A nonprofit that supports low-income mothers and their children in Arlington is encouraging local residents to donate this Mother’s Day weekend.
It provides access to medical services, counseling and support for economically vulnerable mothers-to-be, newborn babies and new mothers who don’t have the means or resources to start their journey on solid footing.
The foundation is named for Jennifer Bush-Lawson, a mother of three who died in 2014 after being struck by a dump truck in front of Nottingham Elementary School while placing her children in a minivan.
JB-LF said that hundreds of mothers and babies lack proper care locally. It can be difficult balancing work and child care schedules, finding transportation, navigating health insurance and gaining information, and the foundation assists with those and more.
Already, the foundation has raised over $118,000 for Virginia Hospital Center, provided 12 months of wellness care for 240 babies, provided blood pressure cuffs for in-home monitoring, given a $5,000 grant for specialist care and provided transportation for pregnant mothers.
Members of the JB-LF board will match every dollar donated between now and May 14 up to $4,000.
Photo via Facebook
The children in need of foster care come from a variety of cultural backgrounds and can no longer live in their homes because of abuse, neglect or severe family issues. Fostering is a temporary arrangement, but in some cases it can lead to adoption.
Families willing to take in teenagers, sibling groups and children with special needs are in particularly high demand.
The county has the following qualifications for becoming a foster parent:
- Able to accept a child who needs a lot of patience, understanding and love
Over the age of 21
- Married or single
- With or without biological children
- Employed inside or outside the home
- Living in a house or apartment in Arlington County or the surrounding Virginia area
Staff with Child and Family Services will hold an information session from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The location will be sent to those who RSVP to [email protected]
Now in its second year, a 5K race and festival is being held this weekend in memory of an Arlington mom killed by a passing truck while placing her children in a minivan.
The Jennifer Bush-Lawson Memorial 5K Race will take place on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. It will feature a 5K race, a kids fun run and a “Family Fun Day Festival.”
The festival will feature “music, food trucks, a beer garden, photo booth, rock climbing, ambulance and fire truck display, face painting, moon bounce, obstacle course, balloon animals and more.”
The event is being held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It benefits the Arlington Pediatric Center and the Virginia Hospital Center Outpatient Obstetrics Clinic, with a focus on prenatal and postnatal health services for underprivileged mothers and babies.
“Last year’s race raised over $100,000, and the goal for this year is to raise $150,000,” according to a press release.
A number of road closures will be in effect for the race. From the Arlington County Police Department:
The 2nd Annual Jennifer Bush-Lawson Memorial 5K Race will take place on Saturday, November 19, 2016. The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closures from approximately 8:30 AM until 11:00 AM to accommodate this event:
- Little Falls Road: N. George Mason Drive to Yorktown Blvd.
- Yorktown Blvd.: N. George Mason Drive to Williamsburg Blvd.
- Williamsburg Blvd.: Yorktown Blvd. to N. Emerson Street
- 33rd Street: N. Emerson Street to N. George Mason Drive
- George Mason Drive: N. 33rd Street to Yorktown Blvd.
- Smaller closures exist within the race area
Any questions regarding the race can be directed to the Emergency Communication Center at (703) 558-2222. For day of information or emergencies, please instruct them to have the race supervisor (Lt. Ken Dennis) call you directly.
Photo via Facebook
Residents and business owners are encouraged to spend the evening getting out of the house and meeting their neighbors for National Night Out. Police officers and community leaders also will make the rounds to chat with residents.
The nationwide event happens the first Tuesday of every August and is sponsored by the non-profit organization National Association of Town Watch. It raises safety awareness and gives residents the opportunity to get better acquainted with the officers who patrol their neighborhoods.
Everyone is welcome to attend the family friendly events at the following locations:
- Arlington Forest Ice Cream Social — 200 block of N. Gavelston Street, 7:30 p.m. – TBD
- Barcroft Ice Cream Social — Community House at 800 S. Buchanan Street, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
- Fairlington — 3001 S. Abingdon Street, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
- Douglas Park — S. 12th Street & S. Irving Street, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
- Park Glen Condominium — behind the community center on S. Arlington Mill Drive, 5:00 p.m. – TBD
- Columbia Knoll Condominiums — 5111 S. 8th Road, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
- 6207 N. 31st Street — 6:30 p.m. – TBD
At National Night Out, neighbors take a stand against crime in their communities. They strengthen relationships with each other and the police officers who patrol the neighborhoods. The event is held across the country on the first Tuesday in August and is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Arlington has events planned for the occasion at the following six locations:
- Arlington Forest Ice Cream Social — 200 block of N. Galveston Street, 7:30 p.m.–TBD
- Barcroft Community House — 800 S. Buchanan Street, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
- Fairlington Community Center — 3005 S. Abingdon Street, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
- Nauck Neighborhood at Drew Model Elementary School — 3500 S. 23rd Street, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
- Park Glen Condominium Courtyard — 800 block of S. Arlington Mill Drive, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
- Columbia Knoll Condominiums at Greenbriar Baptist Church — 5401 S. 7th Road, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
Police officers will be on hand at each of the locations to chat with neighbors and to answer questions about current crime trends. They can also answer questions about general safety and offer neighborhood-specific suggestions for staying safe.
