ACTion Alexandria Blog

It's National Senior Citizens Day!

Our resident senior citizen, ACT executive director, John Porter, made sure we posted about Natinoal Senior Citizens Day (and to honor him throughout the day). 
For example, did you know that John was there at the Crossing of the Delaware?

Dine Locally for Restaurant Week


It's officially restaurant week and we love to support our local businesses. Below are the participating restaurants in Alexandria. To make a reservation and read their menus, head over to the official Restaurant Week website or call them up. 

Bon appetit, mes chers!


We're Hiring!

UPDATE: This position has been filled. Thank you to all who applied!

Community Foundation Associate

ACT for Alexandria (ACT), Alexandria’s community foundation, is seeking a community foundation associate to assist ACT in achieving its mission of raising the level and effectiveness of giving and engagement in the community.  Serving the city since 2004, ACT has, through its donor advised and community funds, invested more than $6 million to assist others in Alexandria and beyond.


And the awards go to...


The RunningBrooke Fund and ACTion Alexandria would like to thank everyone who submitted an application and those who showed their support by voting for their favorite nonprofit’s Caring for Kids Grant Challenge idea.

Arts & Culture, Education, Neighborhoods awards, caring for kids, grant challenge, grants, nonprofits, RunningBrooke fund

Meet Sunny

This out-of-towner is looking to make a home in Alexandria.

Education adoption, animal adoption, animals, dog, hoarding, pets, Sunny, Vola Lawson Animal Shelter

Plays Well with Others

Written by Karen Baragona and originally published at

I've been trying to begin this post with a sentence like, "I love to watch dogs play," but I keep thinking of exceptions. I'm an anxious wreck at a dog park. I'm a nervous nelly supervising play groups when I'm teaching puppy class. And I'm on pins and needles watching play between shelter dogs that we've paired up for the first time. Am I a neurotic, smothering, mother hen? Well, I prefer to think of all this as well-informed vigilance. I know just enough about the complex dynamics of dog play to know that a) dogs are exchanging subtle signals constantly, which we don't always catch and often don't understand, and b) dogs' enthusiasm can escalate to hyper-arousal, which can then tip into aggression, seemingly without warning. So here are some thoughts on safe play.

Education animal welfare league of alexandria, animals, dog parks, dog play, dogs, pet behavior, pets, tips, training

Music to Our Ears: Children Involved in the Arts More Civically Engaged

We all "know" that the arts benefits children - but just what are some of those benefits? According to a National Endowment of the Arts study done last year, it has a broad spectrum of benefits, especially for children in low-income families. 

From the study (SES means socioeconomic status): 

  • High-arts, low-SES students were 15 percent more likely to enroll in a highly or moderately selective four-year college than low-arts, low-SES students (41 percent versus 26 percent).
  • Students with access to the arts in high school were three times more likely than students who lacked those experiences to earn a bachelor's degree (17 percent versus five percent).
  • High-arts, low-SES college students had the highest rates of choosing a major that aligns with a professional career, such as accounting, education, nursing, or social sciences (30 percent), compared to low-arts, low-SES students (14 percent) and the overall SES sample (22 percent)

And music to our ears: 

More civically engaged - Young adults who had intensive arts experiences in high school are more likely to show civic-minded behavior than young adults who did not, with comparatively high levels of volunteering, voting, and engagement with local or school politics. In many cases, this difference appears in both low-and high-SES groups.

Do you have a nonprofit or know of one that helps Alexandria’s at-risk kids with learning, health and well-being, and preparing for a better future? Then apply to our Caring for Kids Grant Challenge by July 1st! 

With that mind, please think about enrolling your children and/or supporting these organizations that enhance childrens' lives with the arts: 

Arts & Culture Alexandria, arts, arts and culture, youth classes, youth programs

Father's Day Special Events!

It's that time of year to treat your dad - why not take him out on the town right here in Alexandria?

Father's Day Weekend at Mount Vernon

Alexandria, Events, fathers day, holiday

Extra! Extra! Learning After School

Science Club, Math Honor Society, Football, Theater...there are a number of way students can learn outside of the textbook. In fact, colleges and even employers are looking more at the skills students in their after-school activities. 

Education Alexandria, alexandria city public schools, clubs and organizations, extracurricular activities, high school students, middle school students

What's Next Alexandria Community Dialogue June 24!

what's_next_logoWe've made it to the finish line! What's Next - the City's initiative collaborate with the community on improving and expanding public participation in City decision-making processes - has been a rewarding experience for us. We hope it has been for you, too! Since September 2012, What's Next has involved more than 2000 participants in 3 Community Dialogues and 3 online activities. 

Come join us on June 24th for the final Community Dialogue before to kick-off the City's implementation. You will have an opportunity to: 

1) review the draft elements of the Civic Engagement handbook 

2) work collaboratively to develop a communications and outreach infrastructure to ensure that more residents can be meaningfully engaged in public decision-making in the City. 

Neighborhoods Alexandria, city of alexandria, community dialogue, what's next