The football teams of Yorktown and Washington-Lee high schools each pushed their 2013 record to 3-1 with narrow victories last Friday night, while Wakefield lost its second straight game and Bishop O’Connell was defeated Saturday afternoon.
Yorktown (3-1) delivered National District foe Falls Church (3-1) its first loss of the year, a huge victory for potential playoff seeding in November. The Patriots jumped out to a 17-7 halftime lead with two touchdowns from senior running back M.J. Stewart, an held on to win, 17-14, despite allowing Falls Church a fourth quarter touchdown. Yorktown will trying to push its record to 4-1 next Friday night on the road against J.E.B. Stuart.
Washington-Lee (3-1) was in serious peril of dropping its second game of the season to Hayfield (0-4), but scored 23 second-half points to storm back for a 23-21 victory. The Generals got a game-winning, late fourth-quarter touchdown from running back Daquay Harris, who is having a breakout year as a junior. Next week they host Falls Church to try to keep pace with the Patriots.
After starting the season with back-to-back victories, Wakefield (2-2) lost for the second straight week Friday night, 45-14 at home against Edison (2-2). The Warriors allowed 32 unanswered points before finally crossing the plane of the end zone with a running score by junior quarterback Riley Wilson. The Warriors will try to get back on the winning track this Friday at home against Hayfield.
Bishop O’Connell (4-2) also dropped its game this week, 17-7 to St. John’s. The Knights and the Cadets were tied, 7-7 at halftime after Knights quarterback Michael Galvan hit George Hawkins for an 11-yard touchdown pass, but St. John’s pulled ahead in the second half and O’Connell couldn’t come back. The Knights face a major challenge this Saturday, facing DeMatha (5-1), the Washington Post’s top-ranked team in the D.C. area.
A high school and middle school exchange program to France could be on its last legs after Arlington Public Schools administration took a closer look at its travel policies.
Up until this school year, teachers had been granted “professional leave” for a two-week student exchange trip to Reims, France, one of Arlington’s sister cities. But that is coming to an end, jeopardizing the Reims exchange program — a possibility that’s upsetting some parents.
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Constance Skelton said it has been APS policy that teachers were not permitted to take professional leave for international trips. The Reims program has apparently been an exception. Starting this year, however, teachers will not be able to take more than one day of paid leave — a personal day — before the spring break trip to France.
“We realized within our own policies that we do not allow administrators or teachers to have professional leave for international trips with student groups,” Skelton told ARLnow.com. “When this all came to light, we said ‘we have to go with our policy.’ We had to make that clear.”
Skelton said there was confusion about who was actually approving the trips and teachers’ paid leave. She said Superintendent Patrick Murphy was concerned about the potential for APS’ liability in case an incident were to happen overseas.
“People were not aware of the policy,” Skelton said. Instead of the leave going through typical approval channels, “none of that had ever been happening, the trips were just occurring.”
Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Brenda Wilks — a former foreign language teacher — said that despite the renewed enforcement of School Board policy, it is APS’ hope that trips like the Reims exchange program continue.
“We never wanted to discourage travel,” Wilks said. “It enhances students’ education, we just need to adhere to the board policy.”
Parents of students who have taken the trip are convinced that the change in enforcement will kill the trip entirely. APS wants the Arlington Sister City Association to “separate the trip from the school” — to be responsible for collecting money and organizing trips and chaperones.
“The teachers who are involved told parents that there has been a definite sea change that will seriously inhibit their participation and thereby threaten the program as it has been conducted in the past,” one parent, Lori Rottenberg, said in an email. Lori and her husband, Chuck, said they have a child who has gone on the program and they have hosted a Reims student in their house. “All that the teachers do to prepare and run the trip cannot be done in a day, and the trip itself would be ridiculous if limited to just 7 days because of the length of the time involved to travel overseas.”
Rottenberg said that the teachers involved informed parents that the trip “may not happen this year” because of the new enforcement of school policy.
“This drastic action on the part of the school administration essentially signals the death knell of a wonderfully unique program that benefits students as well as the entire Arlington community,” said Natalie Roy, a Washington-Lee High School parent.
Representatives of the Arlington Sister City Association did not respond to a request for comment.
