Stories for September 2023

Stories for September 2023


Wednesday, September 27

Looming Crisis

Understanding the impacts and consequences of a Government Shutdown

Government shutdown

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County Takes Another Step with Solar Fire Stations

Woodlawn station goes solar in Mount Vernon.

Solar powered station

A Place at the Table for Everyone Born

Some catchy phrases that led to success at the ballot box resulted in some terrible public policies.

News Briefs

Out of the Darkness Walk to Prevent Suicide

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High Side and Mara Holding Pinktoberfest

Fun event to raise money to fight breast cancer.

Two Old Town Fairfax businesses, High Side and Mara Hair and Mode Studio, are joining together for the third consecutive year to fight breast cancer with a community-centered event.

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Brush Piles – Headaches or Havens?

From chipmunks to chickadees, these can shelter local wildlife.

Tropical storm Ophelia soaked the Washington area last weekend, leaving behind, among other impacts, fallen limbs and sticks scattered around. Instead of becoming landfill or incinerator material, they can support local wildlife, from chipmunks to chickadees.

PRS Reaches Spanish Speakers with Content and Outreach

PRS, a behavioral health nonprofit serving Northern Virginia which operates as the Regional Crisis Call Center for most of Virginia, has enhanced its offerings and outreach to the Northern Virginia Spanish speaking community.

Fairfax City Receives $1 Million Tree Grant

For 36 consecutive years, Fairfax City has been recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. And now, a $1 million grant recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service will help the City continue to grow and maintain its urban forest.

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Soil & Water Candidates Weigh In on Lake Accotink

Earlier this year, continuing discussion around sediment and flooding problems, including a recommendation to let Lake Accotink fill in and become a wetland, raised concern among some area residents.

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Residents Speak Out Against Data Center

Say environment and people’s health should matter more.

Speaking before the Fairfax County Planning Commission last week, opponents of the gigantic data center proposed for construction near Chantilly’s Pleasant Valley community attacked the project from every angle.

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Planning Commission Approves Chantilly Data Center

Despite unanswered questions, clock was ticking.

Members of Chantilly’s Pleasant Valley community did all they could last week to convince the Fairfax County Planning Commission that allowing construction of a huge data center near their homes would be a terrible idea.

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Second Story Backpacks from Women’s Club of McLean

The Woman’s Club of McLean has long supported Second Story, a non profit organization in Fairfax County providing counseling and residential housing for teens, young mothers, and their children who were living in unsafe residential situations.

Homes Sold Faster and Prices Jumped More

Median sold price for a home in August reached $700,000 in Northern Virginia

Even though sales declined regionally and nationally, inventory was lower and prices grew faster in the Northern Virginia real estate market than nationally in August, according to the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.

One Dead in Two-Car Crash

An 89-year-old man died from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash Saturday morning on Ox Road in West Springfield.

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Woodson High Presents New Play, ‘The Trials’

Poses serious questions about climate-change responsibility.

Woodson High’s new play, “The Trials,” is set in the near future, when the climate emergency is worsening and all adults who’ve adversely impacted the climate are put on trial.

Fall Book Sale at Duncan Library

Fall Book Sale at Duncan Library from Wednesday, Sept. 27 to Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023.

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Michael Freedman

Mike Freedman, who found respite in radio early on and would become a radio network executive, journalism professor and university administrator, died at home in Alexandria, Va., surrounded by his family, on Sept. 18 from pancreatic cancer. He was 71.

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Caregiving Corner

My Loved One Has Dementia. What Do I Say or Do?

“We want our loved ones to smile.” — Speech language pathologist Susan Wranik

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‘In Darkness There Is Light’

Alexandria Police Department unveils Suicide Memorial.

“Make no mistake -- they are and will always be our brothers in blue.” — Retired Police Chief David Baker

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Ophelia Passes

Riders on the Storm

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Change Comes in the Form of an El Salvador Flag and Pupusas in Rose Hill

New owners and new menu attract fans at Mama Mia’s.

New Mama Mia's

Letter: Eliminating Animal Protection Police?

Letter to the Editor

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Chief to Present Foot Pursuit Policy to Supervisors

Oct. 3 Public Safety Committee meeting will bring some long awaited responses from FCPD.


