Earlier this month, we returned to the local Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) Head Start preschool in Arlington, VA for the second year in a row to volunteer for our Day of Service. NVFS ensures everyone, at every life stage, maximizes their potential and fully contributes to a thriving community. They provide the essential building blocks for social, emotional and physical well-being, serving as leaders and innovators for the Northern Virginia community. Head Start promotes school readiness in low-income children ages 3 to 5, who may otherwise find themselves behind their peers in kindergarten. The program enhances the social and cognitive development of children through educational, health, nutritional, social and other services.
At NVFS, about 65% of their clients live below the poverty line. That means a family of four lives on less than $25,000 per year in the Arlington area. Our time is spent interacting with the children to reinforce the messages they are being taught in the classroom such as safety, consideration for others, and that people truly care about them. Hopefully, our donations of time and school supplies will reinforce this message long after we left.
Our day was filled with smiles, laughter, and squeals of joy as we tried to corral about 200 children between the ages of three to five for a little over two hours. The sunny day was perfect for the various events on the school playground: bubbles galore, coloring zone, bead necklace craft stations and an obstacle course. Needless to say, the kids had a ball…even the big kids who work at CJM!