Photo by wox-globe-trotter via Wikipedia
The Arlington County Board unanimously approved the permit to build a $35 million elementary school on the Williamsburg Middle School campus last night (Tuesday).
In a separate vote, the board voted unanimously to delay a decision to install lighting until 2015, when it will form a working group of community members for a full discussion on the potential for lighting the synthetic turf fields.
The lighting on the turf fields was the sticking point for many of the two dozen speakers during Saturday’s board meeting. Several members of the Rock Spring Civic Association spoke against lighting the fields, and condemned the County Board for not following its own procedures in considering the lighting.
“I was always told, follow the process,” Sharon Levin said. “Come to the meetings, there will be county representatives there, everyone will have a chance to give their input, and this is what I did for a year. I attended over 20 meetings and now the county has not upheld their end of the bargain. You guys have changed at the last minute. We never had the discussion about these fields. It was never part of this program. We were told repeatedly that we were not going to have synthetic fields and lighting.”
The board approved the design with synthetic fields, but lights will not be installed on the fields, which members of the School Board and the community said would be more in line with their wishes. County Manager Barbara Donnellan said the decision to introduce the lighting late in the process came from staff hesitancy.
“The fact is we never had a conversation with the public about the lighting, and I think we should have a conversation with the public about the lighting,” she said Tuesday. “I do not think that staff completely understood that synthetic fields should be part of the conversation.”
The open space around Williamsburg Middle School, which Rock Spring Civic Association Executive Board member Kevin Scott called “a center of our neighborhood,” will be reduced to make room for the 28-classroom, 96,805-square-foot elementary school.
“We like that open space, we know that’s going to be changed no matter what we do,” Scott said, “but we don’t want that to extend to after dark.”
In the spring, neighbors of the school and members of the Arlington Soccer Association launched dueling petitions regarding the lighting issue, with the ASA in favor of installing lights. ASA members contend that the lights’ impact could be greatly mitigated by shortening the hours they are turned on and installing plant buffers, among other strategies.
“The lighting isn’t a surprise issue… it was always foreseeable that the county could add that as a use permit condition,” said Ronald Molteni, the vice president of the ASA, at Saturday’s meeting. “Field turf is a necessity and…lights should go with it. Our young people need places to have positive outlets for the energy of use, especially during the evening hours.”
Arlington Public Schools has said it does not have room in the budget to install lighting around the fields, but, after the working groups in 2015, the County Board could decide to dip into its own budget to install lights.
The board also approved the reduction of parking spaces required for the school from 258 to 209; a strategy to try to reduce the traffic impacts to the community, but one that wasn’t met with unanimous community support.
“We’ve been told that reducing the number of parking spots is a good thing, but of course it’s pushing cars onto the neighborhood streets, and that’s problematic,” said Lincoln Oliphant, who lives on 36th Street N.
The school, which will be at the corner of N. Harrison and 36th Streets, will serve approximately 630 students. Construction is expected to begin January 2014 and the school is projected to open in time for the 2015-2016 school year.
Yorktown and Washington-Lee’s football teams won their first National District games Friday night — against Edison and J.E.B. Stuart respectively — while Wakefield dropped its first game of the season.
Yorktown beat up on Edison, 44-18, to get back in the win column a week after losing its first regular-season game in years. Senior star running back M.J. Stewart rushed 22 times for 191 yards and three touchdowns, raising his season total to 621 yards in three games. Quarterback Will Roebuck threw just three incomplete passes and ran in a score of his own. The Patriots got past an unexpected speed bump and put their foot on the gas starting National District play. The Patriots will host 3-0 Falls Church Friday night.
Washington-Lee also bounced back from its first loss of the season with a district win, sneaking by Stuart, 15-10. Running back Daquay Harris ran for 202 yards and a touchdown while the Generals defense smothered the Generals’ running backs. The Generals, like the Patriots, are now 2-1 and 1-0 in the National District, and should go 3-1 next week when they visit 0-3 Hayfield.
Wakefield, after an 0-10 2012 season, suffered its first loss of 2013, losing 22-7 to Thomas Jefferson. The loss drops the Warriors to 2-1 after previous wins against Marshall and George Mason. The Warriors’s defense bended to allow Jefferson’s Nathan Kim to run for 270 yards, the third most in the D.C. area, and two touchdowns. Wakefield’s first home game against a National District team will be Friday night against Edison.
