While “the show must go on” mantra took effect last year amid the pandemic, a hybrid format is bringing harmony to students and audiences.
South Lakes High School Chorus‘ annual Broadway show is returning to the stage at 7 p.m. this Friday with a live show called “Broadway Night: Mixtape” that features 120 students and 20 Broadway-style songs.
On Saturday, in-person shows will also occur at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., also taking place at the Little Theater at South Lakes High School. And the show will also be streamed online at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Tickets are available online and cost $20 for adults and $15 for students/seniors, but there’s restricted seating capacity due to COVID-19. There are two prices for the live stream: $25 for an individual and $45 for a family. Tickets can be purchased online now.
With last year’s performance produced and presented virtually, musical theater students in the show welcomed the return to a traditional format and expressed how much of a difference it makes:
“I’m really happy about it. Being online just wasn’t the same and I’m excited to be able to perform in front of an audience,” eighth grader Mia said.
“It’s a lot of fun with an audience and stuff. It gets you more excited about it,” eighth grader Melanie said.
“Last year felt like another Zoom call. But it really feels nice to get to be on stage,” seventh grader Lucy said.
“It’s much better than being online. It’s cool to talk to actual people and not screens,” eighth grader Avery said.
“It is so exciting to be back on stage and it reminds me of why I love performing. I think that the live stream option is a super cool way to include family and friends who can’t be here with us physically,” 12th grader Chloe said.
This year’s production also features a striking boombox set created by volunteers.
The annual show brings together students from across the region who take on a variety of roles. Per a news release:
Broadway Night: Mixtape features 20 Broadway style numbers performed by students from South Lakes High School and feeder schools including Langston Hughes and Rachel Carson Middle Schools, Dogwood, Forest Edge, Fox Mill, Hunters Woods, Lake Anne, Terraset and Sunrise Valley Elementary Schools.
South Lakes High School Choral students assume roles in running every aspect of the show: performing, directing, choreography, technical theatre, publicity, and playing in the band. Guidance and instruction are provided by qualified performing arts professionals and parent volunteers through Parents for Choral Arts and dedicated FCPS staff.
South Lakes High School choral director Rita Gigliotti noted the show is made possible through an extraordinary professional creative team; talented, dedicated students; Parents for Choral Arts Booster organization; the Reston Community Center; and local community business sponsors.
A Reston resident and former South Lakes High School parent is using her interest in photography to fundraise for the school’s next public art sculpture on Lake Thoreau’s spillway.
Mary Prochnow, who recently retired from a career in systems engineering, has donated her nature photographs, for a calendar that can be purchased to help raise money for the students’ work. Each year, students from the school’s Science, Technology Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) club create a public art piece on the spillway.
“Knowing that funding this project is always a challenge and that it is entirely independently funded, I was looking for an easy way for anyone who enjoys the artwork to be able to help support the effort,” Prochnow said.
All proceeds from calendar purchases will go toward pushing materials for the sculpture, which will likely be installed in the summer of next year. Lake Thoreau Entertainment Association and Red’s Table, a restaurant, will cover the costs of printing the calendar.
Phoebe Avery, Public Art Reston‘s public art manager, said her organization was humbled by the support of Prochnow, her husband who runs the entertainment association and Ryan Tracy of Red’s Table, for supporting the students’ work.
“Along with our program partners at Reston Association, we have been gratified to watch the STEAM Team grow from four participants to more than 30 students each year,” Avery wrote in a statement.
Two SLHS students — Nava Mehrpour and David Raw — joined Public Art Reston’s public art committee to handpick several of 72 photographers by Prochnow for the calendar.
Marco Rando, an art teacher at the school and the STEAM teaam’s program advisor, said he was ecstatic that Prochnow offered to help fundraise for the effort.
“Using art to support art could not be a more appropriate concept. In addition, the suggestion to engage in an aesthetic gathering with STEAM students to choose her photos for the calendar was a beautiful layer of educational collaboration,” he said.
Rando and Public Art Reston did not immediately return requests for comment on what next year’s public art will look like or where the project is in the development phase.
Residents have until Oct. 31 to donate to the project in order to receive a calendar gift. A minimum donation of $20 is suggested.
Photo via Public Art Reston
Monday, October 11
- Muscle Up Your Mondays with Crunch Fitness (6:30 p.m.) — Check out a complimentary workout at Reston Town Center.
