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Educate Me!

Participation of community is important at every level of learning.

I have passed the halfway point in Leadership Prince William!

Our Leadership Prince William class has completed five sessions, and we only have Arts and Culture, Public Safety, Communication and then graduation. Each day I have attended has been more interesting and informative than the last. I’ve been active in Prince William County for about six years and have served on many boards and committees and I belong to numerous groups, all dedicated to making life better for residents of PWC, so I thought I knew most of what our county has to offer. I may be more familiar with what goes on in the county than many people, but until I began attending Leadership Prince William, I had only skimmed the surface.

The session last month was devoted to education. I believed I would have little purpose in attending this session, for my children have been out of school for many years. I wondered how this would relate to me or my position in the community. I now see that was a very short sighted opinion and have discovered many ways we all link to education.

Our Class of 2012 (Quint-essential Leaders, so named by our class, as we are the fifth to graduate) spent the day at the new Patriot High School in Bristow. Not only is the school beautiful, filled with light and every amenity, the curriculum is designed to seek out students’ talents and encourage them to grow.

We learned Supporting Partnerships And Resources for Kids. SPARK's mission is to engage community partners to fund and promote initiatives that enhance educational excellence. Spark provides grants and provides the School Fusion websites at county schools, like this one at Beville Middle School.

We also learned about STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The school system loves acronyms as much as the military! This program is designed to encourage children to pursue careers in some of the most needed fields in America. Scholarships in these fields abound, but here are two $1,000 scholarships from a local partner, Micron Technology. The deadline for seniors to apply is April 9.

There is a great need in our county schools for mentoring and sharing our lives with students. If you’re employed or ever have been, chances are good you can share your area of expertise with students who will be interested in your skills. Maybe you don’t think your career is something students will be enthused about, but truly, students are interested in just about anything you do!

If you have a little time to share, just reading to younger children is much desired. Zoe Vitter is actively seeking volunteers to read to students at Fannie Fitzgerald Elementary School on Dr. Seuss Day, Friday, March 5. Volunteers can bring one or two of their favorite kids/ picture books, or they can borrow a book to read. Last year we had many parent volunteers come in to read, but there were still some classrooms that didn't have any visitors. Volunteers just need to send their name, the time frame they'll be coming (plan for at least 20-30 minutes for one class, and about 10 minutes for each additional class), and if they'll be bringing their own book(s). Please contact Zoe: zoe@vitter.com or 703-785-5785. You need only 30 minutes to invest in reading to students.

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