Bishop O’Connell thumped WCAC foe Archbishop Carroll, 42-6, in the Knights’ conference opener Saturday afternoon. The Knights moved to 4-1, putting more distance between themselves and their season-opening loss to McDonogh. Quarterback Michael Galvan threw just one incomplete pass while also leading the Knights in rushing with 37 yards and three touchdowns. The Knights next play Saturday at 2:00 p.m. on the road against St. John’s.
Plans for the new school have been in the works for some time, and the Arlington School Board unanimously approved a conceptual design in February. Although a number of concerns from the community have arisen during the planning process, county staff recommends Board approval for the use permit.
One issue that previously prompted a meeting is the traffic impact a new school would have on the surrounding area. A study indicates traffic impacts only occur during a 15 to 20 minute “peak” period during school arrival and departure times. It is therefore suggested that the two schools stagger their start/end times to reduce this traffic impact, with Williamsburg having an earlier start time than the new school. Staff believes the new school’s parking lot has been adequately designed to prevent long lines of waiting cars from spilling into the neighboring streets during drop off and pick up times.
Throughout the planning process, the Rock Spring Civic Association had joined other members of the community in expressing concern over the plan to use the neighborhood’s street parking near the schools. However, county staff still recommends reducing the number of on-site spaces for the entire campus from 258 to 209 due to the availability of on-street parking. This goes along with the County Board’s approval of changes to the Zoning Ordinance in February to allow schools and recreational facilities to reduce the number of on-site parking spaces.
Another issue has been the proposal to re-construct the athletic fields on the campus, with two of them becoming synthetic turf fields with lighting. The idea prompted community members to create dueling petitions earlier this year. County staff recommends moving forward with the installation of the fields, but not with the lighting. Staff members recommend a County Board review of the use permit one year after the fields open (approximately September 2016) to see whether lighting is necessary.
Students, teachers, parents and administrators attended a groundbreaking ceremony for a new addition to Ashlawn Elementary on Friday.
The 27,000 square foot, $14.3 million addition will add nine classrooms, a new media center and administrative offices to the school, which is located off of Wilson Blvd near Bluemont Park. The addition is part of Arlington Public Schools’ effort to boost school capacity amid a burgeoning student population.
The groundbreaking ceremony preceded the school’s annual back-to-school kickoff, picnic and outdoor concert, according to Arlington Public Schools.
Photos courtesy APS
Teachers and administrators welcomed an estimated 23,586 students inside the halls of Arlington Public Schools for the first time since June this morning (Tuesday).
Students got their first chances to experience the final phase of the new Yorktown High School and the new Wakefield High School. Teachers and volunteers were on hand to show students around their new schools.
According to school officials, 137 school buses were mobilized today to pick up students from around the county.
The school system’s enrollment will grow by almost 1,000 students from last year’s Pre-K-12 enrollment of 22,645. The student count won’t be official until Sept. 30, when APS sends the number to the state Department of Education.
Photos courtesy Arlington Public Schools
Police officers will be a high-visibility presence, directing traffic in school zones, and variable message boards will be placed along county roadways reminded drivers to take extra precaution as students start returning to area schools.
Arlington County issued the following tips for safe driving on the first day of school:
Drivers are reminded to:
- Obey speed limits which may change during school zone times.
- Avoid distracted driving and keep your attention on the road.
- Watch for students walking and riding bikes to school.
- Don’t pass a stopped school bus loading or unloading passengers.
- Have all occupants wear their seatbelts.
Students, bicyclists and pedestrians are reminded to:
- Cross the street at marked crosswalks and never against a red light.
- Look before you cross and follow the direction of the school crossing guards.
- Always walk on designated sidewalks or paths never along the side of a road.
With a little prevention, all drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians can arrive at their destinations in a timely and safe manner.
Sept. 3 is also being billed by AAA Mid Atlantic as “Terrible Traffic Tuesday,” the day when roads are jammed because school returns and summer vacation season ends.
According to AAA, “the average 20.4 minute daily delay that drivers experienced around [the D.C. area] in July and August will return to an average of 25.8 minutes during September.”