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Students Protest VDOE’s Policies

Flash point awaits as some schools balk at implementing policies.


Parktober Events in Fairfax

Fall events

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Long Time Career Forester Retires

Master Naturalists honor Jim McGlone

Master Naturalists honor Jim McGlone retires

Race for Soil & Water Conservation District Board

Get to know the candidates, and the Board

Soil Board

Friday, September 22


Alexandria restaurant marks the 6th location in the state


Wednesday, September 20

Beyer Shares Constituent Stories Of Hardship From 2018-19 Government Shutdown

Shutdowns are very bad, actually.


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Roadside Business Signs Stand the Test of Time

Old signs spur nostalgia and familiarity in Mount Vernon.

Roadside signs

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Newington Residents Speak Out on Dangerous Cut-Through

Along Newington Road, a sidewalk would help pedestrians and cyclists.

Newington Rd

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‘We Focus on Hot Spots’

Learning about Sully Police Station’s bike team.

Officially called the Neighborhood Patrol Unit, the Sully District Police Station’s Bike Team is a valuable asset to both the police department and the community.

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‘People Can Feel Safe Leaving their Dogs Here’

The Dog Stop opens in Centreville Square.

The Dog Stop held its grand opening, Saturday, Sept. 9, in the Centreville Square Shopping Center in Centreville.

Early Voting Begins September 22nd

Get ready for the upcoming November General Election in Fairfax County, where all 140 seats in the Virginia General Assembly are up for grabs. Along with Senate and House seats, 12 other local offices are on the ballot, including Clerk of Court, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Sheriff, Chairman of Board of Supervisors, District Supervisor, School Board Members At-Large, District School Board Member, and Soil and Water Board Members.

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We the People

Students, DAR celebrate Constitution Week at City Hall.

“Our Constitution is one that has stood the test of time -- longer than any other in world history.” — DAR Constitution Week chair Linda Ferrara

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Seniors Thrive in South Fairfax

Dedicated, beautiful 55+ communities like Spring Hill, The Fairfax, Gum Springs Glen and the new North Hill make the Mount Vernon District a great place to age in place.

Sully Community Day Is Sept. 30

All community members are invited to attend the first-ever Sully Community Day on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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22 Years Later, Lest We Forget

Each year on Sept. 11, the front lawn of West Centreville Fire Station 38 is adorned with multitudes of small, American flags.

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9/11 at Great Falls Freedom Memorial 2023

The community of Great Falls remains deeply affected by the repercussions of that tragic day 22 years ago.

Keeping a Republic

History records that at the end of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 Benjamin Franklin who was the senior member of the Convention was asked what kind of government the delegates who had sweltered through months of heat and compromises had produced. His oft-quoted response was “a republic if we can keep it.”

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More Than Meets the Eye

McLean Community Center’s Fall Community Parking Lot Sale

On Saturday, Sept. 16, the McLean Community Center held its much-anticipated Fall Community Parking Lot Sale.

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Celebrating Citizenship

Goodwin House honors newest U.S. citizens.

“It is the many places, people and cultures that makes the United States so special.” — New U.S. citizen Nada Boris

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Celebrating a Century

City celebrates local centenarians.

“I have such a wonderful family. I count my blessings.” — 102-year-old Walter Hammersley

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Remembering Parker-Gray

Alumni Brooks is honored at 103rd anniversary.

rig. Gen. Leo A. Brooks Sr. (ret) was the guest of honor at the 103rd anniversary of Parker-Gray High School held Sept. 9 at the Nannie J. Lee Center.

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Knock Out Visit

Olympian Isley returns to Lyles-Crouch.

“You can accomplish anything.” — Olympian Troy Isley

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Ice Hockey Gets Another Grip on Fairfax County

Skates, sticks and pucks are part of the selection at the new hockey store, Pure Hockey, in Springfield.

Hockey store opens

Tuesday, September 19

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Great Falls Author Unravels an Eight-Generation Truth

"The Politzer Saga" tells the story of a remarkable family whose history was shrouded in secrecy when they came to the U.S.


Hunger Action Month

Why Is Food Insecurity Still An Issue?


Amazon Delivery Vans Support Local School, Fight Teen Hunger

Hundreds of local volunteers joined Food For Neighbors in the fight against teen food insecurity.

