Around F.C.

School News & Notes: June 1 —7 

Chew & Chat’s Project Ripples Through F.C.

In response to virtual learning three years ago, Ms. Andrea Chew started a club called Color & Chat, which allowed her students to socialize from home. Then, once school returned in-person,  the students still wanted to meet to chat — so they started coming up to her classroom during their lunch shift. They renamed it Chew & Chat because they would eat lunch and chat about whatever was on their minds. The club has grown in size from about 5 students to 45. 

This year, the club applied for (and was awarded) a grant about youth changing the world. The club decided to do a Kindness Project to spread kindness throughout both school and community.   Their kindness is spreading through the City of Falls Church through activities such as sharing a kindness quote each morning over the PA System to start the school day with a positive mindset; painting “Be Kind” Canvas Plaques and hand delivering them to the school staff and local community businesses; installing Kindness Words on steps at the school — so students and staff members can read a positive word as they climb the steps; distributing water bottles with “Kindness Labels” and filling the inside with small snacks and a handwritten “thank you” note by the students.  The water bottles were given to all bus drivers/aides, custodians, maintenance workers, and cafeteria workers. 

Congratulations to Oak Street 3rd and 4th graders Nathan Donofrio, Julia Kieffer, James Labukas, Kaitlyn Mathers, and Annie Novotny, who traveled to the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals at Michigan State University over the weekend. (Photo: Martha Mathers)

Chantilly Jazz Fest Awards Superior Ratings

The Meridian High School Jazz Ensemble performed for the prestigious Chantilly Jazz Festival on Friday, May 12.  The three-day event featured 28 jazz groups from across the state.   

The Jazz Ensemble received straight superior ratings from three judges. Adjudicator Chuck Dotas, James Madison University Jazz Director, provided a clinic for the group after performing three selections featuring Afro-Cuban, swing, and blues music.

Four Jazz Ensemble members were recognized for their outstanding performance and were selected for the All-Star Jazz Ensemble.  Congratulations to Casey Dimock, trombone; Nate Hill, piano; Danielle Kuck, bass; Carlos Ortiz, trumpet and Kaethan Virmani, trombone.

Ceremony Recognizes Student Achievement

The Falls Church Education Foundation (FCEF) joined the Choral Boosters, Band Boosters, and other community organizations in recognizing student achievement at the 2023 Scholarship and Awards ceremony. Scholarships include recognition of students who are:  immigrants, dedicated to service learning, first-generation college students, community college attendees, planning on a career in teaching, attending vocational programs, ESOL program graduates, students pursuing visual arts, creative writing, and journalism, a full tuition and fees scholarship, and more. Three new scholarships were included: The Torey Fay Scholarship, The Matthew Valley Visual Arts Scholarship, and The Matheson-Linamen Scholarship.

FCEF has disbursed almost $2M in donor-designated scholarships to date. If one wishes to contribute to a scholarship, please go to and click “Donate Now.” It will be a guide to specify the scholarship one wants to donate to. If there is interest in starting a new scholarship, don’t hesitate to contact FCEF Executive Director Debbie Hiscott at Learn more about each scholarship on the FCEF-funded legacy kiosks.