Everyone is welcome to attend the family friendly festivities.
The Gulf Branch Nature Center at 3608 Military Road will be hosting its annual Fall Heritage Festival on Saturday.
The festival will feature live music and family-friendly autumn activities. Admission is $5 per person, though children under three may attend for free.
The nature center issued the following promotional blurb about the event.
On Saturday, October 13 from 1 to 5 p.m., visit Gulf Branch Nature Center for old-timey fun for the whole family. This is a beloved community event that has been attracting hundreds of Arlingtonians for over a dozen years. “We’re starting to see the second generation now – young families coming whose parents remember making cider here when they were little.” said Jennifer Soles, staff naturalist. Last year, two more activity stations were added: pumpkin-painting and scarecrow making, so bring old clothes! Families can also participate in activities such as butter-churning, candle-dipping, cornhusk doll-making and LOTS more. “Everyone always wants a chance to explore the log cabin when they visit” reports naturalist Marty Pross. The Blacksmithing Guild of the Potomac has ongoing demonstrations in the forge. “Kids love to see the sparks – but the dads are the ones who often have to be dragged away” smith Curt Welch remembers. Festival goers enjoy music by Andrew Acosta & the New Old-Time String Band too! Summing up, 4-year old Mason Schnell says of the whole festival “It’s my favorite!”
For details, please call (703) 228-3403. Gulf Branch Nature Center is located at 3608 Military Rd, Arlington, VA 22207. $5 per person (children under three enter for free). Parking lot is closed for the event. On-street parking available on Military Road and 36th Road North.
On Sunday, July 15, people of all ages are welcome to join representatives from Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation for a celebration of the bugs that light up the night. There will be bug walks, games, crafts, educational talks and scavenger hunts.
Attendees are welcome to bring a blanket and a picnic to enjoy while the sun goes down and the fireflies emerge.
This event takes place from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Fort C.F. Smith Park (2411 N. 24th Street) and costs $5 per person, or $20 per family. It will be cancelled there is rain.
For more information about the event, call 703-228-6535.
Photo by Bruce Marlin via Wikipedia
The Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation is joining up with PBS Kids to provide the event. Activities include art projects, a nature treasure hunt, relay races, moon bounces and bingo. There will also be an opportunity to get up close and personal with live snakes, turtles and lizards.
Families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy together. There will also be a $3 lunch available for purchase, which includes a hot dog, chips and a drink.
Be sure to watch the weather if you plan on attending, because if there’s inclement weather the event will be cancelled. If it is cancelled, the event will not be rescheduled.
Rosanna Ruscetti joined the struggling venue in October, and was seen as someone who could help stabilize it. Just this year, Artisphere received accolades for its exhibit featuring famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
Prior to working at Artisphere, Ruscetti had served as a programmer at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium for 18 years. She had also been a consultant for arts programming and business development.
Ruscetti will be leaving for family reasons, we’re told.
According to a job posting, the new program director will have to plan performances and exhibits, negotiate contracts, and develop and manage a $500,000 budget. The position has a pay range of $53,580 to $88,545 annually.
Recently, the library has been digitizing historical documents and pictures that are stored in the Virginia Room at the Central Library. One of the collections was posted online just in time for Black History Month in February. The Ernest E. Johnson Collection, 1948-1955, features photos from when the Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation was still segregated and had its own “Negro Recreation Section.” Johnson directed the section and was vital in advancing the desegregation of Arlington’s community activities.
A woman who works at Long Branch Elementary saw the photos while doing research for another project, and realized many of them included her family members. That’s when she got on the phone with her cousin, Kathlyn James Avila.
Avila says in addition to recognizing herself and her cousin in the pictures, she spotted her mother and two uncles. One uncle was in a tennis photo, another a photo of a meeting.
“I had never seen those photos before,” Avila said. “I had no pictures of myself from kindergarten, and to even have that, it was very special.”
Avila’s family, the James family, was active in the community and knew Johnson well. She’s grateful that the library posted the pictures and thinks they’re important for others to see.
“There are quite a few black families in Arlington from the 1950s and 1960s that made an important impact on the growth of the black community. I know my family was one of them,” Avila said. “I think it’s very important for people to see black families as role models and activists in the community.”
Library spokesman Peter Golkin echoes the importance of residents taking a look at this particular historical collection.
“They’re incredible pictures,” Golkin said. “They really capture life in Arlington County at a very important time in local history, in national history.”
He points out that although Arlington is considered a progressive community, that wasn’t always the case.
“Back in the 1940s and 1950s, just the notion that Arlington had a section of the Parks and Rec Department called the ‘Negro Section,’ it really makes you pause for a second,” Golkin said. “The Arlington of today is so radically different, and we’re so much the better for it.”
