core curriculum. Read the full article.
Mobile Hope Provides School Supplies to 200+ Loudoun Students
August 28, 2015
The nonprofit’s recent “Be Cool for School” event provided clothing, personal hygiene products, backpacks, notebooks and crayons to children who are homeless, precariously housed or whose family cannot afford to purchase back-to-school basics. In addition, 50 students received vision screenings, and Mobile Hope volunteers distributed coupons for free haircuts.
Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers Receives Wibel Foundation Grant
August 21, 2015 Leesburg Today
LVC – a 2014 and 2015 100WomenStrong grant recipient – recently received $15,000 for its assisted transportation, support services and money management programs for elderly, frail, disabled or those who suffer from debilitating diseases in Loudoun County.
Helping Loudoun County Schools Solve Problems
August 19, 2015
Have you heard about the Loudoun County Public Schools Challenge Event? Submit your solutions for LCPS’s most difficult-to-solve challenges by August 21. Those with the top 20 submissions will present to an audience and panel of judges in October.
LCPS Sets New Eligibility Thresholds for Free/Reduced Meals
August 19, 2015 Leesburg Today
New criteria should increase number of LCPS students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, and families who qualify can get an application at school or at the LCPS main office in Ashburn.
INMED Takes A Holistic Approach To Forge Links With The Community To Support Children And Families
By Margaret Brown
INMED Partnerships for Children, a 100WomenStrong grant recipient in 2014 and 2015, takes a holistic approach when serving families in Loudoun County. Its recently launched after-school program is one element of that holistic approach, involving schools, parents and children. The free program was partly funded by a $10,000 grant from 100WomenStrong and currently serves 23 children with seven in queue.
According to Maria Vasquez-Alvarez, executive director of the Family and Youth Opportunity Center in Sterling, INMED works closely with elementary schools in Loudoun County Public School District’s Sterling area to help identify students based on both economic and academic need. Children, ages 6-12, are identified by school counselors and teachers and attend the program from 4-6 p.m. every week day.
“Most days, we have a full class of children. If we don’t see a student we are expecting and that child doesn’t have an after-school sporting event or other activity, we will check in with the family,” said Vasquez-Alvarez. “We work very closely with the families to maintain consistency in the program and to make sure that everything is okay at home.”
The program is structured to help the students keep up with homework assignments while providing targeted support in areas of need.
“We start with a snack and then homework,” she said. “The children either do their homework independently or with a high school mentor/tutor who has volunteered to help them one-on-one. It’s this one-on-one time that can create greater support and is an example of the value of working with parents and teachers who let us know about areas of need.
“After homework and tutoring time, there is a structured activity, such as games or cooking or science projects,” she continued. “We also read stories to the children.”
According to Vasquez-Alvarez, the program is designed to serve 45 students at a time, and there are four targeted outcomes INMED desires:
- Homework completion
- Grade improvement
- Self-esteem improvement
INMED recently celebrated its 30th anniversary and has been in Loudoun County for almost that entire time. The Family and Youth Opportunity Center in Sterling is the first time the nonprofit has had a standalone place for families and children to gather for support activities.
“Our main goal in all of our programs is to forge the links between parents and schools and make it a continuum for the kids,” said Linda Pfeiffer, PhD, president and CEO of INMED. “The Center in Sterling is something we have been planning and talking about for five years. Most existing services are concentrated in Leesburg, so there was a great need in the Sterling area.
“We had a great deal of support from partners and organizations such as 100WomenStrong to initiate the Center, which has allowed us to work even more closely with the community.
“While INMED is our original name, the ‘Partnerships for Children’ in our full name is more fitting as we have grown and changed over the years,” she continued. “It has been wonderful to have the community really embrace the center and our services. INMED has always worked toward creating wonderful things with great outcomes for families and children, and now we have a place for them to come and participate.”
For more information on INMED, please visit www.inmed.org
Loudoun Education Foundation Gives Away More Than $2.3 Million
Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF) raises private funds to enhance the quality of education for Loudoun County Public Schools. Since its formation in 1991, LEF has given away more than $2,390,000 to Loudoun students. During the 2014-2015 school year, LEF gave away more than $390,000, including $54,156 to the Backpack Coalition (thanks to 100WomenStrong!). The majority of LEF’s funding over the years has come from the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation. To learn more about LEF visit http://lef-va.com/
To Learn What The Poor Need, Just Ask
Neighborhood Centers of Houston, TX, has succeeded in helping poor neighborhoods because they “go where they are invited and do what we’re asked to do.” Instead of seeing the disadvantaged as the “problem,” they see them as the asset and source of solutions. Learn how Neighborhood Centers puts people first and helps them move up the ladder and out of poverty.
