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St. Francis of Assisi Plans Bazaar Dec. 7 & 8


Submitted News

TRIANGLE, Va. – St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Triangle, Va. will host its annual Fair Trade Global Bazaar after all of the Masses on the weekend of December 7-8, 2013.

There will be olive oil, chocolate, jams, coffee and tea, clothing and jewelry, ornaments and handcrafts from around the world, items from their sister parish in Peru, and much more for purchase. In addition, through Catholic Relief Services, they will also offer the option of purchasing gifts that feed the poor, encourage self-sufficiency, build a better society, and promote health around the world.

Everyone is invited to this after-Mass event. The Masses are on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. (Spanish) and 5:30 p.m. The parish is located at 18825 Fuller Heights Road, Triangle, Va. 22172.

“Our global bazaar enables everybody not to only feel good about what they’ve purchased, but to do some good,” said Fr. Kevin Downey, O.F.M., pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish. “And the support of fair trade doesn’t have to end here, because we hope to inspire everyone to purchase and encourage the sale of fair trade products all year long at local stores, as well as through online sites and organizations.”

In partnership with Catholic Relief Services (www.crs.org), their partner, SERRV (www.serrv.org), and Larry’s Beans (www.larrysbeans.com), among others, the event will also offer educational and awareness campaigns related to fair trade and labor issues, which stress the importance of a fair wage, opportunities for advancement, equal employment opportunities, environmentally sustainable practices, public accountability, long-term trade relationships, healthy and safe working conditions, and more.

The event is sponsored by the parish’s GreenFaith Green Team.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church is part of the Diocese of Arlington and was established in 1957. For more information, contact the parish office at 703-221-4044.

‘All is Lost’: Rich Guy has a Bad Day on his Boat

All is lost — Rated PG-13 — 2 stars of 5

“All Is Lost” has nothing to do with the Obama Administration. It’s the latest Robert Redford (“The Company You Keep”) vehicle, and this time it’s a boat. This movie is the brainchild of Writer/Director J.C. Chandor (“Margin Call”), and for some reason he needed the 77-year-old Redford to pull it off.

Our Man wakes up at sea to find his 33-foot sailboat has been rammed by a rogue shipping container. We don’t know his name, and the credits list him as “Our Man,” but I will call him Redford. Once he and I do a movie together I will get to call him Bobby.

The movie starts with the immediate problem of waking up to a hole in the boat out in the open sea. For you budding screenwriters, this is how it is done. You could write 30 pages about his wife wishing him well, and him having problems at work, or why he was taking this voyage, but a good producer will toss that right out. This movie can also teach you a lot about writing dialogue.

Did I mention he was alone? Just him, a top-of-the-line life raft and a yacht full of food and supplies. And his life raft did not have a crouching tiger hiding in it. He also had a fiberglass repair kit and did a decent job repairing the hull damage. But his luck did not hold out.

I don’t want to give anything away, but things got worse. He handles each challenge like the seasoned sailor he appears to be. He is prepared for adversity and handles most of what happens by the book.

Now, I love Redford, the man and the character, Our Man. So my issues must be with Writer/Director Chandor. I was expecting to see a good 45 minutes of Redford just coming apart on the screen. I wanted to see him go through all the emotions and desperation of a man in his position, and Chandor only scratched the surface. He had a Ferarri in Redford, but did not want to open it up. Sure there were a few moments, but nothing like what you saw Tom Hanks go through in “Cast Away” or “Captain Phillips” for that matter.

I love the idea of this movie, as a thriller and even more as a metaphor. A guy in his latter years is alone on a vast sea, and then his life starts “taking on water.” He repairs the wound and tries to go on, but that scar will always be a weak spot for him. And we have the irony of a very independent person out on his own who will only survive if others come to his rescue.

The movie is shot well. Although it keeps you interested, the movie never rises above the basic story. A rich guy has a bad day on his boat. They made a movie about it, and it could have been so much better. I can only give it 2 stars out of 5. I wanted an epic struggle for life and they gave me “The Old Man and the Sea” in a bigger boat.

Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker.

Here is a link to his movie review site:?http://bashmovies.wordpress.com/


Bonefish Grill Opens in Woodbridge

[Submitted photo]

What was once a pizza restaurant known for deep dish is now a Bonefish Grill, and it’s serving up robust flavor.

The restaurant chain expanded to Woodbridge and opened its doors on Monday. Inside, gone are the old reminders of the Uno Chicago Grill that used to be housed here, and closed earlier this year.

Newly renovated, the bar has been relocated to face more of the restaurant instead of being closed off as it was before. And if it weren’t for so many people who packed the house Tuesday night for dinner, I might say the place seemed a bit larger.

Bonefish invited us to try their food, and seeing that my wife and I had never been to a Bonefish Grill before, we accepted the invitation.

We were given a menu that stated “Tuesday Tales,” featuring steamed cold water lobster, and steak topped with lobster thermidor sauce – I’m told the thermidor is the restaurant’s “celebration” sauce. The restaurant has themed nights everyday during the week.

We started with “bang, bang shrimp” to find out what all the fuss over this much-talked about appetizer was. Zesty and generous, there was more than enough shrimp on the plate for two people to share.

Next came our Caesar salads with goat cheese added – something our sever Stephanie suggested. The cheese was a bold change from sprinkled the parmesan cheese these salads are normally topped with. The side salad rivaled that of Sweetwater Tavern’s – which is quite possibly my favorite place to dine.

My wife ordered the Mahi Mahi because she’s smart – it’s a fish restaurant and that’s what you do here. The Mahi Mahi steak was plump and satisfying, and was served with vegetables and their seasonal side, spaghetti squash.

For me, it was the filet mignon (yes, I know what you’re thinking – steak at a eatery known for fish?) But I had to try it.

It was a good choice. Severed medium well, there was a thin line of pink in the steak just as I like it. With no sauce required, I could taste the charbroil flavor from the grill which paired nicely with garlic mashed potatoes.

We were also served bread with an olive oil-pesto-basil dipping sauce but it proved to be too much food for us.

The desert, key lime pie, was ordered but taken home to my mother in law. While it looked delicious, you’ll have to ask her how it tasted.

Inside the bar area are three large community tables that seat large parties. So far, they’ve come in handy.

“I’ve met so many people the past couple of nights, and everybody has been waiting for Bonefish around here, so that’s been the most exciting part for me,” said the restaurant’s proprietor Anna Bennett.

She’s been with the restaurant chain for 15 years. She attributes her tenure with the company, in part, to its charitable endeavors in the community.

This past weekend the restaurant helped to raise $10,000 for the Arc of Greater Prince William. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to help The Arc assist those with developmental and intellectual disabilities, according to a press release.

Bonefish’s new Potomac Mills location is the 13th in Virginia, and it joins others in Gainesville and Fredericksburg.

Want to go?

Hours: Lunch

• Monday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.


• Monday through Thursday 4 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

• Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

• Sunday 2 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.


• Brunch 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Reservations welcomed: While reservations are not required, they are available on a limited basis by calling 703.490.3693. An ample number of seats are available nightly for walk-ups.


7 Singers to Face Stage Fright Fears at Stafford’s Rowser Building

"Seven stage fright singers will face the music before a live audience for the first time"

Submitted News

STAFFORD, Va. – A singing recital, entitled, “Coffee House Recital-UnPlugged”, will be held on Saturday November 23,  at 6 p.m. at the historic Rowser Building in Stafford.

Seven local amature singers who struggle with stage fright will be brave enough to perform their favorite pop, gospel or R&B song before a live audience so that they can gain more experience singing in public.

“I call them my VocalzMusic Stars!”, says the event coordinator and international singing coach, Sally B. Waller. Waller, owner of VocalzMusic, shared that this will be a free public event and that the singers are teens and young adults; a few who attend or are employed with Stafford County schools and others who are from the Lorton, Manassas, Woodbridge and Fredericksburg areas of Virginia.

