Alexandria Mom's Calendar of Events

Friday, February 24, 2012

365 - Sunset/weird sky tonight

Alexandria Artist Raphael G. Nadeem Displays his Artwork at City Hall

Alexandria Artist Raphael G. Nadeem Displays his Artwork at City Hall
Exhibition runs through March 23, 2012

New Highlights:
  • Exhibition dates are February 21 – March 23, 2012
  • Public is invited to  the Exhibit Opening on Friday, March 2, 6pm – 7pm, Chet and Sabra Avery Room, 2nd Floor, City Hall
  • 85-year old Artist Raphael G. Nadeem is a World Word II Veteran
Artwork by Raphael G. Nadeem, former veteran of the Pacific Theater in World War II, is now on display at Alexandria’s City Hall through Friday, March 23, 2012. An exhibit opening will be held on Friday, March 2, 6pm – 7pm, in the Chet and Sabra Avery Room, 2nd Floor Room 2000, City Hall. The public is invited.
The 85-year-old Alexandrian started painting thirteen years ago and has since completed more than 100 paintings. Nadeem was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, the ninth of ten children. He spent most of his work career organizing and creating elaborate merchandise displays in more than 25 department stores in New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC. He often traveled the markets of Europe in search of new ideas and trends in merchandising. He has received national recognition in display for his artistic vision and was inducted into the National Industrial Display Hall of Fame. When he retired, Nadeem was the Vice President of Visual Merchandising for Hecht’s Department Store.
Nadeem lives in a memento-filled townhouse in Old Town Alexandria. In 1999, he began painting studies under Diane Tesler and Lisa Semerad at The Art League School at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. He is constantly seeking new challenges in painting and sketches and is particularly inspired by the natural beauty of the George Washington Memorial Parkway and its surroundings. His detailed nature paintings, usually from preliminary sketches, often include old and unusual buildings. Other paintings reflect the everyday culture of favorite places from his world travels.
The exhibit includes 30 oil paintings and 6 pencil drawings, including several paintings of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Nadeem’s painting instructor encouraged him to include a few works from his Syrian series which depict scenes of daily life in Damascus. These paintings hold particular meaning to Nadeem whose grandmother emigrated from Syria to the United States with her two sons.
“It is a delight to honor Ray and showcase his talent in this solo exhibit,” said Alisa Carrel, Deputy Director of the Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities and head of the City’s Office of the Arts. “Ray is not only an extremely talented artist, he is a very dear member of our neighborhood. A couple years ago, I took a day trip to western Virginia with Ray to photograph old homes and buildings for his inspiration. One of the paintings resulting from that trip ‘Ole Shanandor’ is included in the exhibit and is one of my favorites.”
This is the largest exhibit of Nadeem’s work to date.  All paintings are for sale.  The exhibit will be on display through Friday, March 23.

Alexandria Commission for Women Extends Deadline for Award Nominations


Alexandria Commission for Women Extends Deadline for Award Nominations
The Alexandria Commission for Women has extended the deadline for Salute to Women Awards nominations of individuals who have made exceptional contributions to women and girls in Alexandria. Its 32nd Annual Salute to Women Awards Banquet will take place on March 26 at the Westin Alexandria. Women will be recognized for their achievements in several areas, including health and safety, legislative advocacy, and providing opportunities for youth. All nominations must be submitted to the Department of Community and Human Services by the close of business on March 1, 2012. 

Carpenters Shelter is in need....


A single mother living at Carpenter's Shelter will be welcoming her second child into the world next week.  In order to ensure our newest (and tiniest) resident has everything he needs we need the communities help. If you are able to help provide any of the following items please contact Senai Beyen at 

Thank you all so much for your continued support!
  • Infant car seat
  • Baby bag
  • Bottles BPA Free
  • Pacifiers BPA Free
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Baby Shampoo
  • Baby body wash
  • Tub
  • Baby nail clipper
  • Soft brush and comb
  • Nasal aspirator
  • Baby monitor
  • Bottle holder
  • Hooded towel
  • Digital thermometer
  • Bottle warmer

Vote Now for Alexandria as a Top Arts Destination


For Immediate Release: January 24, 2012

Vote Now for Alexandria as a Top Arts Destination
Deadline for voting is Saturday, March 3, 2012