Arlington Public Schools released its 2013 Standards of Learning (SOL) test results in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) release of the statewide results. Although Arlington students performed better than their peers in most categories, they joined students across the state in a significant drop in English reading scores.
Arlington’s Grade 8 English reading pass rate this year is 77 percent, compared with 71 percent for all of Virginia. However, Arlington’s 8th graders scored a 90 percent pass rate last year.
A likely explanation for the local and statewide drop in English scores is the introduction of a more rigorous exam. The VDOE’s website says:
“The English and science SOL tests students took during 2012-2013 were the first to reflect the increased rigor of revised standards adopted in these subject areas by the Board of Education in 2010. Last year also marked the debut of online SOL writing tests, although all schools participated in a statewide field test of the assessments during 2011-2012. As expected, pass rates on the new tests were lower than in 2011-2012 on the now-retired assessments based on the 2002 English SOL and 2003 Science SOL.”
After reviewing the results, Arlington Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy said, “As we continue to focus on the goals outlined in our Strategic Plan, these results serve as a barometer for our work and progress at this point. It is clear that our instructional team is working to meet these higher standards to ensure that our students master the new, more challenging expectations. While work remains to ensure that all students are succeeding at all levels, these results are encouraging.”
Last year, similar drops were seen on math scores with the implementation of a more difficult math test. Math scores held relatively steady this year, with 8th graders scoring 67 percent, compared with 68 last year. This year’s 8th graders around the state scored 61 percent.
(Updated on 8/15/13) Construction of the new Wakefield High School is wrapping up as school officials prepare for the first day of school on Sept. 3.
The $113 million project broke ground in 2011. It is expected to receive a LEED Gold certification for sustainability, thanks in part to having — when completed — 400 geothermal wells, each 500 feet deep, to heat and cool the school.
The main entrance of the school opens into what Project Manager Bill Herring calls the “town hall,” a large open space that will be filled with couches and chairs for students to congregate. Adjacent to the town hall is an outdoor courtyard, where students will be able to take their lunches or their work, since it will be WiFi enabled soon after the school year begins.
“It was important to have a heart of the building,” said Wakefield principal Chris Willmore, “and this is it.”
Wakefield High School’s soon-to-be-demolished old building housed students for 63 years, well past the building’s expected lifespan of 40 to 50 years, Herring said.
The new school will help accommodate continued growth of Arlington’s student population. Wakefield is expected to open with about 1,500 students this fall, while the building’s capacity is 1,960, with the possibility of expanding even more if necessary, Willmore said.
Starting this year, incoming freshmen in Virginia high schools will need to take at least one class online in order to graduate, as a result of a law passed by the General Assembly last spring.
Arlington Public Schools has been offering online classes for some time now — last year, APS offered 25 classes, mostly foreign languages like Arabic, Chinese and Japanese — but the portfolio of offerings will need to greatly expand to accommodate the new state law.
With less than a month to go until the school year, APS Director of Instructional and Innovative Techonologies Pat Teske said the decisions on which classes to offer online and how many are still being made.
“We’re looking at programs we want to offer to build a program,” Teske said. “We’re looking at it as more than just a graduation requirement.”
About 400 students took online classes last year, Teske said, many of whom took classes not in APS’ portfolio, but offered by Northern Virginia Community College and other institutions. The state Department of Education maintains a list of approved online educators, but before APS allows students to take any classes, school staff vets the educator for county standards.
While the rollout of the state policy takes place, some may be questioning whether forcing students to take an online class is a good idea. Brittany O’Grady, a recent graduate of Washington-Lee High School, took English 12 online as a way to get college credit simultaneously.
“I would have learned better in a classroom environment,” O’Grady said in an email. “I really enjoy making connections with people. The material becomes more engaging. Looking at a computer screen and learning the confusing material on my own was absolutely exhausting and not fun. I just wanted to get the class over with.”
Gov. Bob McDonnell argued when pushing for the law that it prepares high school students for the modern marketplace. Teske said so much business is done online — and so many colleges offer and/or require online classes — that the requirement is a logical one. The program will be called Virtual@APS, Teske said, and she and her staff have been working long hours trying to put it in place.
“The way of the business world today, you do online collaborations, online projects,” Teske said. “You have to be an effective online learner and collaborator… You can’t go to college today without taking many online classes. There are online degrees as well. We’re really giving our kids the skills they need to be productive beyond the 12th grade.”