Once Avila saw the photos on the library’s website, she quickly spread the word throughout her family. She said they all logged on to look at the pictures, which brought back emotional memories for many of them. Several of the family members had worked directly with Ernest Johnson to provide activities for African Americans, including her mother, who was Johnson’s assistant. (more…)
The family-friendly event, which will take place from 8:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, is a fundraiser for the non-profit, Barcroft Park-based Phoenix Bikes shop. Registration is $5 for individuals and $10 for families. The first 280 registrants will receive a t-shirt, free food from Chick-Fil-A and refreshments.
The ride begins at 8:00 a.m. at Barcroft Park (4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive), and takes riders on a 17-mile loop around Arlington via the W&OD, Custis, Mt. Vernon and Four Mile Run Trails. Children’s activities, including a bike rodeo, kids dance fitness class, cycling safety instructions and a health fair, begin at 10:00 a.m.
“The Fun Ride promotes family fitness and provides support for Phoenix Bikes, a community bike shop empowering at-risk youth,” organizers say. “Our environmentally and fiscally sustainable bike shop helps Arlington teens become successful social entrepreneurs and benefits the entire community.”
The ride’s 25+ sponsors include Arlington County and Arlington Public Schools. County Board member Walter Tejada will serve as the ride’s Grand Marshall.
On Saturday, the Smithsonian Latino Center and Arlington County’s Tell Arlington’s Story initiative are sponsoring a “family afternoon” at the Walter Reed Community Center (2909 16th Street S.).
The afternoon will feature “hands-on activities inspired by Central American ceramis, Mayan dance presentations, live music, storytelling and talks by archeologist Favio Amador about Central America’s indigenous civilization.” The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m.
On Sunday, a Buckingham community street festival will be held from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. on N. Pershing Drive between Glebe Road and Thomas Street.
The festival will feature music, food, games, raffles, kids activities. Scheduled performers include Amla Boliviana and Luz De Luna.
The event is being organized by the community group BU-GATA, along with various county agencies including the Arlington County Police Department.
High Temperatures, High Humidity — With temperatures expected to soar to just below 100 degrees today, the National Weather Service has placed the region under a Heat Advisory. “Drink plenty of fluids… stay in an air conditioned room… stay out of the sun… [and] take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside,” NWS cautions. The area is also under a ‘Code Orange’ air quality alert, meaning that air pollution concentrations “may become unhealthy for sensitive groups.” [Weather Channel]
Rosslyn Concert Moved Indoors — Due to the excessive heat, the lunchtime concert that normally takes place in Rosslyn’s Central Space plaza has been moved to the Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd) ballroom. Local group The Joe Rathbone Trio will perform in air conditioned comfort from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Cost of Cherrydale Fire Station Increases, Again — Completion of the new Cherrydale Fire Station has been pushed back again, leading to county staff’s recommendation that the County Board increase funding for the project, again. Funding for the station was first approved in 1990. Construction began in March 2010. It’s now expected to wrap up “by late summer.” [Sun Gazette]
County Launches ArlingtonFamilies.com — Arlington County has launched a new internet portal for parents, featuring links to online resources for the parents of kids ranging from infants to teenagers. [ArlingtonFamilies.com]
Flickr pool photo by pderby
We’re one month away from the 2010 iteration of Clarendon Day, the outdoor event that’s billed as “Arlington’s biggest party.”
Clarendon Day 2010 will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 25.
For runners, three Pacers-sponsored races will be held before the start of the festival: A 5K at 8:20 a.m., a 10K at 9:00 a.m. and a kid’s dash at 10:30 a.m. (Register here.)
The main event will feature music on two stages, more than 50 vendors and food from more than 15 restaurants, including Whitlow’s, Hard Times Cafe, Rocklands, Screwtop Wine Bar, Northside Social and Bakeshop. There will also be art, fitness classes, kids’ activities, health screenings, dancing and more.
Clarendon Day and Virginia Hospital Center Foundation’s Family Fun Day have been combined into one event this year, allowing for more kid-friendly events. The kids’ activities will include climbing walls, games and — we hear — an ice cream eating contest.
The festivities are all taking place in the area around the Clarendon Metro station.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Doorways for Women and Families, the Clarendon Alliance and the Virginia Hospital Center Foundation.
With the kids out of school, parents have to occasionally do something to keep them entertained and out of trouble. Going to the movies is a good, albeit pricey option. Now, the Regal Cinema at Ballston Common Mall is removing the pricey part with the introduction of a “Free Family Film Festival,” which will run through the end of August.
Starting this week, the theater will offer free admission to a G or PG movie every Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Doors open at 9:15 a.m. and the movie starts at 10:00 a.m. Seating is first come, first serve.
The Regal Cinema chain has hosted free family movie screenings every summer since 1991.
This year’s movie schedule includes Monsters vs. Aliens, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Charlotte’s Web. The full schedule, after the jump.