News Highlights:
  • American Style Magazine is polling readers on the Top 25 Arts Destinations in the U.S.
  • Alexandria has ranked in the top 10 for the past two years
  • Online voting ends on Saturday, March 3, 2012
Voting time is here again. Each year, American Style Magazine polls its online readers to determine the Top 25 Arts Destinations in the country. The winners are posted in its Summer Issue, distributed in June. In the past two years, Alexandria has ranked #3 and #8 among mid-sized cities in the United States.
“Securing Alexandria as a top destination helps promote the vitality of the arts in our city and attract visitors” said Pat Miller, Chair of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts. “We encourage you to take just a few minutes of your time to place your vote. And help us spread the word by telling your friends and family.”
American Style Magazine is a national publication that focuses on art, craft and travel and is a resource for artists and art enthusiasts. It features the top arts events across the country, highlighting select destinations and profiling individual artists.
Alexandria is best known for its internationally-renowned venues such as The Birchmere Music Hall and the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Alexandria is also home to more than 160 art galleries, a public art collection of more than 40 works of art, and music, film and art festivals.  With high-quality arts activities taking place year round, Alexandria is an attractive destination for visitors.
To vote, please visit the American Style Magazine online voting site at
For more information, please contact the Alexandria Commission for the Arts at 703.746.5588

ACPS "Keeping your Family Healthy" Workshop


Alexandria City Public Schools Health Services Coordinator Robin Wallin will be the featured speaker at a workshop on "Keeping Your Family Healthy All Year," to be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 25, at Ellen Coolidge Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Road, Alexandria. Wallin, a favorite presenter in the community, will share important information and tips on how to maintain health and deal with common illnesses. Parents will have an opportunity to "ask the nurse" their own questions. The presentation will be in English with Spanish, Amharic and Arabic interpretation. Child care will be provided. For more information, contact Division-Wide Parent Liaison Margaret Lorber at 703-461-4084. Fliers in four languages are available at .

Thursday, February 23, 2012


St. Patrick's Day Pancake Breakfast with the Virginia Democratic Party

Please Join Us for Our
2012 NOVA Pancake Breakfastwith Chairman Brian Moran & Friends
Saturday, March 17, 20121
8:00 am to 10:00 am
  Family and Individual Levels
$75 - Family of 4
$25 - Individual
Sponsorship Levels
$2,500  - Chairman's Clovers
$1,000  - Lucky Leprechauns
 $500 -  Emerald Isle
$250 - St. Patrick's Partners
$100 - Shaking Shamrocks 
T.C. Williams High School Cafeteria
3330 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22302

ACPS "Getting Ready for SOL's & Other Exams Workshop 3/1


*SOLS – Standards of Learning Exams
Learn about the tests your child is taking at school and how you can help them do their very best
With Margaret Lorber, Division Wide Parent Liaison, Alexandria City Public Schools
Thursday, March 1, 2012 6:45 – 8:00 PM

Family Resource Center – Community Lodgings 607 Notabene Dr. # 1 – Alexandria, VA 22305

Children are welcome. Spanish interpretation is provided. Light refreshments will be served.


Brownies, Discover “Her Story” During Women’s History Month!

Brownies, Discover “Her Story” During Women’s History Month!
The Lyceum Hosts “Try-It” Program on March 17
During Women’s History Month, Girl Scout Brownies can celebrate women and learn about issues important to women and girls in their community, at “Her Story: Women in Action” at The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, on Saturday, March 17. A panel of former Girl Scouts will share their memories of Girl Scouting and how scouting empowered them. Participants will learn about Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of American Girl Scouting, by looking at a timeline of her life. Girls and adults will add their own future goals to the timeline. This program fulfills the requirements for the Her Story “Try-It” for Girl Scout Brownies.
Alexandria’s Department of Community and Human Services will sponsor two activity stations to help Brownies learn about important women’s issues. At the “Healthy Relationships” station, participants will create a Peace Tree. The positive words participants write on lip and hand cutouts symbolize their commitment not to say hurtful things or to use hands to hurt others. Girl and adult participants will decorate pink ribbon cutouts at the station where they learn about Alexandria’s Walk for Breast Cancer.
Two sessions are available, the first from 1:30 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. and the second from 3 p.m. to 4:10 p.m. Advance registration is required and can be done online at or by calling 703.746.4994. Fees are $6 per person.
The Lyceum is located at 201 South Washington Street in Old Town Alexandria and is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit or call 703.746.4994.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

