Join Club

Arlington Teachers Make National Headlines for Helping Low Income Students

(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) While Arlington Public Schools works to get meals to students who aren’t in school, a group of teachers have gone the extra mile and are working to get grocery gift cards to families on the free and reduced lunch list.

A GoFundMe campaign for Arlington students in need is approaching $170,000 raised, with an $830,000 goal. The hope is to provide a $100 grocery gift card into the hands of every APS student that qualifies for free or reduced lunch.

“Arlington Public Schools has approximately 8,300 kids who receive free or reduced lunches,” the fundraiser’s founders wrote on GoFundMe. “These food-insecure families may face challenges feeding their families. This problem may be compounded if employers start cutting hours or closing their doors and wage workers end up without work.”

The fundraising push has made headlines nationally, on Good Morning America, CNN and People Magazine, as the teachers try to spread the word about Arlington families in need during the coronavirus outbreak.

The fundraiser is not associated with APS — which is currently distributing grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches — but the teachers said they’re working with others in their schools and with the PTAs.

“They know the kids in need in their schools and are getting the cards to those families,” teacher Aaron Schuetz said, who started the fundraiser with fellow Yorktown High School science teachers Laurie Vena and Deborah Waldron. “Sometimes [delivery is] by mail, or pickup, etc.”

Schuetz biked from school to school to distribute the gift cards, with the help of principals, counselors, PTAs and others. Other teachers have been distributing the cards in different ways and coordinating with the schools to schedule dropoffs.

Priorities start with Title 1 schools — schools that receive federal assistance for their higher concentrations of lower-income students.

“We have a list of schools with the most need statistically,” Schuetz said. “We’ve essentially gotten about 50 gift cards to each of those neediest schools. We are further working with school staff and PTA to coordinate effective deployment. With schools closed, we don’t want to just drop them off at a building. We want them in the parents’ hands ASAP.”

For now, Schuetz said it’s difficult to tell how close the fundraiser’s goals are to what the need of the community will be in the weeks to come.

“I don’t know what to expect,” Schuetz said. “Our goal is large. We’ve raised a lot. But it is a drop in the bucket in relation to this pandemic. The needs of these families may grow substantially, and we’re hoping that Arlington and its residents find many more ways to help our most vulnerable.”

For those that want to do more than just donate to the GoFundMe, Schuetz said they should reach out to their PTAs and help the Arlington Food Assistance Center handle its increased strain.

“Contact the PTA for your school, or the school you live near,” Schuetz said. “Many schools, especially those with the most kids with the most need, are scrambling to help out. Donate to AFAC. They can buy in bulk and have the distribution network in place. If you want to make a million-dollar donation, they’ll have an easier time putting it to use than we will.”

Photo via GoFundMe

Recent Stories

This past week saw 24 homes sold in Arlington. The least expensive condo, single-family home or townhouse sale over the past seven days was $264,000 while the most expensive was…

There has been a mini-spate of deaths and reported suicide attempts among Arlington Public Schools students in the last month, ARLnow has learned. A middle schooler died after Christmas and…

Arlington County is applying for regional funding to run buses every six minutes between Fairfax County and Amazon’s second headquarters in Pentagon City during peak hours. The Arlington County Board…

Next month, Arlington County will hold a community event to kick off a three-year parking pilot program that prices parking by demand in a few highly trafficked corridors. This is…

St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science. We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up. For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.

Submit your own Announcement here.

If you are a lifelong learner over 50+ who wants to make new friends, power up your brain, and enjoy a wide-variety college-level courses, Encore Learning is for you. An Arlington based nonprofit, Encore Learning offers courses in the arts, theater, literature, history, technology and more. This semester we offer our most popular course, Global Hot Spots as well as 25 new courses. Courses are presented either online or in-person at George Mason University at Virginia Square and other Arlington locations.

Join the free presentation to learn about courses and meet the instructors. This is Encore Learning’s signature event to highlight the upcoming semester with brief presentations by each instructor.

The Spring Course Preview event is Thursday, February 2nd at 9:30 AM via Zoom:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84855394419

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Mini Photo Sessions for Family & Pets

Sign up for your mini session now. We are offering several sessions this winter/spring. Choose what works best for you.

Valentines Mini Sessions (lots of red and pink props)
Saturday, February 11

St Patrick’s Day Mini Sessions (lots of green

×

Subscribe to our mailing list