This article was written by Maddy Berner
“I was looking at choosing colleges and I wasn’t sure of about that level of intensity,” she said. “I felt like I needed more time to figure that out.”
This fall, Parker-Simkin will begin a year-long journey with Global Citizen Year, a gap-year program that allows students to do service work in a developing country before college. Parker-Simkin will spend what would be her freshman year of college in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, in the city of Florianópolis. The recent Washington-Lee graduate has already started a blog about her experiences.
She writes in her first blog post: “After reading a friend’s Global Citizen Year blog posts over the course of his term, I decided to apply to the program. It seemed like a perfect intersection of self-discovery, adventure, and service. I am excited to be going to the state of Santa Catarina in Brazil.”
Global Citizen Year is a non-profit organization that aims to create a different kind of educational pathway for its recruits. The program selects a diverse group of high school graduates and sends them to communities in Africa and Latin America. Through their own immersion and hands-on training, the students help the communities’ education efforts, as well as gain their own entrepreneurial experience and self-awareness.
In 2008, founder Abby Falik pitched the idea for the program to a Harvard Business School startup competition. A year later, the program launched with 11 participants. In just four years, Global Citizen Year has grown to include more than 200 alumni.
And in a year, when she finishes the program and heads off to college (school as yet undetermined), Parker-Simkin will be one of those alumni.
Parker-Simkin said she initially chose the GCY program because of its service- and community-oriented agenda, something she’s used to. In Arlington, she volunteered at the Central Library and Arlington Food Assistance Program.
“I like that it’s not just sending kids to go fix problems,” she said. “I think it’s good that it’s very community-based.”
After a week of training in California later this month, Parker-Simkin will head to Florianópolis and stay with a host family. She said she’s never traveled extensively before, and is excited about the new experiences and culture that await her. She said she’s been learning Portugese all summer, and can’t wait to further her knowledge of it.
But mostly, she’s thrilled about her upcoming service work and helping those in her new Brazilian community.
“It’s going to be exciting to do something really big,” she said.
Photo courtesy Libby Parker-Simkin
Fall practices for Arlington’s high school football teams began Monday, officially ending the summer for fall sports athletes. In about three weeks (August 29), defending National District champs Yorktown will open play. One month from today — Sept. 6 — will be the opening night of the season for Washington-Lee and Wakefield.
Those who want to get the chance to see one of the best football teams in the country should head to Bishop O’Connell on Oct. 26 to watch the team play Maryland’s Good Counsel. The date many in Arlington will want to circle on their calendars will be Nov. 8, the last game of the regular season, when Washington-Lee takes on Yorktown.
Below are the football schedules for each of the Arlington high schools.
All games at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 6: Home vs. Marshall
Sept. 12: Home vs. George Mason
Sept. 20: Away vs. Thomas Jefferson
Sept. 27: Home vs. Edison
Oct. 4: Home vs. Hayfield Secondary
Oct. 11: Away vs. Falls Church
Oct. 18: Away vs. Yorktown
Oct. 25: Away vs. J.E.B. Stuart
Nov. 1: Home vs. Washington-Lee
Nov. 8: Away vs. Mt. Vernon
All games at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 6: Away vs. McLean
Sept. 12: Home vs. South Lakes
Sept. 20: Home vs. J.E.B. Stuart
Sept. 27: Away vs. Hayfield Secondary
Oct. 4: Home vs. Falls Church
Oct. 11: Away vs. Mt. Vernon
Oct. 18: Home vs. Edison
Oct. 25: Home vs. Centreville
Nov. 1: Away vs. Wakefield
Nov. 8: Away vs. Yorktown
All games at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 29: Home vs. Coolidge
Sept. 6: Away vs. Langley
Sept. 20: Away vs. Edison
Sept. 27: Home vs. Falls Church
Oct. 4: Away vs. J.E.B. Stuart
Oct. 11: Home vs. Hayfield Secondary
Oct. 18: Home vs. Wakefield
Oct. 25: Home vs. Chantilly
Nov. 1: Away vs. Mt. Vernon
Nov. 8: Home vs. Washington-Lee
All games at 2:00 p.m.