The audience members, often referred to as “fans” by the event coordinator, are asked to attend and show their support by applauding for each singer to build their confidence and help them overcome their stage fright. “I want my singers to feel like a star that day!” says Waller. This fun and interactive family event will feature Q&A about singing lessons.

Admission is free and fans can bring along as many friends and family as they’d like! Children are welcomed to attend with a parent.

This event is presented by VocalzMusic and Publishing (VMP), a small local business specializing in voice lessons and audition prep. Local gospel artist and wedding singer, Natasha Rogers will be the show host that day. Interested sponsors must notify the event coordinator right away if they’d like their information to be included in the event program.

Address To Coffee House Recital-UnPlugged:
Rowser Building located at
1739 Jefferson Davis Highway
Stafford, Va 22554
Contact: Sally B. Waller at 703-798-2587
or visit vocalzmusic.net


Health Clinic Wins Obamacare Grant, Expanding to Manassas

A newly expanded Prince William Community Health Center will locate on Liberia Avenue in Manassas. [Submitted photo]

MANASSAS, Va. – The Greater Prince William Community Health Center will open a second location thanks to a federal grant.

The clinic in Woodbridge that provides free or low-cost healthcare will expand to Manassas and is expected to open at 9705 Liberia Avenue, next to the Continental Events Center, and where University of Phoenix once housed its Northern Virginia campus.

The $650,000 grant to open the center was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Announced by Director Kathleen Sebelius, the money is part of $150 million made available for public health centers as part of the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare.

Like the clinic in Woodbridge, the center will also be directed by Frank Principi, who also serves as an elected member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. He will lead a team of at least 20 new staff members at the Manassas facility when it opens in March. Many of the services at the Woodbridge clinic – which employs 68 people – will also be offered at the new clinic.

Here’s more in a press release:

The Center will replicate its award-winning health care services at the new location, including primary, dental, behavioral, and OB-GYN services for the whole family under one roof. The Center’s Level III Designation for Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is currently pending a decision by the National Committee For Quality Assurance (NCQA).

The Center’s second site will provide affordable access to health care services for working families in the region. The site will also provide an economic boost to the area both in terms of job creation and economic development.

The new center has set a goal to serve 5,000 new patients during its first year, and will improve the health of those living in Manassas nad Manassas Park, according to a press release:

The Center will improve many of the existing health disparities like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and asthma that exist in the Manassas and Manassas Park areas.

“This is a major milestone for our community, declared Frank J. Principi, the Center’s Executive Director. The addition of the second site will bring high-paying careers to the area, expand economic development, and significantly improve the quality of life for thousands of our residents.” The Center will accept all patients, including the insured, uninsured, Medicaid, and Medicare recipients. According to Principi, “our integrated care model is working well and a second site will enable us to scale the business model and provide our kind of care to several thousand additional patients in our community.”

Bottle Stop Opens in Occoquan

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[Photo: Mary Davidson / Potomac Local News]

OCCOQUAN, Va. -- Olde Dominion Wine Shop is now Bottle Stop. Founded 13-years-ago in Occoquan, the owners have expanded their new location at 311 Mill Street to include a wine bar, dining room tables, and a lounge.

The shop features wines from 45 vineyards in Virginia. It also has beer by the bottle or craft beer on tap.

Something the old Olde Dominion Wine Shop didn’t have: food. The menu is something the owners, Emil and Kim Wigode, put a lot of thought into, employee Lori Stueve told Potomac Local News.

Also popular here is the shop’s small wine club. Each month, packages are prepared for all 23 members who are given something new to try.

“People come in and try new wines at our tasting, and they’re always looking for something different,” said Stueve.

The packages are prepared on the first of each month. Club members come into the shop and pick them up.

The new restaurant and lounge opened for the first time Saturday. Before Olde Dominion Wine Shop acquired the shop and changed the name to Bottle Stop, the spot was known as “Simply Country.” The shop sits along buy Mill Street in historic Occoquan.