Tuesday, October 12
- Nutrition & Stress Management for Anyone (noon) — Learn more about how to better manage your body and respond to negative stressors.
Wednesday, October 13
- Tea and Art Club (10:30 a.m.) — Explore different forms of painting in this social environment at Monroe Street Studio. Cost is $45.
Thursday, October 14
- Herndon Farmers Market (8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) — Stop by for some fresh produce from local vendors. Recurs weekly.
Friday, October 15
- South Lakes High School Homecoming Parade (5-6:30 p.m.) — The Seahawks will have their homecoming parade starting at Hunters Woods Plaza, which will arrive at the high school before the big game that night against Chantilly.
- “The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)” (8 p.m.) — A satirical performance reminiscent of musical theater greats ranging from Andrew Lloyd Webber to Rodgers and Hammerstein kicks off at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage. Performances run through Nov. 6. Tickets cost $20 for adults but discounts are available.
- “A Familiar Melody” (8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday as well as 2 p.m. on Sunday) — A NextStop Theatre Company show brings together a selection of Broadway hits. Tickets are $30.
Saturday, October 16
- Herndon Homecoming Parade (9:30 a.m. to noon) — A school tradition resumes, running along a portion of Elden Street. This year’s theme is Herndon Goes Hollywood.
- Reston Home Tour (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) — A self-guided tour features four homes and an assisted living facility, The Kensington. Tickets are $35.
- Frying Pan Farm Park’s 60th Anniversary Day (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) — Visit this popular park for a special, free event featuring food trucks, a tractor parade and more
- Howl-o-ween Party (2:30-6:30 p.m.) — Enjoy music, food, drinks and more at Brown’s Chapel Recreation Area, and put your dog into a costume contest for $10 with advanced registration.
- Unbridled Passion (4 p.m.) — From Mendelssohn to Chopin, hear classics through the Reston Community Orchestra in a performance featuring piano soloist Faith Zuñiga at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. Tickets for adults are $25. Kids 17 and younger are free.
Sunday, October 17
- All Ages Nature Workshops (2-3 p.m.) — Participate in activities at the Walker Nature Center. Cost is $7 for Reston Association members.
Fall activities for area schools are back.
Compared to last year when the pandemic disrupted sports, dances and parades, lineups are returning at Herndon and South Lakes schools and others.
Students are wearing masks as they attend school and make traditional homecoming decorations in school hallways; vaccine mandates for athletes have brought high school football back with as much normalcy as possible.
There will still be some differences as COVID-19 precautions persist: James Madison High School’s dance will be held Saturday night in two large tents at the school’s rear parking lot. The theme is “Highway to Homecoming.”
Last year, football and other fall sports were canceled as students largely studied remotely. Herndon canceled its homecoming parade, too, which can involve over 1,500 participants, and the school held a live virtual event for homecoming.
“Homecoming is a longstanding tradition in the Herndon community. It is very much a full-community effort,” Principal Liz Noto said in a statement, noting that many alumni return for the afternoon football game.
The Herndon Homecoming Parade will require all participants to wear a mask. It starts at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 16 at Herndon Middle School and runs along Elden Street from Locust Street/Sterling Road to Lynn Street. The game against Washington-Liberty High School is at 1 p.m.
— South Lakes High School (@southlakeshs) October 7, 2021
The South Lakes Seahawks will have their homecoming parade from 5-6:30 p.m. Oct. 15 starting at Hunters Wood Plaza and ending at the high school.
The school will have its homecoming parade start at Hunters Wood Plaza and arrive at the high school before the big game that night at 7 against Chantilly.
Photo via twitter.com/southlakeshs
To keep school buildings open five days a week, Fairfax County Public Schools has worked with county health officials to develop intricate procedures for handling reported COVID-19 cases, but the school system has been notifying students that they need to pause in-person learning by email, sometimes late in the day.
This has resulted in some students coming to school early the next morning without knowing that they are a close contact of someone who has contracted the coronavirus and shouldn’t be at school that day.
“Due to the quick turnaround of pause notifications, we are aware that students have incorrectly attended school on a small number of occasions, unaware that they should remain at home,” a FCPS spokesperson told Reston Now. “When this occurs, the school administration acts quickly to alert the student and send them home.”
The FCPS spokesperson confirmed that only one email is required to go out, though some follow-up calls are made, if time allows, to confirm that the communication has been received.