Aug. 24: Away vs. McDonogh
Aug. 31: Home vs. Paul VI
Sept. 7: Away vs. Bishop Ireton
Sept. 13: Away vs. St. Christopher’s
Sept. 21: Home vs. Archbishop Carroll
Sept. 28: Away vs. St. John’s
Oct. 5: Away vs. DeMatha (2:30 p.m.)
Oct. 12: Home vs. Gonzaga
Oct. 26: Home vs. Good Counsel
Nov. 2: Home vs. Bishop McNamara
This article was written by Audrey Batcheller
Whether they’ve spent the past 18 years in the county or have just been around for high school, these young adults have unique perspectives on life in Arlington.
Devon Brown, a lifelong Arlingtonian, will be attending Wake Forest University this year and has mixed feelings about leaving Arlington.
“It’s been really easy to get involved in the community here,” said Brown, who was a member of the Teen Network Board. Aside from her time involved in the community, however, Brown does complain that there’s not much to do in Arlington for high school students.
“Recently I’ve felt like the only option when going out with friends to do something is getting something to eat,” said Brown.
Nicole Collantes, an upcoming Radford University freshman, disagrees with Brown on that point.
“It’s their own fault if people are bored,” she said. “Around Arlington, there are so many places to go to and shop. Also, there’s always an art or music festival going on if you know where to look. And even if people don’t think there’s anything to do around here, the metro takes you all around D.C., where there’s even more things to do.”
Alec Schadelbauer, who will be a freshman at Virginia Tech, said he stayed active in Arlington through volunteerism.
“There are so many ways to get involved in the community through leadership and service,” said Schadelbauer. “The Leadership Arlington Youth Program was one of the best experiences of my life so far.”
The county’s proximity to Washington, D.C., has been the best part of the Arlington experience to many students. Justin Snow and Maggie Burgos, who will be attending George Mason University and Colby College in Maine respectively, have taken advantage of living near the political hub of the country.
“Growing up near D.C. has helped me have opportunities to see government happen,” said Burgos, who went to President Obama’s first inauguration and hopes to work on Capitol Hill.
Snow interned on Capitol Hill and said he and other local high school students “[have] access to a lot of things that other [areas] don’t.”
As privileged as all its graduates feel about being able to live in Arlington, a few common criticisms arose among the students: the traffic, the dreaded “Arlington Bubble,” and the weather.
Alcohol use among Arlington teens is down, and a recent trip for a group of high school students was organized to help continue that trend.
Data from the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families shows that the percentage of Arlington high school students that reported recently drinking alcohol decreased by eight percent from 2004 to 2010. In an effort to keep that number declining, Arlington’s READY Coalition sponsored a trip for Arlington students and their School Resource Officers — Arlington County police officers assigned to schools — to attend the 29th Annual Youth Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP) conference last week.
Ten students were selected by their SRO, and two additional students were chosen by the READY Coalition, which paid the registration fee to send the group to Longwood University, in Farmville, Va., for the week.
“Each high school resource officer picked the people they thought would be good leaders in trying to get their peers to get on board with an anti-drinking and anti-drug club and to help spread the message,” said Corporal Jim Tuomey, who accompanied the students to the conference.
APS students have attended this conference before, but last week was their first appearance in over ten years.
“We decided to take a group of teens to the conference for the purpose of trying to find better ways to outreach to the high school community,” said Phillip Leverett, the Youth Outreach Coordinator for the READY Coalition.
The 2013 results of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey are still pending, but the 2011 YRBS shows that two thirds of Arlington teens do not consume alcohol on any given weekend, a surprising number considering that a decade ago teen drinking appeared to be on the rise.
Hundreds of students attend the YADAPP conference — which is presented by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control – every year to listen to speakers and participate in workshops. Students work in teams of four and create a Strategies To Act Now (STAN) prevention plan specific to their community that they will implement upon their arrival home.
Kateri Gajadhar, a student at the conference and chair of the Teen Network Board’s Drug and Alcohol Committee, is laying the ground work for an “Above the Influence” club at Washington-Lee.
“It helped me see ideas that have worked and things that didn’t work,” said Gajadhar about YADAPP. “It was good to interact with people who are doing the same things in different places to see what we can do here to effectively expand to older age groups.”