VRE Santa Trains to Run from Manassas, Woodbridge

121212 VRE

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Virginia Railway Express’ popular Santa Trains will return this year, and tickets go on sale Nov. 25. They normally sell out in minutes.

More in a press release:

Every year just before Christmas, kids and their parents are given the opportunity to ride a train and meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, who are on board VRE trains to promote rail safety and Operation Lifesaver’s “Look, Listen and Live” campaign. There will be plenty of Santa’s helpers joining in handing out candy canes and coloring books, along with high school choral groups and other festivity-makers.

The event, taking place on Saturday, December 14th uses this opportunity to remind people of the importance of rail safety. So remember, that this event is not just for fun, but it also has a serious and important message: “Look, listen and live!” from Operation Lifesaver. The Santa trains will run out of four stations: Burke Centre, Fredericksburg, Manassas and Woodbridge.

In addition, Operation Lifesaver Santa Trains also work in conjunction with the Marine Corps Toys for Tots. So on December 14th, our Fredericksburg, Manassas, Burke Centre, and Woodbridge stations will be drop off sites for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Campaign. We are, therefore, encouraging everyone to bring a toy to the Santa Trains so that someone less fortunate in the Virginia area can share in the joys of the holidays.http://vre.org/seasonal/santa_trains/availability.html.

Tickets go on sale Monday November 25th at 9 a.m. More information about ticket sales and trains can be found here.

The tickets sell out fast, both online and in person. Last year, VRE sold 7,500 tickets. Online tickets were gone in minutes and all vendors sold out of their tickets by noon.


McGee is a Dapper Boy


McGee is a dapper boy in his shiny, black coat. He is a 5 yr. old neutered male and fully declawed. He loves to be around people, and make friends with just about anyone!

For more information on this animal, visit staffordspca.org/contact-us.html

Carley Lynn Missing for about a Month

Female boxer pit bull mix her name is Carley Lynn she has been missing for about a month and a half she is very missed. She went missing from Widewater in Stafford County near Telegraph Road If seen please contact 540-735-6034 or 540-993-5983.

P-Nats Staff Growing Facial Hair for Good Cause

The front office staff of the Potomac Nationals baseball team in Woodbridge. [Photo: Mary Davidson]

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – The Potomac Nationals want you to grow your mustache for a good cause.

The front office staff of the Class A Advanced minor league team started growing their facial hair on Friday. With freshly-shaven mugs, the men in the office are growing out their facial hair while raising awareness during November about men’s health issues including testicular cancer, as well as prostate and mental health issues.

They’ve dubbed themselves “Team Nationals Mo Bros,” and even the women in the office are pitching in to help the team raise $5,000 for the annual global charity Movember.

“Growing out a mustache isn’t for everyone,” explains the regularly clean-shaven Vice President Josh Olerud. “But we’ve got a growing team of people  that wants to do something good, and this is a fun way to do it.”

On Friday, the baseball team said they contacted members of the team as well as local celebrities to join their Movember team.

The Potomac Nationals finished their 2013 season in September and have several contests throughout the regular season to help promote the team and community. Movember marks the first time the team has come together during the off season to raise awareness.

And they’re looking for people to join the cause and donate for prizes.

More in a press release:

A prize structure will reward P-Nats fans and friends of the team for their donation levels during Movember.

All Mo Bros and Mo Sistas who donate $25 to $75 will receive four courtesy tickets to Opening Day 2014 at Pfitzner Stadium plus four food vouchers.

Those who give $76 to $150 to the Movember cause will receive four Opening Day Tickets, four food vouchers, four P-Nats hats, and a ceremonial first pitch opportunity during the ’14 season.

The gracious folks who donate over $150 will receive a P-Nats grand prize pack including a 2014 team signed jersey, an Opening Day ticket pack with food vouchers, and a first pitch on Opening Day.