365 - Happy Birthday George Washington

Alexandria Earth Day 2012 - 4/21/12

Alexandria Earth Day 2012
Alexandria's Green Building Resource Center Live at Earth Day

Alexandria Earth Day 2012Saturday, April 21
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Ben Brenman Park
4800 Brenman Park Drive

Mark your calendar for Alexandria’s Earth Day 2012!  The theme is Eco-City Alexandria, which includes a wide variety of activities and educational exhibits related to the ten sustainability principles outlined in Alexandria's groundbreaking Eco-City Charter and Environmental Action Plan 2030
This year’sevent will include the following:
  • 2nd annual Trashion Fashion Show, where Alexandria City Public School students will showcase upcycling through fashion, art, or song
  • Green Building informational sessions entitled the ABCs of Going Green, Green Landscaping for You and the Bay, and Consumer’s Guide to Purchasing Green Vehicles
  • Educational exhibits, demonstrations, and hands-on activities for children
  • Annual tree sale and much more
For more information or to volunteer or sponsor this year’s event, visit Alexandria Earth Day 2012 to learn more. 

Alexandria’s Green Building Resource Center Live at Earth Day 2012
The City of Alexandria’s Department of Transportation & Environmental Services (T&ES), Office of Environmental Quality and theEnvironmental Policy Commission will host an informational and educational display at Alexandria Earth Day entitled the Green Building Resource Center. This tent will exhibit information about energy audits, energy retrofitting, green landscaping, renewable energy, and green building industry best practices.  These displays aim to provide residents information on how to design, build, and maintain their homes and businesses in an eco-friendly manner.
The following topics will be presented in a style in which presenters will provide the information in a creative and highly abbreviated format:
  • ABCs of Going Green — this session will provide residents information on do-it-yourself improvements to conserve energy, water, and other resources while improving comfort in their home. Installation of renewable energy technologies will be highlighted as well.
  • Consumer's Guide to Purchasing Green Vehicles — this session will provide residents information on the economic and environmental benefits of purchasing electric, plug-in hybrids, and other low emission vehicles.  We are planning to have a CHEVY VOLT present as well.
  • Green Landscaping for You and the Chesapeake Bay — this session will provide residents eco-friendly landscaping options to help beautify their home’s landscape while reducing water consumption and protecting the watershed.
For information about Green Building visit the virtual Green Building Resource Center

Spring & Summer 2012 Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities Program Guide Available Online


For Immediate Release: February 22, 2012

Spring & Summer 2012 Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities Program Guide Available Online Wednesday, March 7
Subscribe by Thursday, March 1 to Receive Program Guide by Mail

Subscribers to the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities will receive the Spring & Summer 2012 Recreation Program Guide by Monday, March 12 and the guide will be posted online Wednesday, March 7. Registration for Spring & Summer 2012 classes begins on Wednesday, March 28 for City residents and Friday, March 30 for nonresidents.
As part of the City of Alexandria’s Eco-City Initiative, the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities has reduced the number of printed program guides and no longer automatically mails them to all households. Only individuals who have subscribed will continue to receive the program guide by mail.
To be added to the mailing list for the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities’ Program Guide, individuals may request a free subscription online or by telephone. Requests must be received by Thursday, March 1 to guarantee receipt of the Spring & Summer 2012 Program Guide by mail. To subscribe, visit or call 703.746.4343.
The program guide will continue to be produced three times each year: Fall Programs (August); Winter Programs (December); and Spring & Summer Programs (March).
By March 12, printed copies of the Spring & Summer 2012 Program Guide will be available to the public at City Hall, recreation centers, and public libraries located throughout the City. Individuals can also download a free copy online at

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Alexandria Police Investigate Burglary and Assault

FEBRUARY 21, 2012 #12-008
Alexandria Police Investigate Burglary and Assault 
Alexandria Police are investigating a burglary and assault that occurred in the 1100 block of Archer Court.  Around 8:00 P.M. on Monday, February 20, a 16 year-old female heard a loud noise at the front door.  When she went to investigate, she was confronted by a man who grabbed her and pushed her to the floor.  The victim’s cell phone rang and the suspect fled the residence.  The victim was not seriously injured.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his early twenties, 6’0 to 6’2”, weighing approximately 190 to 200 pounds with black hair and a goatee.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Criminal Investigations Section of the Alexandria Police Department at 703.746.6711.

Detectives would like to remind witnesses that they can remain anonymous.

