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Sunday, June 4, 2017

School news: A new little library at Columbia ES

An occasional series highlighting programs and activities at schools in the Annandale/Mason District area. The following information is from Fairfax County Public Schools, individual schools, and parents.

Little Free LibraryColumbia Elementary School has a new Little Free Library full of books. Anyone can borrow a book; but people who takes one are encouraged to leave another book in its place.

The public is invited to a dedication ceremony for the tiny library June 6, 3:15, and an open house on June 10, 10 a.m.-noon, at 6720 Alpine Drive, Annandale.

Columbia’s Little Free Library was created by a Kate Chrestman, a former Columbia student, as a project to earn a Silver Award in the Girl Scouts. She raised funds by refurbishing bookshelves and selling Girl Scout cookies and met with the principal to receive the necessary permissions.

The library has been installed just in time for Fairfax County’s Summer Reading Program. To participate, register online or visit a library, beginning June 23.

The Little Free Library at Columbia is one of more than 50,000 worldwide. Several Fairfax County schools have them, including Mason Crest and Belvedere elementary schools. The goal is to encourage reading by providing 24/7 access to books and build community connections.

Teachers honored – Lorena Cervantes, a creative movement teacher at Bailey’s Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences, has received the Victoria D. de Sanchez 2017 Northern Virginia Hispanic Teacher of the Year Award.

The award, sponsored by the Hispanic Youth Foundation of Northern Virginia and Marymount University, honors an exemplary Hispanic classroom teacher who strives to improve the lives of children and his or her community through education.

Angela DeHart, a family and consumer science teacher at Glasgow Middle School, is one of eight recipients of the Virginia Lottery’s Super Teacher award. She is focused on building a program that teaches students 21st century skills, immerses students in activities that highlight STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and teaches them positive habits to fight obesity.

Juli-Anne Morris, a special education teacher at Annandale High School was awarded the Teacher Appreciation Award by Giant Food in Annandale. Morris was nominated parents and students who shopped at Giant.

Science stars – Kofi Ansong and Lidya Demilew, students at Glasgow Middle School, are the big winners in the essay category at the Aerospace Corp.’s 40th annual Robert H. Herndon Memorial Science Competition. Ansong won first place for his essay titled “Computer Engineering and its Positive Improvements in Human Lives.” Demilew won second place for “Investigating Flint.”

World premiere – The Annandale High School Orchestra’s Spring Concert on May 25 included the world premiere of a piece arranged specifically for AHS. The piece was written by composer Jeff Marx, who won a Tony for “Avenue Q.” When the piece is published, it will have a dedication stating: “Commissioned by the Composer for the Annandale HS Strings.” AHS Orchestra Conductor Angela Ammerman says, “It is really cool and we are insanely excited about it!”

Laptops for studentsSleepy Hollow Elementary School plans to expand the one-one laptop initiative started this year for grades 3-5 to include second-graders during the 2017-18 school year. The laptops helped to enhance engagement and enthusiasm among students, improved teacher-student relationships, and promoted 21st century skills, such as technological proficiency and problem solving, says Principal Eric Johnson. The PTA supported the program by purchasing HP Pro laptops for fifth-graders.

Family fun – the PTA for Weyanoke Elementary School invites the community to a free Family Fun Night, June 9, 5-8 p.m. at the school There will be live animals, a videogame truck, face painting, balloon making, and opportunities to win raffle prizes.

Students in Fall Church High School's ESOL Global Citizen Project. [FCPS]
Global citizens – The Fairfax County Public Schools media center recently highlighted the ESOL Global Citizen Project at Falls Church High School. The weeks-long inquiry-based project calls for students from other countries to strengthen their English language skills by researching a topic, interviewing relevant people, creating a video or webpage, and giving a presentation to their peers.

ESOL teacher Laura Brown says the project is aimed at helping students improve their reading comprehension and strengthen their research, critical thinking skills, and public speaking skills while working on solutions to global problems.


  1. Great job to all the teachers. My questions is why are all the awards not soley based on their skills versus not their race.