Making A Difference for APS

Thankful for November News 2021

Giving Thanks

Welcome to the November edition of the Making a Difference for APS newsletter! I am so excited to inform you about new volunteer opportunities in the schools, highlight a few of our new partnerships and spotlight volunteers who continuously contribute to the success of our students. Not only during this time of the year do we offer our sincere thanks but all throughout the year, we are grateful and appreciative for your ongoing support that you show to our students.

Barrett Elementary School

The Barrett community is very passionate about its Roving Reader program and is looking for new faces this year. If you love multicultural literacy and a joy for reading to children in person, please contact Arturo Ramirez at He has lots of information to share about the program.

Thomas Jefferson Middle School

Thomas Jefferson Middle School is seeking volunteers to help tutor students in Math. Volunteers are needed once a week from 2:30 – 4:00 PM.

Students at Jefferson are engaged in service-learning activities ranging from donating foods and supplies to Path Forward (formerly Arlington Street People's Assistance Network), working in the school’s garden, and assisting elementary students with reading. For more information, please contact Kim Malinosky at

Campbell Elementary School

Campbell PTA is always looking for volunteers for school-wide activities such as garden workdays, wetlands festivals, help in the library, and other PTA-sponsored events. Once you are an approved volunteer, the PTA or other Campbell staff will reach out to you with available opportunities when they arise. For any volunteer questions at Campbell, please get in touch with Kristin Drabyk-Savage at

Dorothy Hamm Middle School

DHMS is looking for volunteers to help create bulletin boards. Student artwork and posters need to be hung. Please contact Crystal Richardson( between 8 am - 4 pm for more information.

Coming Soon: volunteers will be needed to work with ESOL students in reading and vocabulary.

Oakridge Elementary School

Parents and community volunteers, we need your help with gardening. All volunteers must follow the APS volunteer application process. Please get in touch with if you would like to help!

Claremont Elementary School

Claremont Elementary School invites you to be a part of the Tuesday Parent Volunteer Group. We are looking for volunteers who are willing to give a little of their time to benefit our students and teachers. This volunteer group will meet on Nov. 16 & 23 and Dec. 7 & 14. If you have any questions, please get in touch with Haydeé (Family Liaison) at 703-228-2504.

All volunteers must submit the Arlington Public Schools Volunteer Application. Don't hesitate to get in touch with for further assistance.

Kenmore Middle School

Kenmore Middle School is currently recruiting folks with flexible work schedules to help start a mentoring/tutoring program after school. There will be a short virtual orientation/training and very flexible hours. Kenmore needs: 6th, 7th, and 8th grades English Language Arts, 8th grade Pre-Algebra and Algebra, 8th grade Physical Science, Family Consumer Science tutor, and 6th and 7th grade Math. Tutors are needed Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 2:30 p.m. to 4:15 pm. All volunteers must submit the Arlington Public Schools Volunteer Application: For further information or if you have any questions, please contact or

Yorktown High School

Yorktown High School English Learners (EL) Department is currently recruiting empty nesters, folks with flexible work schedules, and recently retired good samaritans to volunteer:

  • To tutor mornings, 8:20 – 9:45 am with English learners in basic math and English for students new to the school.
  • To tutor afternoons, 1:30 – 3:00 pm with English learners in social studies or science classes. Spanish would be helpful, but no specific skills are required.
  • For more information, please get in touch with Ms. Justine Springberg, YHS EL teacher
  • All volunteers must submit the Arlington Public Schools Volunteer Application.

Partnership Spotlight

The number of partnerships that support our schools and students in various ways continues to grow; these are businesses, non-profits, civic or government agencies who share the same ingredients for a shared vision and a perfect partnership.

Over the last few months, our Volunteer and Partnership liaisons have worked hard to continuously create new partnership agreements to enhance student success.

Please take a look below to learn about our new partnerships.

Reaching New Heights partners with New Directions Alternative Program

Reaching New Heights provides students a free and fun opportunity to rock climb at Earth Treks in Crystal City. The belayers at Earth Treks are the Arlington County Police Department members, and the climbers are students from New Directions. The event allowed students to have positive interactions with law enforcement and for students to challenge themselves to a new sport and accomplish a new goal with the trust and encouragement of the belayers.

Program for Employment Preparedness Partners with APS

Arlington Public Schools has partnered with the Program for Employment Preparedness (PEP) to provide a beautiful opportunity where Arlington students help other Arlington students. PEP provides community internships to students who are preparing for employment and adult life. One of the internships is at Oakridge Elementary school, where PEP students are helping in classrooms, the library, and the front office.

Another location is at the Arlington Career Center, where students are assisting the custodial team in maintaining the beauty of the Career Center. This program has quickly become one of the favorite internships among students because of the fun tools and tasks and because the custodial team treats the students like family.

We are grateful for the warm and supportive family that APS has, where service is at the heart of what we do!

The Dyslexic Edge Academy partners with Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School

Thank you to local non-profit Sliding Doors, Virginia Tech, and the local NAACP branch for your partnership with Charles R. Drew Elementary School students. The Dyslexic Edge Academy comprises 11 first graders students who struggle with reading by focusing on their strengths.

The students meet with instructors after school twice a week for 90 minutes. The first half of the session is spent with one-on-one tutoring using the Orton-Gillingham approach, and the other half is spent on STEM-related projects.

Highlighting Volunteers in our Schools

Arlington Public Schools is very grateful to the numerous volunteers who tutor our students, serve as mentors, help beautify our school grounds, open our pallets to new cuisine, and many many more tasks throughout the school year.

See below for a quick glimpse of volunteers who continuously make a difference in the lives of our students.

Carlin Springs

Carlin Springs teachers and staff were smiling and well-fed before a great evening of virtual Parent-Teacher Conferences on October 21st. Thanks to the fantastic staff luncheon sponsored by Paul and Sharon Showalter (long-time Carlin Springs volunteers), the Arlington Jaycees, and Troy’s Italian Kitchen. The Arlington Jaycees have been supporting Carlin Springs since 1997!


Nottingham's parents were so excited to be back in the school for our Halloween parties. The children paraded around the school, and parents set up party activities in the classrooms. We appreciate all the parents who have taken the online training and uploaded their vaccination records.

Kenmore Middle School

Big thanks to Kenmore Volunteers and Kenmore PTA, who came out on November 6th and 7th for Kenmore’s Garden Day. Kenmore Middle School Campus looks amazing! Kenmore Volunteers, PTA, Parents, and Kenmore Community always make a difference!


In October, Langston High School Continuation Program and New Directions Alternative Program welcomed Amanda Wilder, a NOVA Counselor, to Langston to discuss educational opportunities for our students.

Ms. Wilder explained her role as an academic and career counselor for incoming students. She discussed registration and course selection. And advised students on attending future online and in-person workshops on financial aid and other essential topics.

She reiterated to all of our students that there are opportunities for everyone at NOVA. There are many resources available; they just need to reach out and take advantage of them.


French Wheel students are currently studying food and meals, and of course, that opened their appétit! In line with two county objectives (“Enjoy authentic foods from the francophone world” and “Identify typical food items from Francophone cultures and their origins”), students will make crepes in class. As the wonderful and helpful volunteers that made it possible Parent volunteers for Crêpe day: Elaine Gallagher, Sarah Trosch, and Jen Schweer

Arlington Science Focus

Parent volunteers and students at ASFS recently gathered on a Saturday morning to beautify the blacktop! Using a stencil, they painted a map of the United States on the blacktop in the playground. It was a beautiful fall morning, and lots of people came out. Many folks brought snacks and water to share as they worked.


Abingdon’s Reading Buddies program, which pairs retired adults with first-grade readers, launched the second week of November!


Barrett students are frequently treated to unique opportunities like working with retired engineer Dr. Jessup and scientist Ms. Mobley. Both are photographed teaching in this picture about erosion with their watershed model. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our students with your expertise.


Thanks to the generosity of Taylor families, READ will be able to provide 58 students with a new board book and reading tips every month for a year plus weekly text to their grown-ups

with activities (or approximately 700 board books).

With the funds raised, the PTA also purchased over 60 new books for Taylor classrooms, the Extended Day book cart, the Taylor library, and 15 board books for the AFAC children’s program.

We want to celebrate the efforts of Meghan Russo, Joie Neely, Taylor PTA, and READ.


These unique book fair chairs and parent volunteers took on the job of moving the Book Fair indoors and outdoors so all students and families could shop! We are so grateful!

Long Branch

Long Branch Elementary welcomed author, Jeff Gottesfeld

to speak to the 4th & 5th-grade classes about his nonfiction picture book, Twenty-One Steps Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Long Branch Librarian, Mary Lou Rubé, tweeted out a photograph of Jeff’s book and other new books and tagged him and the illustrator, Matt Tavares, in the tweet. He reached out to Mary Lou via email to say he would be coming to DC as a guest of the National Archives for a children’s event and a Tomb Guards Convention celebrating this historic 100th anniversary of the tomb and would love to volunteer and visit Long Branch.

Did you know that Long Branch is the closest school in the United States to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier? During a visit on Monday, Jeff read the book and taught the students about the tomb and what it takes to be one of the sentinel guards, whose every step, every turn, honors and remembers America's fallen.

What are volunteers?

"It is not something that you have to do, it is something that you want to do to help out'".

~Nico, 5th Grader

"Someone who uses their expertise to help others without getting paid'".

~Ben, 4th Grader

"A volunteer has to do things for someone in a school or a business." When asked if he knew any volunteers, he replied, "Our bus patrol is a volunteer".

~ Liam, 3rd Grader

"Helps someone, sometimes you get paid and sometimes you do not".

~Tyler, 2nd Grader