Local Commentary

Guest Commentary: FCEF Activities Reach Beyond City Limits

While many Falls Church City school families are still reeling from their recent run-up of back to school expenses, it may come as a relief to these families, and our entire community for that matter, to know that the non-profit Falls Church Education Foundation is continuously reaching beyond the impressive generosity of City residents to meet its mission of providing supplemental support to Falls Church City Public Schools.

While many Falls Church City school families are still reeling from their recent run-up of back to school expenses, it may come as a relief to these families, and our entire community for that matter, to know that the non-profit Falls Church Education Foundation is continuously reaching beyond the impressive generosity of City residents to meet its mission of providing supplemental support to Falls Church City Public Schools.

As a result of enhanced promotional efforts to recruit participants in the 5th Annual Run for the Schools 5K race and 1 Mile Family Fun Run held on September 12, runners and walkers from throughout the Washington Metropolitan region, including Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties, the District of Columbia and even some athletes from as far away as California and Florida registered for the Foundation’s annual race. While the rainy weather may have kept many of these athletes snug in their beds on race day morning, registration proceeds from 428 runners and walkers will still be put to good use on behalf of our teachers and students in our school system.

This weekend on Friday, October 1st from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., the Education Foundation will host another event that will bring George Mason High School alumni to the Falls Church City for a Special Reception preceding the high school football game – game time is 7:30 p.m. vs. Central Woodstock High School. Opportunities like these not only strengthen connections between alumni and their high school alma mater but also their transformed hometown that was once affectionately referred to as “The Gulch”. A key piece of work that the Foundation has been engaged in since its inception is tapping our alumni living near and far to contribute back to the school system that helped launch them as young adults. Historically, college alumni have given frequently and generously to their universities to support ongoing as well as new education and sports programs yet it is still a fairly new concept for public school education graduates to contribute to their high school and school system needs. This support will surely also benefit our entire community as our schools flourish.

A brand new Foundation initiative, the Family Education Adventure Travel Program (FEAT), will soon be available not only to Falls Church City School families, but also to anyone else who has a yearning to travel to exotic locales such as Tanzania, Greece, and Costa Rica. Through partnerships with experienced family education travel organizations, the Foundation will be offering this program – at a range of price points and destinations – to encourage family learning and support its mission of preparing our students to meet the challenges of the 21st century through quality travel experiences and special programming. These opportunities will supplement the student exchange and travel programs that are already offered to our student body. Please look for more information about Summer 2011 FEAT programs and destinations soon.

In addition, new scholarships and academic prizes for our students are being set up regularly by the Foundation and generous donors who wish to pay tribute to a loved one or community leader. These scholarship funds are enormously helpful to our school families to offset the escalating costs of higher education. Currently, the Foundation stewards 12 endowed, partially-endowed and annual scholarship and prize funds at a level of $500, $1,000 or even an award of full annual tuition through the J. Roger and Patricia Wollenberg Memorial Scholarship Fund. Hundreds of donors from across the U.S. contribute to these funds every year to insure that our students have access to higher education and special learning opportunities.

Through the Foundation’s annual dinner and online auction culminating on May 6, 2011, anyone from anywhere in the world who has access to the internet can support the Foundation’s work on behalf of the Falls Church City Public Schools. Bids will be accepted online for a variety of unique experiences, memorabilia and collectibles—this year’s online bids totaled $5,000. In addition, local, regional and national corporations such as Dominion Power, Virginia Lottery and Clark Construction, served as sponsors of this special event and provided critical financial contributions to the operating budget of the Foundation.

There are many individuals, organizations, and corporations contributing to the success of our students, teachers and entire school system in The Little City, most of all our hometown team of Falls Church City residents, to which we are very grateful. Please remember to come out and cheer on our high school student athletes for their homecoming football game on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Moore Cadillac Stadium at George Mason High School.