YoKid Challenge 3/4/12

Monday, February 20, 2012

365 - Parade

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

even though it was George's parade, Lincoln was there.  

Children Together Spring Conference – Blended Practices to Reach All Children (March 10)

Children Together Spring Conference – Blended Practices to Reach All Children (March 10)
Children Together is a nonprofit based in Alexandria that is committed to increasing opportunities for inclusion of children with disabilities in quality childhood settings. 
The Spring Conference (Saturday, March 10, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.) will feature Dr. Jennifer Grisham-Brown, noted expert and author on early childhood “blended” practices that reach all children.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

365 - Goldfish

I love Goldfish and I love what this one has to say.....

Arts on the Horizon

posting, with permission, from SuperNovaMommy -

Michelle Kozlak, Arts on the Horizon

Arts on the Horizon is a creative, local non-profit theatre company with a specific focus of providing performances and education programs for young people ages 0 to 6 years old.  I recently interviewed the founder of Arts on the Horizon, Michelle Kozlak, and she shared her thoughts on theatre for the very young.

1)    Please share a little bit about the goals of Arts on the Horizon?

We wanted to create a theater company for very young children where they would could come and feel comfortable – somewhat like their playroom or living room at home.  The lobby would have a place for kids to play and the theater would be inviting. As we began to shape and create this company – there were two ideas that we knew would be at the core of our programming: shows would be more interactive, inclusive and intimate – there would be less of a divide between the audience and the performers and shows would be short – 30 to 35 minutes long,  and  our classes and performances would create an environment where children would feel safe to imagine, create, explore and grow.  We want children to feel like they are part of the performance, not a passive participant.  They sit on the floor, close to the performance space and are not required to be silent during the show.  Their reaction is integral to the performance!  We hope our shows will spark their creativity and fuel their imaginative play – and that our classes will increase their confidence and help their social development.

2)    What inspired you to start Arts on the Horizon?

In a word – Gavin.  My son Gavin was the complete inspiration for the company.  When he was about 2 years old, I really wanted to start taking him to the theater but there weren’t many shows designed specifically for his age group and none that were close to me in Alexandria.  I thought, well, I should start a theater company here in Northern Virginia for kids 0-6 – a couple of years ago I did and here we are!
My background is in performing arts administration – I worked for the Kennedy Center for almost 10 years,  first in the Theater for Young Audiences department and then in the Theater Programming Department and I have a M.A. in Arts Management from American University.  I thought Arts on the Horizon would be the perfect way to combine my background/skills with my desire to introduce theatre to babies, toddlers and preschool children!
In this country, theater for children under 6 is just starting to take off, but in Europe, they have been creating theater for this age group for 20 years or more.  I went to the UK to talk with a number of companies about the work they create, how they operate, etc.  Much of what I learned on that trip has been put into the company and has made it what it is today.  I am excited to be a part of this field in its beginning stages here in the United States.

3)    What is your favorite part of owning your own nonprofit?

It is amazing to be able to start a company from scratch – to build something from the ground up is very rewarding.  I love talking to parents after classes and hearing how they have helped a shy child blossom or have given a child with lots of energy a bit of focus.  During shows, I enjoy sitting in the back to see the reactions kids have at different points or to hear them laugh at something funny one of the performers did on stage. I love collaborating with other organizations and artists; working with our dedicated board; and being a part of this vibrant DC metro area community!

4)    What are your plans for Arts on the Horizon in the future?

For the immediate future, we hope to expand our outreach programs and to give back a bit more to the community. We are planning to design programs for different community groups that serve children under the age of 6.  Also, we are currently developing 2 new shows that will be produced during the 2012-13 season – two projects I am really excited about!  We also hope to one day have our own space in Northern Virginia, which would give us more flexibility with our classes and performances.

5)  Tell us a little bit about your own family. 

My husband is an IT Director for a trade association – we met here in DC shortly after I moved here from California.  I have already mentioned my son, Gavin who is 6 ½ – he is quite a character!  He loves the theatre (of course!) and enjoys “writing” scripts and performing them in our living room.   The whole family loves football – I am a big college football fan – especially the Oregon Ducks – University of Oregon is my alma mater!  As a family we love having game night – we break out the board games and each person gets to choose a game that night – it is one of our favorite activities to do as a family!

6)  Where is your favorite family-friendly place to visit in Northern VA? 

