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.

It’s a Wonderful (2nd) Life: Adopt a Pet at AWLA

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) is promoting “It’s a Wonderful (2nd) Life” opportunity for the felines in its care this season.  “In keeping with the annual holiday tradition of the Frank Capra movie classic, AWLA is hoping that animal lovers will find their own special angel “Clarence” to add to their family.”

There are cats and kittens available for adoption and need a chance for a second life in your home.  Adoption fees have been greatly reduced to FREE for some cats!  As a cat owner (my wee little Fiona and the Mighty Mighty Mac Daddy are both from rescue shelters) I can speak from experience that adopted cats overflow with sweetness and love once they are safe and secure in a new home.

“Just as George Bailey found his angel Clarence in the movie, adopters can find their own heavenly feline friend and provide a loving forever home to an animal in need. The AWLA staff believes that “Everytime a bell rings, a kitty finds a new home” and will ring a bell every time a cat gets adopted to celebrate.”

Alexandria may be a dog-centric city and that’s a good thing, but kitties need homes too!  There is no reason dogs and cats can’t live together in peace and harmony.  With your help, and your new cat adoption, you can be a living example of that peace and harmony during this joyous season.

All standard application/adoptions processes, rules and procedures apply.

Taste The Wines of Italy & Help Homeless Families


Here’s a fun way to support Community Lodgings, a great local organization that helps homeless and low-income families, especially if you like wine. Community Lodgings is holding their 7th Annual Wine Tasting event at historic Christ Church in Old Town, Alexandria. Most of us already enjoy Italian wine, but imagine how much better your wine will taste when you know every drop will benefit a homeless or low-income child and their family.

Each year, Community Lodgings helps 25 homeless families in Alexandria reach the ultimate goal of self-sufficiency. Community Lodgings also helps 90 homeless and low-income children and their parents to increase academic achievement and decrease at-risk behavior in their Family Learning Center. To find out more about this great support organization, visit Community Lodgings’ website.

What You Can Do

Attend Community Lodgings’ 7th Annual Wine Tasting event

When: Sunday, November 7th—5:30pm to 7:30pm
Where: Christ Church at 118 N. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Tickets: $75 in advance or $85 at the door. Contact Jim Dempsey at 703.549.4407 or jdempsey@communitylogdings.org

Wine selections will be provided by Downey Selections and Rick’s Wine & Gourmet, and guests will have the opportunity to order the sampled wines at discount prices, for pickup at Rick’s Wine & Gourmet.

Image courtesy of Wikicommons