NVFS’ Village of Impact provides Northern Virginia families with meaningful opportunities to engage in service together while learning about critical local needs, and the latest event on Saturday, Aug. 12 accomplished both of those goals and more. Twenty-five attendees — 13 adults and 12 children — assembled 60 fully stocked backpacks for children in NVFS’ shelters to guarantee they start the school year off strong.
Julie Simmons, managing director at Human Capital Strategic Consulting and founding member of Village of Impact, said, “It’s rare to find a hands-on opportunity for our 6-year-olds to get involved, and this project in particular really resonated with them as they prepare to go back to school. They were excited to know they were helping other children and are already asking what we’re going to do next!”
Malinda Langford, senior VP of programs – Early Childhood Division, led the educational component of Village of Impact for the parents in attendance. The discussion focused on the importance of each community having financially accessible and quality preschool education.
“Zip codes should never determine this access,” she stated.
Malinda also shared with Village of Impact members the qualities of adequate preschool programs and that there are not enough financially accessible programs in the Northern Virginia area. The result is that many children receive lesser education than those who have the financial means.
“To implement a quality program is costly and most parents aren’t able to pay the tuition rates that would ensure that all of these components exist in their child’s program. Advocating for such programming to their local officials as a community is very important to moving the needle on this need,” Langford concluded.
Village of Impact is a great way for families to get involved in their community. Adults and children alike give back to local needs and learn about ways they can change the lives of those they’re serving.