Reston to Become a Fairfax County ‘Opportunity Neighborhood’

ResTON opportunity neighborhood/Credit: CornerstonesCommunity members, corporate partners, faith communities and local officials will gather Wednesday night at South Lakes High School to kick off the new Reston Opportunity Neighborhood (ResTON) initiative.

Started by Fairfax County, the Opportunity Neighborhood movement aims to identify areas of need, and provide resources that will allow all children to gain a strong academic foundation, family resilience, and “a culture of engagement and success,” representatives said.

The first neighborhood to join Opportunity Neighborhood was Mount Vernon in the Alexandria area. Reston will be the second neighborhood to become part of the program.

Hunter Mill District County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins is a big proponent of ResTON initiative, and will be participating in Wednesday night’s kick-off event, along with Fairfax County School Board Representative Pat Hynes (Hunter Mill).

“I believe children need resources that will allow them to excel,” Hudgins said in an email. “Opportunity Neighborhood is about improving the lives of children and youth, by bringing together County services, school resources and our community partners in cooperative framework.  Through this collaboration, we can provide families with a seamless pipeline of programs, services and supports.”

One example Hudgins offered was ensuring that all children have safe and reliable transportation to and from school, and to enriching community events and places like their local recreation centers.

“Lack of transportation can hinder a student’s ability to stay after school to get extra assistance from a teacher or participate in an activity that can shape life skills,” Hudgins pointed out.

“And by transportation, I mean it might not be a train or bus.  It could be as simple as a sidewalk that allows a child to walk to their local community center,” she added. “RestON will enable us to identify these issues and bring all of our resources to help solve these broader community issues.”

The ResTON kick-off event takes place Wednesday, 7-9 p.m., at South Lakes High School, 11400 South Lakes Dr. in Reston.

Questions can be directed to Bill Threlkeld of Cornerstones at 571-323-9579 or [email protected].

Photo courtesy Cornerstones.

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