We would like to thank Martin Grimm and Jan-Marie Fernandez, principals of Centreville High School and Mantua Elementary, respectively, for hosting Angel Fund and Actively Caring 4 People the week of Nov. 18. In particular, we would like to thank school counselors Sinitra DeHaven and Dana Doss of Centreville and Allison Warren and Susan Kim of Mantua Elementary for their enthusiasm and determination to create an environment of positive reinforcement and actively caring in their schools. Sophia Teie of Actively Caring also met with student leaders at Woodson High School this week. We are grateful to principal Jeff Yost, assistant principal Adam Entenberg and faculty advisors for the Leadership Class, Dan Schaefer and Jenna Brown, for arranging those meetings and supporting Sophia.
Centreville High School had a wonderful banner hung in their lunchroom on Monday designating the daily activities planned to create awareness about bullying and sexual harassment. A paw print in the shape of a shoe was painted near the banner to represent all the students signing a pledge to not bully or sexually harass and by doing so, leaving a positive footprint. We were gratified to see a number of students attend the interest meeting after school. We look forward to watching these student leaders design and implement the Actively Caring program in January.
Mantua Elementary was delightful as little children smiled at the green bracelets they will receive the first week after Thanksgiving. Counselors had created a wonderful tri-fold and had spoken about the Actively Caring program to parents at Back to School Night. A number of parents stopped by our table to express their support and wish to bring the program to places as far as Arizona and Russia.
Angel Fund’s intent is to implement the Actively Caring program in every Fairfax County public school that would like to have it. We would like to acknowledge the role of Kim Dockery, Fairfax County Public Schools assistant superintendent for special services, and Mary Ann Panarelli, FCPS Intervention and Prevention Services, in assisting our efforts to bring this program to Fairfax County Public Schools.
Angel Fund’s mission is to create a safe environment for students to be tolerant and to feel respected and self-confident. We believe that a community that takes action against bullying, depression, anxiety, addiction and suicide will be realized because of the power of young people to touch the lives of others to make a difference.
Lu Ann Maciulla McNabb
The writer is president of Angel Fund.