“Currently, email notifications go out in eight different languages to ensure non English speaking families are communicated to in their home language,” the spokesperson wrote in an email. “Follow-up phone calls, while not currently part of our required notification processes, may be considered as our protocol evolves. Our principals make every effort to reach all our families.”
Earlier this week, Reston Now received a tip from a South Lakes High School teacher that several of their students were in class even though they were sent notifications instructing them to pause in-person learning.
While the students had not directly tested positive for COVID, they were considered close contacts, and under FCPS policies, those students shouldn’t have been in class.
The teacher also says one student who came to their class was “obviously ill,” making them feel unsafe and not confident with school procedures and communications. They are considering their options about returning.
FCPS says teachers are not alerted about these notifications due to privacy concerns, and there is no manual check at the door to see if anyone is entering who shouldn’t be there.
When a student tests positive for COVID-19, principals at each individual school use seating charts to determine who should be considered a close contact, the FCPS spokesperson confirmed.
At that point, the school sends an in-person learning pause notification via email to those close contacts.
A pause typically lasts between one to three days, according to the FCPS website, while the county health department clarifies each student’s vaccination status and completes contact tracing.
The pause takes effect immediately when the notification goes out, the FCPS spokesperson said.
However, if an email goes out in the evening, students and their families might not think to check their email before heading out to school the next morning.
While the notification does go out in nine languages, including English, there remains a possibility that it could not be understood by some.
9% of students at South Lakes High School are “English Learners,” meaning they are learning how to communicate and learn effectively in English. Nearly 30% of Reston residents speak a language other than English at home, according to 2019 census data.
After FCPS sends the initial notification, the Fairfax County Health Department takes over with contact tracing, communicating how long quarantine should be, and providing public health guidance.
Since Aug. 13, South Lakes High School has had seven confirmed positive cases of COVID, according to the FCPS dashboard. This includes three staff and four students.
FCPS has updated its COVID-19 procedures and guidelines over the last week. On Monday (Aug. 30), it announced that all high school students will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to participate in winter and spring school sports.
Just today (Thursday), FCPS said it has worked with the Fairfax County Health Department to speed up the process of identifying students who are fully vaccinated so they can quickly return to in-person learning if they’re identified as a close contact to a positive COVID case.
“We appreciate our community’s patience as we navigate through these challenging times,” the FCPS spokesperson wrote. “As we do our best to provide safe in-person learning, five days a week as mandated by the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
Flash Flood Watch in Effect for Ida — The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch and Hazardous Weather Outlook for Fairfax County that will be in effect today (Wednesday) through tomorrow morning, as the remnants of Hurricane Ida pass over the region. The county advises avoiding flooded streets, moving valuables from basements, and making sure storm drains and gutters aren’t clogged. [Fairfax County Emergency Information]
Alcorn Denies County/Golf Course Development Deal — Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn told the citizens’ advocacy group Rescue Reston that Fairfax County is not aware of any deals to redevelop one of Reston’s two golf courses. A Rescue Reston board member said his group had been told a development deal was “in the works with the county,” which Alcorn denied. [Patch]
Eagerness and Uncertainty Mix in High School Football’s Return to Reston — “By 6 p.m. Friday, the only remaining evidence of that afternoon’s thunder and rain were shallow puddles dotting the back parking lot at South Lakes High School in Reston…It was time for a football game. This matchup between the Seahawks and Robinson was one of about 50 games played across the D.C. area last weekend — the official return of fall football.” [The Washington Post]
RA Announces Labor Day Weekend Pool Schedule — The North Shore, Ridge Heights, Lake Newport, and Glade pools will all be open from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 4-5) and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday (Sept. 6). While the summer pool season is coming to a close, the North Shore and Ridge Heights pools will remain open through Sept. 19. [Reston Association/Twitter]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
One Life Fitness Workers Put Out Sauna Fire — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue units responded to a “small fire” in the One Life Fitness Reston sauna room yesterday, but maintenance workers put out the blaze before firefighters arrived. An employee told Reston Now that the fire just caused some damage to the wood. It was the first day the sauna had been turned on in more than a year. [Patch]
CVS Allows Walk-in Vaccine Appointments — CVS Health is now offering COVID-19 vaccinations to walk-in appointments and same-day scheduling at all stores in Virginia, joining Giant, which started allowing walk-ins at its pharmacies on Monday (May 3). There are five CVS stores in Reston and three in Herndon. [Patch]
D.C. Judge Vacates National Eviction Moratorium — A D.C. judge ruled that the CDC lacks the authority to institute a nationwide moratorium on housing evictions, but even if the ruling ultimately stands, experts say it likely won’t have an immediate impact on D.C. area tenants. Virginia has a patchwork of protections but no statewide ban.” [DCist]
Air and Space Museum Reopens in Chantilly — Yesterday, the Udvar-Hazy Center became the first Smithsonian museum to open since last fall, when the institution largely shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New additions include a display commemorating the late Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins and an X-Wing Starfighter from the most recent “Star Wars” movie. [WTOP]
South Lakes Girls’ Basketball Celebrates Recent Success — “#WCW In the past 2 seasons, your Seahawks went a combined 22-1 in Liberty District competition, & won back to back championships for the 1st time since 1985-1986.” [South Lakes Girls Basketball/Twitter]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a lonely time for much of the theater world, as stage productions remain shuttered or confined to audience-free, virtual performances, but for one group of South Lakes High School alumni, the past year unexpectedly rekindled their bond.
