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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

School news: Big winners

Weyanoke students dressed up for the annual Heritage Festival.
An occasional series highlighting programs and activities at schools in the Annandale/Mason District area. The information and photos here are from Fairfax County Public Schools and individual schools.

A cultural celebration Nearly 100 nationalities were represented at Weyanoke Elementary School’s annual Heritage Festival, which took place in the Holmes Middle School gym.

Among the highlights: The “Los Pollitos” song and dance performed in Spanish by kindergartners and first-graders. Second and third-graders performed the Israeli song “Zum Gali,” the West African “Bele Kawe,” and the “Ghostbusters” theme song.

Older students presented the Kenyan song “Wako Wapi,” the Virginia Reel, and the “North Skelton Sword Dance” with wooden swords. The whole school – including teachers – performed the “Cupid Shuffle.”

Champions in sports and music – The men’s basketball team at Woodson High School won the state championship for the first time in the school’s history. The Cavaliers beat Hylton High School 55-50 in overtime to claim the title of Virginia 6A champions.

The Woodson Cavaliers.
In other Woodson news, the school’s chamber orchestra got second place overall and first place in the strings category in the National Orchestra Cup at Lincoln Center in New York City

A win for AVID students – JEB Stuart High School earned $15,000 as the first-place winner in the WTOP Click for Kids contest.

“It’s very exciting. This is money we never would have had access to and it’s going to support our students’ dreams of going to college,” Stuart Principal Penny Gros told WTOP.

The money will go to the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, which provides students with small-group tutoring in academically challenging areas, training in study skills and time management, and field trips to colleges.

According to Gros, most of the students in the AVID program are interested in going to college but would be the first in their families to do so and are not taking advanced academic courses. “The mission of AVID is to help kids “who have so much potential and just need support to reach that level,” she said.

"Breaking Through" by Skylar Franzelas.
An outstanding artist – Skylar Franzelas, a senior at Annandale High School won a prestigious American Visions Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition for her photography piece “Breaking Through.”

American Visions winners are among the most talented young artists in the nation. This is the first time anyone from AHS has been selected for this award. The winners have been invited to attend a ceremony at Carnegie Hall on June 8.

A unique partnership – Glasgow Middle School and the Japan-based clothing company UNIQLO are working together on a project to provide clothing to those in need. Glasgow students will participate in the company’s Power of Clothing project this semester, creating T-shirts using the company’s UTMe! app, then will donate the shirts to an organization of their choice.

Students will also have the opportunity to visit the UNIQLO store at Tysons Corner Center; learn about the company’s community projects that support refugees, victims of disasters, individuals with special needs, and the environment; and collect clothing for those in need.

Elementary electives – Fifth and sixth-graders in the set design elective class at Wakefield Forest Elementary School meet every Friday afternoon to create sets and props for the musical theater elective students’ production of “Willy Wonka KIDS.” They are painting backdrops and building three-dimensional candy canes, lollipops, and other props for the June 15 show.

Wakefield Forest’s elective program gives fifth and sixth-graders a chance to explore areas outside of the curriculum and get a taste of some of the choices available to them in middle and high school. Other electives include American Sign Language, chorus, digital photography, first aid, introduction to “Go,” modern dance, Italian, jump rope, Junior Librarians, Marathon Kids, mindfulness, “scratch programming, Spanish, walking, newspaper, writers’ workshop, and yearbook.

Wakefield Forest students work on sets for a Willy Wonka show. 
Mulch madness – Local high school parent-teacher-student organizations are having mulch fundraisers to support seniors’ all-night graduation parties and other programs.

The JEB Stuart PTSA is selling two-cubic-foot bags of red mulch for $5.50 and three-cubic-foot bags of brown mulch for $5.50. Orders must be placed by March 26, and your mulch can be picked up April 1 or will be delivered free on April 1 if you buy 30 bags or more.

The Falls Church PTSA is selling three-cubic-foot bags of double-shredded hardwood mulch for $5.50, with free curb delivery if you buy 15 bags or more and live within a five-mile radius of the school. The order deadline is March 26. The pick-up/delivery date is April 1.

The Annandale High School’s PTSA “mulch madness” sale offers mulch for $5 per three-cubic-foot bag if you pick it up or $6 if you want it delivered. Mulch must be ordered by April 11. Bags of mulch will be delivered or can be picked up at the school on April 22.

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