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Image 152 Barcroft Elementary students get after-school support

It is well-documented that students who participate in after-school activities have higher grades, are more engaged, and are better connected with both the school and the community.

Engaging kids early through after-school programming also keeps kids interested in school, allows for the development of mentorships, and helps build students’ self-confidence. These are some of the many reasons why Arlington Community Foundation and the Arlington Sports Foundation are teaming up to raise funds to offset the cost of after-school programming in the eight Title 1 elementary schools in Arlington County: Abingdon, Barcroft, Barrett, Campbell, Carlin Springs, Drew, Hoffman-Boston, and Randolph.

Title 1 schools have a high number of students receiving free or reduced lunch, which is a generally accepted measure of poverty levels. Arlington Public Schools (APS) Title 1 schools all offer a free or reduced lunch percentage to at least 50% of the student population [Learn more 2022 poverty levels in Arlington here].

APS offers after-school programming to elementary school students in kindergarten through fifth grade. It provides opportunities for students to engage in activities such as theater, dance, arts, robotics, sports/athletics, and academic programming.

Because after-school enrichment programming is fee-based, many families in Arlington County cannot afford to enroll their children in these beneficial learning experiences.

The fundraising partnership between Arlington Community Foundation and the Arlington Sports Foundation aims to provide equitable access to after-school programming for elementary school students across the county.

Representatives from the foundations recently had the opportunity to present a grant in the amount of $3,050 to staff and students at Barcroft Elementary School. Here’s how those funds are being used:

$2,000: 22 students were able to join the after-school Environment Club. Students applied to be in the club, and all interested students were accepted. The club has completely re-done and planted the garden beds, gotten a bird bath and feeder, started a walking school bus on Wednesdays, and each week learn about creating a school yard habitat. They host clean-ups around the school and do weekly science experiments.

$650: As many of the families do not have personal transportation, this covers the cost of providing 2 APS buses from Barcroft to a sporting event. 100 students families signed up to take the buses.

$400: Sci-girls is a program developed by PBS in conjunction with the Children’s Science Center to expose Latina fourth and fifth graders to science, engineering, and technology. It is a 9 week program that is hosted for Randolph and Barcroft 4th and 5th grade Latina girls every Friday. Funding provided transportation for 30 students to the Science Lab in Fairfax, Virginia.

Everyone is welcome to contribute to the fund and give local students an opportunity to flourish! To learn more and donate, click here or the button below.

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