A virtual theater company dedicated to giving new and up-and-coming playwrights a platform to have their work read and critiqued, the Walking Shadow Readers Theatre emerged in June 2020 out of what was originally just a casual online reunion of former South Lakes drama students who had scattered across the country in the decade-plus since they graduated.
Now, the company is organizing its first one-act play festival to celebrate its first season and raise enough money to have a second one.
“Our main goal with the fundraiser is to earn enough to start compensating artists, as we are currently an all volunteer [organization],” Walking Shadow board president and casting director Amy Benson said. “We have been providing actors and writers with the gift of a creative space during the pandemic, but want to be able to compensate them for their work.”
Scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. on May 28, the One Acts Festival will feature eight short plays by the playwrights who participated in Walking Shadow’s inaugural season, along with interviews with the writers and excerpts from past readings.
The program will be about two-and-a-half hours in length and will be available to stream on YouTube until June 11. General admission tickets are now on sale for $10, but the company encourages people to consider one of the higher-priced options, since all of the proceeds will go toward paying artists and staff and keeping the theater operational.
According to a press release, the company plans to soon become an official nonprofit.
Benson says that Walking Shadow’s origins help distinguish it from other theater organizations since its members include both theater professionals and people who ultimately pursued other career paths.
Benson, for example, teaches at Imagination Stage in Bethesda, but her fellow company members include a media director who works as a security consultant by day, a virtual marketing assistant and stay-at-home mother, and a licensed mental health therapist.
“We have realized this is one of our strengths as a group because we bring diverse experience and knowledge into our playwright feedback sessions,” Benson said.
Because its members live around the country, Walking Shadow will continue to focus on virtual readings and performances even after the pandemic fades into memory, but some in-person performances could be possible in the future, according to the company’s website.
Benson says it has been rewarding to watch Walking Shadow evolve over the past year into a venture that is “creatively fulfilling for us and the other artists who are involved.”
“Theatre is one of the great ways of connecting with other people,” she said. “This has given us and the artists we work with the opportunity to not only reconnect with one another and connect to performers and playwrights across the country, but as a way of staying vital and creative in a time when life has been stagnant.”
South Lakes High School’s varsity and junior varsity football teams have paused all activities through April 4 — one day before spring break ends — after 11 players tested positive for COVID-19, Fairfax County Public Schools confirmed to Reston Now.
ABC7’s Scott Abraham first reported the teams’ activities had been put on hold due to positive COVID-19 cases. The Seahawks’ March 26 home game against Washington-Liberty and April 1 game at Langley were both canceled.
South Lakes Principal Kim Retzer alerted families to the multiple positive cases of COVID-19 at the school in an emailed letter on March 25, stating that the cases appeared to be “confined to a contained group of students (such as a sports team or a club).”
“In an abundance of caution, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) will be temporarily transitioning all affected classroom cohorts to distance learning and all on-site activities involving this group have been paused as the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) completes contact tracing and investigation,” Retzer wrote in her letter.
She added that FCPS “will be implementing all cleaning and disinfecting protocols as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FCHD.”
“Our school remains open to staff and all other in-person cohorts at this time,” Retzer said.
FCPS spokesperson Lucy Caldwell confirmed that 11 of the 99 student athletes in the high school’s football program reported testing positive as of March 31.
“The FCHD determined transmission of COVID-19 occurred during team activities,” she said.
Caldwell noted that the student athletes who tested positive have the ability to participate in virtual learning while in isolation.