And, if you’re thinking of joining the team there are some rules:

1. Once registered at Movember.com, each Mo Bro must begin the 1st of November with a clean shaven face

2. For the entire month of “Movember,” each Mo Bro must grow and groom a mustache

3. There is to be no joining of the Mo to the side burns as that is considered a beard

4. There is to be no joining of the Mo’s handlebars to the chin as that is considered a goatee

5. Each Mo Bro must conduct himself like a true country gentleman

 The P-Nats faithful are encouraged to track the progress of the “hairy” tale of the Nationals Mo Bros in the month of Movember on the official social media accounts of the Potomac Nationals including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

In addition, fans may email pictures of their Mos throughout Movember to info@potomacnationals.com.


Snakehead Caught at Aquia Landing

Picture 1 of 2

Elmer Susa of Stafford shows off the 15-pound snakehead he caught in Aquia Creek at Aquia Landing on Nov. 1, 2013. KJ Mushung/Potomac Local News

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – A large snakehead fish was caught at Aquia Landing Park at the confluence of the Potomac River and Aquia Creek.

The invasive species commonly found in the Potomac and lower Rappahannock rivers is classified as a predatory fish. It’s illegal for anglers to possess a snakehead in Virginia without a permit, and anglers must immediately kill the fish if caught.

Midnight a Sweet Girl Available for Adoption

Meet Midnight!

We think she’s some sort of Boston Terrier mix as she’s quite small. She’s really adorable when she’s running because she has short legs and a long body so she almost bunny hops.

Midnight was turned into a high-kill shelter when she was very pregnant and unfortunately because of under-funding of shelters, the pet overpopulation crisis and the shelters policies her puppies were aborted and she was spayed.

She still has some baby weight to lose but after such a traumatizing experience the fact that she’s still so happy speaks volumes about her personality. Midnight loves to snuggle and thrives for human attention.

She gets along great with dogs her size or larger but may play a little too rough with smaller ones. She’s not a fan of cats.

Midnight comes Spayed, Micro-chipped, current on her Rabies and Distemper vaccinations, and Tested for heartworm and other tick borne diseases (she’s was negative!). She is part of a local animal rescue, the Empty Shelter Project.

We hold adoption events every Sunday at the PetValu in Manassas from 11-3, located at: 10079 Market Circle Dr.

Contact info:
Phone: 571-288-2878 OR 571-991-9642
Email: adopt@espnova.org
Facebook: Empty Shelter Project

Area Full of Best Kept Traditions During Holidays

[Submitted photo]

Discover Prince William County and ManassasEditor’s Note: From exceptional museums and children’s programs to historic haunts and unique hikes, there are numerous hidden places waiting to be explored in Prince William & Manassas. Through a monthly feature, Discover Prince William & Manassas will help residents and visitors alike discover some of the best kept attractions, activities and events the community has to offer.

Prince William & Manassas Best Kept: Holiday events

The magic of the holiday season is almost upon us and what better place to celebrate holiday traditions both past and present than in Prince William & Manassas. While the area boasts numerous tree lightings and parades like Merry Old Town in Manassas, there are also a variety of unique holiday programs that draw on our region’s rich history and give residents and visitors a glimpse into the past.

Since 2004, Prince William’s historic preservation division has hosted holiday programs at various sites, said Rob Orrison, historic site operations supervisor for the county. Orrison said his staff tries to create family friendly events that are both educational and fun.

This year, Orrison said they are trying something new at Ben Lomond Historic Site. On Dec. 14 they will be offering candle-lit tours that focus on how slaves celebrated the holiday season. Historians will be around the property portraying slaves and telling their stories about how they saw and experienced Christmas.

“This is something very different, but something we hope will be interesting and educational,” Orrison said, noting that other special events will take place Dec. 7 at Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre and Rippon Lodge.

On Dec. 14, visitors can also get a rare glimpse into another historic home in Prince William-The Weems-Botts Museum. Once home to George Washington’s biographer, this museum comes to life at the holidays and invites visitors to celebrate a Victorian Christmas, museum director Joann Barron said. The free event includes live music, Victorian crafts and a visit from Santa.