Innovative Ideas — Affordable Housing In Our Region
In May, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) and Enterprise Community Partners collaborated on an innovative new funding pool they are establishing for developers of affordable housing units. In their presentation to the Federal City Council, they said it will provide developers with access to low-interest bridge loans and will provide updates soon. Read more here.
Teachers In Industry Project Brings Real Life Into School
20 teachers from NoVA schools recently shadowed professionals in fields including agriculture, medicine, and transportation as part of the Teachers in Industry Project, run by GWU. The program helps to better equip students to prepare for life after high school. Read the full article here.
No Kid Hungry Donations Matched Dollar For Dollar By Arby’s Foundation
Many kids who rely on school meals struggle to get enough to eat during the summer months. Arby’s Foundation, a core partner of No Kid Hungry, will match your donations dollar for dollar up to $150,000 this summer, doubling your impact to help feed hungry kids. Learn more about the program, which is part of Share our Strength by clicking here.
Expanding Full-Day Kindergarten in Loudoun County
June 2015 Leesburg Today
Loudoun County is one of only three school systems in Virginia that does not offer every kindergartner a full-day program. But, that is changing. Two more Loudoun elementary schools – Forest Grove and Sterling (both Title I schools) – will offer full-day kindergarten this fall, the latest in Loudoun’s gradual expansion of the program. Read the full article here.
Supervisors Vote To Give More Than $1 Million To Nonprofits
June 23, 2015 Leesburg Today
Kudos to Loudoun County Supervisors for their vote to give $1 million to 33 area nonprofit organizations. We are excited see that the LCPS Backpack Coalition will receive $5,000 from the county. . . Read more
A Full-Time Minimum Wage Job Not Enough For 1 Bedroom Apartment Anywhere in US
May 28, 2015 Vox.com by Ezra Klein
There is no state in the union where a full-time, minimum-wage worker can afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment for less than 30 percent of his paycheck (which is a standard measure of housing affordability). . .Read more
Loudoun County Fastest Growing In the State, Again
May 22, 2015 Loudoun Times-Mirror
This just in from the Census Bureau’s American Community 5-year survey for 2010-2014: Loudoun County is experiencing extreme population growth. . .Full article here
100WomenStrong awards $113K in grants to local nonprofits
April 23, 2015 Loudoun Times-Mirror
Eliminate The Choice Between Food Or Medicine
66 percent of food insecure households that received food from Feeding America’s network of food banks must decide whether to purchase food or their medicine because they simply can’t afford both. How can we ensure that people get both the food and medicine they need? Read more.
Supporting Children in Poverty Through Literacy in Loudoun
February 12, 2015
Sadly, more than 15% of our nation’s children live in poverty. On average, these kids have one or two age appropriate books in their homes, yet a full sixty-one percent of the children in low-income families have no books at all. Recent studies confirm that the availability of reading material is the strongest predictor of a child’s ability to read and later academic achievement, yet millions of at-risk elementary school-aged children are without this basic resource. How can we support these children? Read more.
100WS Member Is New Community Foundation President: Seeks Gifts That Keep On Giving
The Community Foundation of Loudoun and Northern Fauquier recently named long-time 100WS member, Kirsten Langhorne, as their new president. As part of her strategic plan, Kirsten plans to spread the word about the importance of a community foundation, in particular “…what philanthropy can look like and why it’s so necessary”. Read more.
Study Shows Social Learning Just as Important as Cognitive Skills
Feb 10, 2015 American Journal of Public Health
Educators, take note! A new study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, finds a strong link between a child’s social and emotional competency in kindergarten to how well they will do in early adulthood. The comprehensive 20-year examination of 800 children in four different cities were tracked from kindergarten through their mid-20s.
Speak Up Magazine: Giving A Voice To Charlotte’s Homeless
An organization in Charlotte is trying to help the homeless in a different way. Speak Up Magazine is a group that gives people living on the streets not just a job, but a chance to tell their story. Read more.
New Study Finds Unexpected Source Of Giving: Young Women
Conventional wisdom says young Americans are not as generous as older generations, particularly if they’re not religious. That may hold true for most donors, says a new report, but younger women appear to be bucking the trend. Millennial and Generation X women who are single and unaffiliated with a religion give two-and-a-half times more money to charity than their older, similarly secular counterparts, according to the report, which looked exclusively at unmarried donors. Their giving also doubles that of peers who have loose ties to a religion. Read more.