30 Minutes A Week Can Change A Life: Become A Reading Tutor

Do you love to read?  Have you ever watched a child’s imagination come to life when they first begin to read on their own? Unfortunately, many children in Alexandria City Public Schools are at risk of not reading at grade level by the third grade.  Fortunately, The Alexandria Tutoring Consortium’s mission is to provide a foundation for future learning success for first and second grade students.  They need your help, your love of reading, and your enthusiasm!

Alexandria Tutoring Consortium works!

Of the 120 first graders tutored by ATC volunteers last year in the Book Buddies based program, 78% reached or exceeded their literacy benchmarks by the end of the school year.

Why be a tutor?

Learning to read in the first and second grade prepares a student to read to learn during the rest of his or her academic career.  Some children need extra help and just 30 minutes a week from you can give them the advantage they need to succeed.  ATC notes that “first-graders who receive intensive, targeted intervention, even those who have the most difficulty reading, can reach grade-level reading by the end of second grade. With early intervention, more than 90% of children can read at grade level, or better!”

How Alexandria Tutoring Consortium works.

The Alexandria Tutoring Consortium pairs volunteer tutors with Alexandria school children who need help to get up to grade level  reading. Volunteers read one-on-one with a student once or twice a week during the day at school (now through May).  The Alexandria City Public Schools trains all volunteers and provides access to all the necessary materials, volunteers just need to bring a love of reading and a desire to make a difference in the life of a child

Become a tutor today!

New tutors can download an application form and register at the ATC website, or contact them by phone at 703-549-6670 x119.  The website also offers their newsletter, annual report and more information on how you can make a positive difference in the life of an Alexandria child.

Flu Shots, MetroAccess, 4MR Park Architects and More: This Week’s Latest ACTion

  • Help yourself and those around you stay healthy this winter.  Be sure to get a flu shot.  For more information, contact the Alexandria Health Department’s Immunization Clinic, or make an appointment with your physician today!
  • Are you a MetroAccess rider or do you know someone who uses the service? A meeting will be held on Saturday, October 30th at the EnDependence Center of Northern Virginia to discuss the fare changes going into effect on November 1st.  A WMATA representative will be on hand for a presentation and to answer questions.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM.
  • Don’t miss The Arlandrian’s coverage of Architects Anonymous, a group of architects who donated their time and skill to work on a plan to expand Four Mile Run Park Park. The group was honored by the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The Anonymous Architects also want to renovate the old Duron building located on Mount Vernon Avenue. Designs for the park will be on display this Sunday at the Four Mile Run Farmers Market, and the architects will stop by to ask for volunteers who wish to help make their plan a reality.
  • According to the Parker-Gray Growler, a meeting will take place at Jefferson-Houston School tonight at 7:00 PM on the possible “redevelopment” of the school.  The Alexandria City Public Schools website comments that the meeting will touch on “space needs; renovation and new building options, with a costs comparison analysis; and site analysis.”  Tours of the school will be given before the meeting.
  • On Wednesday morning, October 27th from 7:45-9:30 AM, Dr. Stephen Fuller will speak at an Act for Alexandria breakfast on the “economic trends at the national level leading into the recession and looking forward to 2011 and beyond.”  Dr. Fuller, the Director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, is an expert on “the changing structure of metropolitan area economies.”  If interested in attending, there is still some time to register! Ticket sales end tomorrow.

Image courtesy of the The LRC Blog

Parking, Parks, Learning Gardens and More: This Week’s Latest ACTion

  • Councilman Rob Krupicka will host the first annual Eureka Pac reception on November 4th.  Eureka Pac was founded by Krupicka to help improve the education of Alexandria’s children.  Though he will not seek re-election when his term ends in 2012, Krupicka will remain committed to his mission of ensuring that area students are given the education they deserve.
  • Children’s National Medical Center will once again sponsor the Care for Kids program.  From October 22nd to October 31st, over 500 DC-area retailers will give shoppers 20% off all regularly priced goods.  To receive the discount, shoppers must purchase a “Care for Kids” card through selected merchants or via the web.  Making a purchase with the card, you can donate $50 or more and will earn the 20% discount.  Over the years, the “Care for Kids” program has donated an excess of one million dollars to Children’s National thanks to your donations. Local retailers taking part include St. Elmos Coffee Pub in Del Ray and Red Barn Mercantile in Old Town.
  • To meet its goal of becoming environmentally friendly, Alexandria City Public Schools has been hard at work on many projects over the last year.  These include designing a “green” roof for Cora Kelly Elementary School, replacing polystyrene food trays with compostable paper trays, and “Learning Gardens” at 13 schools so that students can learn about the importance of habitats and how to care for them.  These activities, as well as many others, are part of Alexandria’s Eco-City Charter and Action Plan, which aims to educate citizens on environmental awareness.
  • Thursday night a joint meeting was held in the Lyceum between the West Old Town Citizens Association and the Old Town Civic Association to discuss bus rapid transit on Patrick and Henry Streets.   In the past, many residents have been against BRT service because the original proposal showed that parking would be taken away if bus routes were created.  Vice Mayor Kerry Donley was in attendance, as he supports taxing businesses on each potential route to lessen the cost of service. Read more at The Parker-Gray Growler .
  • The Arlandrian has been covering the new plan to expand Four Mile Run.  With little money for the project, a few architects donated their time and expertise. Volunteers have contributed mightily to restoring the site, purchased by the City with open space funds years ago.  Project meetings are held weekly at the Four Mile Run Farmers Market.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons