Alexandria Mom's Calendar of Events

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities Needs Assessment Findings Are In!


2011 Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities Needs Assessment Findings Are In!
The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities conducted a Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment Survey during May and June of 2011. The purpose of the survey was to establish priorities for the future development of parks, recreation, cultural facilities, programs and services within your community. The survey was administered by a consultant, Leisure Vision, through a combination of mail and phone and was designed to obtain statistically valid results from households throughout the City of Alexandria. Leisure Vision worked extensively with the City of Alexandria officials in the development of the survey questionnaire. This work allowed the survey to be tailored to issues of strategic importance to effectively plan the future system.
Major findings include:
                Visitation of Parks. Eighty-five percent (85%) of households indicated that they have visited any of the City of Alexandria parks during the past year. This is considerably higher than the national benchmark of seventy-two percent (72%). Of the 85% of households that have visited a park, 86% rated the physical condition of all the city parks visited as either “excellent” (23 %) or “good” (63%). The remaining households rated the parks as follows: “fair” (13%) and “poor” (1%).
                Participation in Recreation or Cultural Programs or Special Events. Forty-six percent (46%) of respondent households indicated that they had participated in any recreation or cultural programs or special events offered by the City of Alexandria during the past 12 months. This is considerably higher than the national benchmark of thirty percent (30%). Of the 46% of respondent households that indicated that they have participated in any recreation or cultural programs or special events, 90% indicated that they would rate the overall quality of the recreation or cultural programs or special events their household has participated in as either “excellent” (30%) or “good” (60%). Of the remaining respondent households, 9% rated them as “fair” and only 1% rated them as “poor”.
                Need for Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Amenities. There are five parks, recreation, and cultural amenities that over 55% of households have a need for: walking trails (84%), natural areas and wildlife habitats (67%), biking trails (62%), picnic shelters/areas (57%), and indoor exercise and fitness facilities (55%).
                Most Important Parks, Recreation and Cultural Amenities. Based on the sum of their top four choices, the parks, recreation, and cultural amenities that households rated as the most important are: walking trails (57%), biking trails (34%), and natural areas and wildlife habitats (30%). Playgrounds were the top priority for households with children under 10; walking and biking trail were the top priority for households with children 10-19 (soccer/lacrosse fields were a close 2nd priority); walking and biking trails were the top priority for empty nester households.
                Need for Recreation and Cultural Programs. The recreation and cultural programs that the highest percentage of households have a need for include: farmers’ markets (84%) and cultural special events (61%).
                Most Important Recreation and Cultural Programs. Based on the sum of their top four choices, the recreation and cultural programs that households rated as the most important include: farmers’ market (59%) and cultural special events (37%). Learn to swim programs were the top priority for households with children under 10; youth athletic programs were the top priority in households with children 10-19; farmer’s markets were the top priority in empty nester households.
For additional information, and to view the final report, visit


There are many opportunities to volunteer in Alexandria, but there is nothing like making the difference in the life of a child.  

Please consider giving your time to one of the following organizations.

Alexandria Tutoring Consortium 
Tutor elementary students one to two times a week until May.
Training and lesson plans/curriculum provided.
703-549-6670 x 119

Alexandria Mentoring Partnership
Mentor a child and change two lives!

Center For Alexandria's Children

Most schools in the area could use some tutors, mentors, and general volunteers.

Here are a few that need specific assistance:

  • GW Middle School needs ESL teachers  703-746-5712
  • Hammond Middle School's Higher Achievement Program needs teachers, tutors and mentors 202-375-7733,
  • Patrick Henry Elementary School needs mentors for 1st graders and their families. 703-228-8212

The Old Town Boutique District Anniversary Scavenger Hunt

The Scavenger Hunt will take place Sept. 23-25.  
This is the celebration of the 4th anniversary of the Old Town Boutique District.  The participating merchants will be giving away more than $6,000 in gift cards and gifts.   

This is how is works:  
When you visit a participating store, flash your passport to the merchant and receive a free gift.  
Get your passport stamped by each of the participating shops and you will be entered to win one of 30 $100 gift cards or the grand prize of a $3000 shopping spree.  

Go here to download both the passport and map in PDF format. 

And new this year -- There is a digital version of the hunt, where you have the chance to win even more prizes.  
Make sure to become a fan on OTBD's Facebook page to get a list of the questions.  As a fan you'll get the information early, on Monday, September 19.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Miracle League Needs Angels

The Fall Season Opener for the Miracle League is Saturday, September 17 at 1 p.m. at the field at the Nannie Lee Recreation Center,  1108 Jefferson Street in Alexandria. 

The Miracle League provides people with special needs the opportunity to enjoy sporting events such as T-ball or slow pitch type softball.  The play is on a special synthetic field, designed specifically for use by individuals with special needs. The surface is entirely covered in a rubber-like compound that allows a firm, yet cushioned surface for wheelchairs, walkers, etc.

On Saturday, the Miracle League could use a few Angels. Angels are people who assist Miracle League players run the bases, either running for them, pushing wheelchairs or just helping them along. As an Angel, you get an Angel in the Outfield T-shirt and bring smiles to the players who finally have a chance to participate like everyone else. 
Please consider helping out this great program!


If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Mac Slover (, Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities, Sports Division, at 703-746-5407, or Bill Rivers (, Youth Sports Advisory Board, at 703-683-6526.

Please consider coming out and cheering on these wonderful athletes. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A few Resources for Parents of Children with Learning Issues


            Learning Disabilities on line –
            ChADD – Children and adults with AD/HD –
            Schwabb Learning –
            All Kinds of Minds –
            LD resources –
            Parent Education, Advocacy & Training Center (PEATC) –
            Common Sense Media -
            Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center –
            Center for Applied Special Technology -  

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Mom Song (it never gets old)

and here are the words....

Get up now
Get up now
Get up out of bed
Wash your face
Brush your teeth
Comb your sleepy head
Here's your clothes
And your shoes
Hear the words I said
Get up now
Get up and make your bed
Are you hot?
Are you cold?
Are you wearing that?
Where's your books and your lunch and your homework at?
Grab your coat and your gloves and your scarf and hat
Don't forget you gotta feed the cat
Eat your breakfast
The experts tell us it's the most important meal of all
Take your vitamins so you will grow up one day to be big and tall
Please remember the orthodon'tist will be seeing you at three today?
Don't forget your piano lesson is this afternoon
So you must play
Don't shovel
Chew slowly
But hurry
The bus is here
Be careful
Come back here
Did you wash behind your ears?
Play outside
Don't play rough
Would you just play fair?
Be polite
Make a friend
Don't forget to share
Work it out
Wait your turn
Never take a dare
Get along
Don't make me come down there
Clean your room
Fold your clothes
Put your stuff away
Make your bed
Do it now
Do we have all day?
Were you born in a barn?
Would you like some hay
Can you even hear a word I say?
Answer the phone
Get Off the phone
Don't sit so close
Turn it down
No texting at the table
No more computer time tonight
Your iPod's my iPod if you don't listen up
Where you going and with whom and what time do you think you're coming home?
Saying thank you, please, excuse me
Makes you welcome everywhere you roam
You'll appreciate my wisdom
Someday when you're older and you're grown
Can't wait 'til you have a couple little children of your own
You'll thank me for the counsel I gave you so willingly
But right now
I thank you NOT to roll your eyes at me
Close your mouth when you chew
Would appreciate
Take a bite
Maybe two
Of the stuff you hate
Use your fork
Do not you burp
Or I'll set you straight
Eat the food I put upon your plate
Get an A, Get the door
Don't get smart with me
Get a Grip
Get in here I'll count to 3
Get a job
Get a life
Get a PhD
Get a dose of...
I don't care who started it
You're grounded until your 36
Get your story straight
And tell the truth for once for heaven's sake
And if all your friends jumped off a cliff
Would you jump too?
If I've said it once, I've said at least a thousand times before that
You're too old to act this way
It must be your father's DNA
Look at me when I am talking
Stand up straight when you walk
A place for everything
And everything must be in place
Stop crying or I'll give you something real to cry about
Brush your teeth
Wash your face
Get your PJs on
Get in bed
Get a hug
Say a prayer with Mom
Don't forget
I love you
And tomorrow we will do this all again because a mom's work never ends
You don't need the reason why
I said so
I said so
I said so
I said so
I'm the Mom
The mom
The mom
The mom
The momTa-da

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Contacting Teachers

Heres a tip I learned a few years ago.

Teachers don't take the time or the energy to initiate an send an e mail to parents (unless of course there is a real problem).  But if you write to them, they are required to respond to you within a specific time period.

Create a task or event on your calendar to remind yourself once a week to write an e mail to your child's teacher(s).  Ask how last week went, ask about any upcoming assignments or tests, ask what you can do at home to support the teacher, just see how your child is doing.

This way you'll stay on top of things before there is an issue and nothing should take you by surprise.