Almost 40 additional student athletes have been moved to virtual learning to quarantine because the county health department identified those students as “close contacts to the reported COVID-19 positive cases,” according to Caldwell.
In accordance with CDC guidance, the health department defines a close contact as “persons with [more than] 15 cumulative minutes of exposure in a 24-hour period within 6 feet of an infectious COVID-19 case.”
FCHD Senior Communications Specialist Tina Dale told Reston Now that the department does not comment on outbreaks unless it needs assistance finding people to complete contact investigations.
“As is the case with facilities, such as schools, we are able to conduct a thorough investigation since everyone involved can easily be identified and contacted, which is the goal for our investigations,” Dale said.
According to Caldwell, almost 13,000 FCPS students and staff have participated in athletics activities since winter sports began on Dec. 7, and just under 2% of participants reported testing positive for COVID-19.
“FCPS paused activities as advised by the FCHD,” Caldwell said. “All teams are paused following the initial report of a positive case. Any close contacts identified by the FCHD are instructed to quarantine and the rest may resume normal activities.”
As more students have returned to school buildings for classes and other activities, FCPS has launched a Stop the Spread campaign to combat COVID-19 by promoting “layered prevention strategies,” Caldwell says.
The campaign emphasizes registering for a vaccine, wearing masks in public, practicing social distancing, washing hands while covering sneezes and coughs, cleaning and disinfecting, and answering any potential calls from the county health department.
Caldwell says FCPS will not enforce any additional protocols related to travel during spring break, but all students, staff, and visitors will continue to complete a daily questionnaire about possible symptoms before arriving to school or work. Individuals who answer “yes” to any questions on the screening are directed to stay home.
Great Falls Fire Captain Honored — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce honored Capt. Mike Allen as the first responder of the year. He works in the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Station 12 in Great Falls. [Inside NOVA]
South Lakes Students Make School More Inviting — Students at South Lakes High School beautified bathroom stalls with paintings in order to make the return to school more inviting. The effort was coordinated by the school’s campus environment commission committee. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
County Board Advertises Flat Tax Rate — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted yesterday to set an advertised real estate tax rate of $1.15 per $100 of assessed value for fiscal year 2022. County Executive Bryan Hill had proposed decreasing the rate by one cent. [@JeffreyCMcKay/Twitter]
Severe Tornado Drill Set for March 16 — “Virginia Severe Weather Awareness Week, which is the first time Virginia is promoting this combined awareness effort, will be held March 15-19…As part of the awareness week activities, Virginia’s annual tornado drill will be conducted on Tuesday, March 16, at 9:45 a.m.” [Fairfax County Government]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
The venue may be different, but there was no stopping this year’s Broadway Night.
The South Lakes High School Chorus and Parents for the Choral Arts are putting on the 16th anniversary of Broadway Night at 7 p.m. on Feb. 27. For the first time, the show will be produced and presented virtually.
The theme of the show will be Screen and Stage, and will feature songs that went from screen to stage or stage to screen. The show will also feature performances from students in fifth through 12th grades from the South Lakes High School pyramid schools.
“Community and love are at the center of the South Lakes choral program, and this feeling is always especially palpable in our annual Broadway Night,” South Lakes High School choral director Rita Gigliotti said.
“The success of this annual show is in the synergy of our extraordinary professional creative team combined with our talented, dedicated students and the love and support of our SLHS community, our Parents for Choral Arts Booster organization, the Reston Community Center, and local community business sponsors.”
The show will feature special appearances from Frank Abagnale, the primary subject of the movie, autobiography and musical “Catch Me If You Can,” and more than a dozen Broadway and film actors.
Broadway Night offers the school’s chorus and performing arts students an opportunity to work with professional choreographers and directors. Given the inability to rehearse and produce the show in person, student performers have worked with directors and choreographers virtually.
Prices are grouped in four categories. A family, group or household virtual stream is $60 and an individual viewer stream is $20. A VIP supporter price is $125 and a student, senior or choral supporter ticket is $10. Broadway Night is supported by ticket sales.
Tickets are available for purchase on the chorus’ site. It is recommended to purchase tickets by 5 p.m. on Feb. 27. If you are unable to watch the performance live, a recording will be uploaded and available for viewing for 60 days after the show.
“Music is a universal language. Its ability to tap into our hearts and souls is widely recognized by the way we feel when we engage in it,” Gigliotti said.