I have so many – it is hard to choose just one!  We love doing things outdoors – walking or riding bikes along path adjacent to the GW parkway, visiting Huntley Meadows park, mini golf at Eisenhower Ave.  But during the colder months – I would have to say it would be the local library – we love to read and since Gavin was very young we have spent many afternoons reading books and exploring what our local library has to offer.

Learn more about Arts on the Horizon by visiting their website or facebook page.

Make a donation and support Arts on the Horizon here!

The "Tebow" Bill

Another article in the Washington Post about home schooled students participating on High School Teams and VA’s “Tebow” bill. 

“If You Suit Up For A School, You Should Sit in its Classrooms, Too” by Preston Williams

A few points ----

Would we be having this same discussion if home school students wanted to participate on the debate team?  I think not.  Why are sports or athletics so different?

Let’s try to figure out why that home schooled student isn’t in the high school.  Maybe we should take a closer look at our educational system and local schools to try to remedy the increasing number of students who are being home schooled. 
I’m sure that the home schooled student would love to participate fully in the “high school experience” and be a part of the high school community. 
And I’m guessing that the home schooled student does participate in community events and has just as much school or community pride as any other high school student.  (Who doesn’t like to say they are a Titan, a Warrior, a Lancer, a Bulldog, because that is the community, not just the school)

People will say that the academics are different and that this isn’t a level playing field.  Really, in life, what is? 
It’s not any different than schools in different Divisions or Regions haven’t different attendance and grade requirements, it happens all the time. 
I remember when I played for T.C. Williams, (many yrs ago), we had to have an eligibility card signed on a weekly basis to show that we were academically eligible to participate.  No other school in our district at that time had that same requirement.   Was that a level playing field?

Does anyone really think that the stellar athlete will be cut from playing or lose a position on the team due to a home school student?
Athletes get cut all the time.  Sometimes for politics with the coach, sometimes another player “peaks” at that time, and some for other reasons but you shouldn’t deny the homes schooled student the opportunity to try out.  There is the same likelihood that the home school student might not even make the cut.  But they should be given the chance. 

Response from 2/7/12

While most of the time I agree with John Kelly's Washington Post column, today I have to disagree with with it.
Virginia home-schoolers can’t have their cake and eat it, too

There are many reasons why a student is not in public school, some for religious reasons or other reasons stated in Mr. Kelly's column, but most of the reasons I have seen are that the current public schools are too big for most children or cannot meet their educational needs.  Many of these children need to have a more structured environment and less sensory overload.  The sheer number of times that a student needs to move throughout a day is mind blowing, and some children and teens just can't handle that.  Some can't handle a class of 25-30 students with 1 teacher.  Some can't handle the behavior issues from other students that are present in almost every classroom.  Some just can't handle a school with 700-2000 students in it.

So why can't that child, who happens to be home schooled, participate in sports at their public school?  Their parents pay taxes towards that school, the books and materials, the athletic equipment and the teachers, coaches and staff salary, just like everyone else in the neighborhood.  Are we going to say that just because I choose a job and to work from home, I shouldn't drive on the streets into DC or Old Town?  I pay for those streets.

Some folks say that there are other sports opportunities for the students that are home schooled.  There are recreation leagues or city leagues.  I beg to differ - not all sports have leagues outside of public schools - golf, crew and track for example.   Where else could these athletes compete?

I think that unless and until the City or public school system is going to refund the taxes paid by the parents (cost of educating 1 student for a yr), of a home schooled student, that student should be guaranteed the right to try out and participate with their peers on a high school athletic team.

So, Mr. Kelly, they are not having their cake and eating it to.

New ACPS Volunteer information

ACPS appreciates the work of the many volunteers who consistently support staff and students. The involvement of parents, volunteers and others in the community who serve as a resource to schools is fundamentally important to the success of school programs. The new ACPS online volunteer application is now available at . All volunteers are expected to complete and submit the volunteer application. A background check will be performed on all applications. The process is free of charge to volunteers. ACPS is investing in this service as part of its commitment to provide a safe and secure environment for students. For more information, call 703-824-6676, or contact Coleen Mann, Coordinator of Volunteers and Community Partnerships at or Linda Rodriguez at .
ACPS partners are providing valuable services for our students and families. We appreciate your support and the work that you do. All partners must complete and submit a Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU outlines partner and ACPS responsibilities and includes a description the partner program and how it addresses ACPS Goals. The MOU template is available at . For more information contact: Coleen Mann at call 703-824-6676.