One of the last holiday events for the season takes place at Leesylvania State Park on Dec. 21 & 22. During the two-day celebration, take photos with a Civil War-era Santa who will don his 150-year-old handmade suit, enjoy period music, make decorations and visit with costumed interpreters.

For a complete list of holiday events in Prince William & Manassas, visit DiscoverPWM.com.

Dumfries United Methodist Church Plans Holiday Craft Show, Bazaar, Bake Sale

Submitted Church News

The women of the Dumfries United Methodist Church, 3890 Cameron Street will host their annual holiday craft show, bazaar and bake sale on Saturday, November 2 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church in Dumfries.

The ladies have been crafting all year and have many hand-made, hand-painted items for sale, a bake sale table loaded with homemade goodies made by the ladies of the church, and a “second chance” table filled with once loved, small treasures all reasonably priced.

Breakfast and lunch will also be available. All proceeds support mission projects locally and around the world. For more information, please call 703-221-7440.

Submit your church news.

Woodbridge STEM Pre School Academy Taking Off


Potomac Local Leaders

How old were you when you committed to memory the periodic table of elements? How about when you learned of the application of centripetal force on roller coasters? What age were you when you programmed your first robot to project a Nerf ball 10 feet in the air? 

Well if  Seidah Ashshaheed has anything to do with it, children in Prince William County will know the answers of those questions before they learn how to walk.

Living in Northern Virginia, the technology sector continues to grow with a increased demand for a highly skilled workforce in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Creator and owner of STEM Tot Academy Seidah Ashshaheed, believes that our nations growth and success starts in preschool.

Vickers:  STEM for preschoolers is an interesting concept why have you selected to start a stem Academy for such a young age and here in Prince William County.

Ashshaheed:  About a year ago I started searching for a preschool that had a strong science, technology, engineering, and math component for my three year old niece. Like many children her age, she displayed strong natural inquiry skills.  As a middle school principal I have been equipped to design mini lessons for her that entail measuring earthworms, observing cicadas, and creating volcanoes.  

For the past two summers, experimenting has been paired with a related STEM field trip. Her attention to details and recall is remarkable, again like many children her age.  I realized that everything I needed in a preschool was at home.  Having Pre-K-12 experience as an educator allowed me to develop a STEM curriculum and write my first children’s book, ABC’s STEM and Me: An Alphabet Book on Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, which will be available mid-October.  

I must thank Kayla Seabridge, my illustrator for the beautiful images of children depicted in various STEM careers.  As a Prince William County resident and former Prince William County educator, I wanted to develop a business and provide a quality preschool program in my community. 



Vickers: After reading through your  curriculum for your Academy, I’m confident that families will line up to be a part of your program. What was the inspiration and credentialing involved in the creation of your STEM Tot  curriculum?  

Ashshaheed: Again, my niece is my main inspiration for developing STEM Tot Academy and its resources.  I must also give credit to the College of William and Mary and the National Defense Education Program’s STEM Education Alliance:  Virginia Demonstration Project.  

While serving as a middle school principal in King George, Va., I worked closely with Dr. Hardinge of the College of William and Mary and a team of wonderful individuals with STEM related careers, to infuse STEM into the curriculum at my school, thanks to a grant.

Not only did we see the immediate impact that providing project-based experiences in classrooms often renders, we saw students who were often turned off by science and math reinvigorated.  In 2010 research conducted by Dr. Valentine out of the University of Missouri, an alarming truth about schools was revealed.  

As students advance through schools, the level of engagement, decreases.  Providing hands on opportunities for youth must be consistent from preschool through grade 12.  As educators we are famous for targeting a group at a time.  

My goal, is to ultimately, continue to add a grade, through 8th grade, challenging youth with a rigorous STEM based curriculum, that encompasses, field experiences, guest speakers, and much more.  This is what we are doing with our preschool/child day center now.

Vickers: Where do you see youth that graduate from STEM Tots 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 years from now?  

e4429ea27aa96664ff8b8292c3a40bb2Ashshaheed: First and foremost, I want students to leave our program with a firm literacy foundation, who are also innovative thinkers, problem-solvers, and who are versatile enough to enter any profession they choose and contribute positively.  