“Music’s ability to synchronize our energy creates community. You are going to feel the community and love of individuals near and far in this year’s show, all coming together to support our performing arts students.”
The performance will also support The Actors Fund, a charitable organization that helps the entertainment industry. Gigliotti also said the performance will be dedicated to front-line workers and those who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Image via South Lakes High School
County Considers Replacing Parking Lots with Affordable Housing — The county is considering a plan to swap some of its extra parking space at the Fairfax County Government Center for affordable housing. [Greater Greater Washington]
Cloth Mask Donations Exceed 2020 Goal — Fairfax County has exceeded its goal for cloth face mask donations for this year. Overall, 77,010 face coverings were donated and distributed this year after the county put out a call in May. [Fairfax County Government]
South Lakes Senior Organizes Toy Drive Remotely — Amanda Smith, a senior at South Lakes High School, planned a toy drive through the National Honor Society. Nearly 500 donated toys were taken to Arlington for Santa’s workshop. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Artwork by students at South Lakes High School is on display at Marymount University through Jan. 3.
The exhibition, titled Visions, features the work of several students, including David Raw and Maxine Prudhomme, who won honorable mention awards for their work.
The following students’ work is featured:
- Juana Hernandez
- Sahitya Jammula
- Audrey Kim
- Brianna Le
- Maxine Prudhomme
- David Raw
- Milagro Rosa Flores
- Simone Stevens
- Camila Ytriago
- Mindy Zheng
“The South Lakes work is incredibly inventive, personal, and experimental in both media and concept,” said SLHS art teacher Matt Ravenstahl.
Here’s more from Erica Harrison, who curated the exhibition:
Adjudicating the visual explorations of regional emerging artists who are investigating the complexities of the human experience through varied artistic disciplines was a pleasure. When selecting the works for the exhibition I looked for a combination of form and content that was intelligent and compelling.
During this process, I asked myself several questions; was the focus of the work well composed and visually impactful? Did the artist have a clear sense of what they were communicating? Did the treatment of media show an understanding of artistic fundamentals? The notable artists selected as awardees not only demonstrated a mastery of media but showed a passion for independent exploration and a willingness to push themselves.
I would like to acknowledge and thank the families and friends of all these young artists for encouraging their gifts, the faculty members of the art departments for their courage and commitment to their students, and Marymount for fostering this open opportunity that supports our vibrant artistic community.
The exhibit can be viewed online.
Artwork by David Raw
A South Lakes High School junior has found a unique way to give back to her local community amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The student, Christina, learned how to make face masks and donated around 1,000 masks to her school’s food pantry. The effort began after. When she first began the project, she placed the masks in little free libraries and donated other masks to her neighbors.
In a recent release, Fairfax County Public Schools stated that she is now known as the “mask lady” in her own neighborhood. Her last name was not released due to privacy reasons.
“South Lakes is proud of how these siblings exemplify the best of the FCPS Portrait of a Graduate as Ethical and Global Citizens. Their daily actions show how they contribute to solutions that benefit the broader community and demonstrate empathy, compassion and respect for others,” the statement reads.
Here’s more from FCPS on the venture:
A teen who loves crafts and art, Christina is inspired by her teachers at South Lakes, local artists, and summer classes she has taken at Reston Community Center.
Christina and her family stayed at a Ronald McDonald House Charity when a sibling was being treated for cancer. She spent her time there helping the other families by offering to babysit and host spa days. She also spent hours every day painting mugs and glasses that the charity sold to donors. Christina creates paintings that are sold to benefit Saint Jude’s Research Hospital.
She also enjoys working with people with special needs. Four years ago, her youth group volunteered as fishing coaches, pairing with people with special needs to compete in the Cape Charles Queen of the Bay Fishing Tournament. She enjoyed it so much that she returns to volunteer each year.
Photo via FCPS
Reston Ice Rink Offers New Safety Guidelines — “The ice rink at Reston Town Center has been a must stop during the holidays for the past 30 years. This year things will look the same, but with new safety guidelines in place because of COVID-19.” [WJLA]
PassionFish in Bethesda Closes — The popular seafood permanent closed its Bethesda location on Nov. 15, but the Reston Town Center location will remain open. [Montgomery County Media]
South Lakes Culinary Students Offer To-go Meals — “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, culinary students along with their chief, Cynthia, came up with the idea to offer To-Go services to the school’s faculty and staff who are working remotely. Organizers said they have to sell the food the students make to raise money for the program.” [Local DVM]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr