We are proud to be celebrating our 20th year partnering with A-SPAN, an organization which provides housing, and support, shelter and street services to homeless people in Arlington. As part of our partnership, each October we hold a Spare Change Drive. Over a period of two weeks, the children collect money to donate to A-SPAN. The money is used to help transition people to permanent housing as well as purchase critical items such as medicine, blankets, and food. With the help of another partner, Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, this year we were able to donate $900 to the cause. In coordination with the spare change drive, each year we hold a Halloween Parade and Walk to End Homelessness. The children march through the neighborhood, carrying signs and raising awareness of the plight of homelessness in our community.Throughout the year we also participate in A-SPAN’s Homeless Bagged Meal Program. Every month one grade level makes 100 sandwiches, 50 bags of raisins, 50 bags of pretzels, 50 bags of cookies and 6 gallons of lemonade. Fifty brown paper bags are decorated and filled with the delicious and nutritious food. The meals are delivered to a location in Arlington where homeless people gather to be fed. All students in PreK through 5th grade have the opportunity to participate in this important community service. We are grateful to Scott Miller and Amanda Holler, our friends at A-SPAN, for all of their efforts and for helping our students learn how to be citizens of the world.
Aspire! Afterschool Learning is a long-standing partner of Arlington Public Schools. Established in 1994 in response to a community need for a safe place for kids to go afterschool, they initially served only 9 children in one location, but now directly serve 80 children in three locations and ultimately reach approximately 1,000 kids through school partnerships. Randolph is happy to be one of Aspire!’s partner schools.Aspire! serves the children and families of Randolph on three fronts: after school, at school, and at home. At the Aspire! Virginia Gardens location, every day after school 18 Randolph 3rd-5th graders receive homework help and academic support, and participate in dedicated language/literacy activities. In addition, three times each week, one Aspire! AmeriCorps member comes to Randolph to provide assistance in a 4th grade classroom – working directly with students, reinforcing lesson concepts and providing help wherever needed. Finally, through their Parent Connection program, Aspire! offers weekly workshops to parents on topics such as reading your child’s report card, nutrition, physical fitness, healthy relationships and more. Through the workshops Aspire! provides parents opportunities to develop new skills, to gain confidence and to support their children’s development and education. Randolph appreciates the close long-standing relationship we have with Aspire! and recognizes the professional, high quality support they provide to our students. Aspire! is a great organization; if you’d like to learn more about them, visit their web-site at http://www.aspireafterschool.org/.
The HOPE Association is a not-for-profit faith-based organization that was founded in 2012 out of the great calling to be the place where people’s greatest needs are met using people’s greatest passions. Their mission is to transform the lives of children in need by helping them grow, learn, and cultivate a better future and eternal HOPE.The HOPE Association and Randolph began their partnership in 2014. HOPE volunteers have served as breakfast buddies, assisted with evening activities and participated in school yard clean ups. In addition, through the monthly mentoring program, Randolph HOPE for Tomorrow, young professionals provide friendship and guidance to Randolph students as they participate in structured enrichment activities. Program directors, and elementary school teachers, Toni Svonavec and Ann Massoud, develop lessons to engage and inform students while providing an environment for inquiry, collaboration and fun. Program activities have ranged from pumpkin investigation, measuring the speed of light, learning about internet safety, reflecting upon hopes and dreams and establishing goals, keyboarding and physical fitness. The program, which is held from 6-8pm on the 1st Tuesday of every month, is open to fourth and fifth graders. Students give the program high marks. When asked what their favorite activity had been they said, “The end of the year celebration because it reminded me that I’ll miss my mentors, who are my friends.” And, “The typing event because I learned how to type the right way while playing a typing game.”