A sound STEM curriculum in the early years assists with the development of critical thinking skills.  Our motto at the Academy, is OBSERVE, THINK, CREATE.  Yes, students will still receive the early years curriculum, which includes science and math.  

What we are doing is providing the experience in 3D, so that our students can be exposed enough to express interest if they so desire in STEM careers later on in life.

Vickers: A combination of mixed programming allows families of various needs to benefit from a program like yours. Besides full day preschool, what other programs will you be offering year round?

Ashshaheed: I am so thrilled that our program will provide before and after care for school age children ages 5-12, with transportation capabilities.  The after school program will also be a STEM enriched program.  

The academy will also provide Camp STEM-u-lation for children in the community, ages 5-12, which will include thematic weeks, guest speakers in various STEM careers, and a plethora of STEM related field trips.  STEM Tot Academy, will also provide weekend workshops for children ages 5-12 for those students interested in developing websites, robotics, coding, and more.

Vickers: Our Tech sector is such a large industry in Northern Virginia , are you working with any other agencies to align with other regional STEM collaborations nationally or regionally?

Ashshaheed: I am having various discussions with a few agencies right now.  The STEM alphabet book has been most interesting.  I created the book for my niece, but also to help fund the various daily labs taking place in the program and the on-going PD for my staff.  Vetting the book through various mediums to include kindergarten and first grade teachers, has rendered much discussion regarding the lack of resources and research out there for young children as it relates to STEM.  My mission is to help close that gap.

Potomac Local Leaders series are the stories and interviews with the men, women and youth that through their commitment to community change the world each day. Glenn Vickers is an experienced business professional enhancing philanthropic resource development, corporate citizenship programming and nonprofit business operations; Vickers enjoys working with government, private and nonprofit organizations for social change #GOVickers

Sponsored: Consignment Shops Offer Great Halloween Costume Options

Sponsored Post: Upscale Seconds in Haymarket

If you are still searching for that one of a kind Halloween costume at a fraction of the cost you’d normally spend in a costume store, you may want to consider buying in a consignment shop.

Consignment shops offer an alternative to pricey costumes, as the items are gently worn, unique, and budget friendly for the entire family.

“The government shutdown really impacted us as we were planning to dress up as the royal family,” said Debbie Myers. “This is a onetime use, I bought a ball gown costume there’s no need to break the bank.”

According to the National Retail Federation, cooler fall weather may bring cooler sales this Halloween, as fewer Americans plan to celebrate the spooktacular holiday. However, Halloween will be far from a bust, as the fall season of festivals and activities puts consumers in the spirit to celebrate and spend.

On average, 43.6 percent of people plan to dress up and will spend a total of $2.6 billion on traditional and awe-inspiring costumes. Specifically, consumers will shell out $1.04 billion on children’s costumes, and $1.22 billion on adult costumes. The NRF survey also included pets as 13.8 percent of those celebrating will take the extra time to find the perfect costume for their favorite four-legged friend, spending approximately $330 million.

“I shop secondhand stores for Halloween and for the holiday season and in general,” said Mary Stewart, a bargain hunter searching for Halloween accessories and hats. “It’s not practical for me to spend $40 or $50 on a costume when I can spend $5”

Whether you are a prudent shopper or looking for a one time deal, consider consignment stores first since you can potentially save huge amounts of money while avoiding the mad dash to the picked over and full-priced retail racks.


Ellwood Thrives on Attention, Exercise


Ellwood is a sturdy 50 pound boy who thrives on attention and exercise. He is about 1.5 years old and is neutered. Ellwood is fully vaccinated, crates without issues, and is housebroken. He’s in excellent health, with lots of love to share!

Gidget Missing in Falmouth

Gidget, a 13 yr old spayed female Shih Tzu/Poodle mix, went missing on Oct 22 near Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont [200 block Washington Street in Falmouth. No collar. Possible sighting in the neighborhood section behind Belmont Mansion. Please call if you have any info! 540-903-1209

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