NVFS Press Release
Oakton, Va., March 15, 2006— Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) hosted an Early Literacy Workshop on Monday for families enrolled in the agency’s Healthy Families Arlington and Early Head Start Arlington programs. The workshop, and accompanying book fair fundraiser, was held at the Clarendon Barnes and Noble bookstore and highlighted the importance of early literacy in the development of young children.
The event began with a Meet and Greet at 9:30 a.m. with families enrolled in Healthy Families and Early Head Start programs, program staff, local officials, community supporters and guest reader Alison Starling, co-anchor of WJLA ABC-7’s Good Morning Washington and News at Noon. Arlington School Board Chair David Foster spoke to the group about the importance of early literacy in preparing children for school. Arlington County Outreach Librarian Mariela Aguilar then spoke about her bilingual storytime television show on Channel 74 called Cuentos y Mas. The literacy workshop then followed, starting with a bilingual reading of The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn featuring Alison Starling and Mariela Aguilar.
NVFS Family Support Worker Maria Monterroso then gave parents tips on how to share books with infants and toddlers and what types of books are age-appropriate. Each family who attended received a gift bag of books appropriate for infants and toddlers, and a DVD of the Cuentos y Mas storytime series. The gift bags were donated by local businesses and individuals, including Accountable Mortgage, Joan’s Travel Partners, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Deborah Kunin and Gail Crotts Arnall.
The early literacy workshop was the finale of a three-day Book Fair Fundraiser held March 11 to 13 at the Clarendon Barnes and Noble to support the Healthy Families and Early Head Start Arlington programs. Vouchers were distributed in advance to supporters of the programs and anyone who came into the store on those three days. Everyone who made a purchase and presented the voucher had 15 percent of their purchase go to support the programs. Healthy Families Arlington and Early Head Start Arlington are home visiting programs providing parent education and information on child health and development for new parents in Arlington who are experiencing multiple stressors in their lives.
Northern Virginia Family Service is the largest private, nonprofit human service organization in Northern Virginia, Each year, more than 36,000 individuals and families turn to NVFS to find housing and emergency services, early childhood programs, health & mental health services, workforce development programs, legal assistance, and intervention & prevention programs. NVFS is an innovator of efficient and comprehensive service methods, and has been recognized nationally for its effectiveness in creating sustained financial and social independence for its clients.
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