Teen Hunger Event

September Is Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide Prevention

Friday, September 15

Potomac Home Sales: August, 2023

In August, 2023, 39 Potomac homes sold between $3,900,000-$600,000.

Potomac Home Sales: August, 2023

Thursday, September 14

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A Win For Virginia


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Our National Park

George Washington Memorial Parkway has at least 25 species of mammals, 243 birds, six native turtles, 99 trees and 591 wildflowers.

GW Park

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Fun Highlights in Mount Vernon, Welcoming to All

Mount Vernon Newcomers & Community Guide 2023

Scenes in Mount Vernon

Wednesday, September 13

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Updates for McLean/Vienna

Updates for McLean/Vienna

No Miracle in Virginia Student Test Scores

There was more than a week delay in announcing Virginia student test scores this year. Last week we learned why.

September Is Suicide Prevention Month

September is Suicide Prevention month, but it is always time to raise awareness, strengthen the dialogue and remind individuals, friends and families about resources that are available.

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Lake Braddock Holds off Westfield To Improve to 2-1

In a low scoring football game in Burke, the Lake Braddock Bruins narrowly held on to beat the Westfield Bulldogs 9-7 on Friday, Sept. 8.

How One Data Center Will Change Fairfax County … For the Worse

A rezoning to accommodate the tallest data center in Fairfax County is up for a vote by the Planning Commissioners at a Public Hearing, Sept. 20, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. at 12000 Government Center Parkway (application RZ 2022-SU-00019/SE 2022-SU-00038). It will be adjacent to a resource protection area and a tributary to our drinking water, within earshot of a residential community, and of a size that is completely out of character for the area and threatens airport navigation. If approved, it will set a dangerous precedent.

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Exercising Democratic Rights to Reduce Cafeteria Waste

A group of students from Great Falls Elementary and Cooper Middle Schools collected over a hundred signatures for a petition on reducing cafeteria waste. They then delivered the petition to Congressmen Gerry Connolly and Don Beyer’s offices on Sept. 1.

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What’s on the Road Ahead for Centreville, Chantilly

Transportation projects and affordable senior homes.

In hopes of easing traffic congestion in the local area, several transportation projects are either planned or underway in Centreville and Chantilly.

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Supervisors Adopt Reston Comprehensive Plan

On Tuesday, Sept. 12, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted the new Reston Comprehensive Plan which includes updates to guidance for topics like affordable housing, open space and community health.

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900 Apartments Coming to the Town of Herndon

When Quadrangle Development Corporation builds its two office towers in the Town of Herndon, they will be the tallest buildings ever constructed within the town’s boundaries.

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Great Falls Community Assoc. To Hold Election Forum

On Sept. 27, at 5:30 p.m., the Great Falls Community Association will hold an election forum at the Grange for members and the public. The six Dranesville Supervisor, House, and Senate candidates will discuss Great Falls issues relevant to their offices.

Popular Entertainment Spots and Nearby Eats in South County

Interesting places to pair food and fun

The south county areas of Springfield, Lorton, Clifton, Fairfax and Fairfax Station are fortunate to have interesting attractions to enjoy for entertainment, exercise, nature and history.

Fairfax City Looks Toward the Horizon

Mixed uses, multifamily homes, stores and businesses planned.

Fairfax City is proud of its historic Old Town parks and schools, while warmly welcoming new residents, businesses and commercial development throughout the City.

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Special Events, All Year ’Round in Fairfax City

When it comes to special events, it’s hard to beat Fairfax City for the number and variety of entertaining, family-friendly events it holds all year long.

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Lido Civic Club Supports Paul VI Options Athletics

The Lido Civic Club of Washington D.C. donated $5,000 recently to benefit St. Paul VI Catholic High School’s (PVI) Options athletics program.

Six Months Late, Finally a Budget

Raising Virginia’s standard deduction from just $3000/$6000 to almost three times that amount causes an annual revenue loss of over $1.1 billion.


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Hidden and Not-So-Hidden Gems

Faves of Fairfax County Supervisors

Hidden Gems

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Year One, the 2023 Annual Report in South Fairfax

Steps taken to implement Fairfax County Strategic Plan.

South Annual Report

Newcomers & Community Guide 2023

Find What You Need

Newcomers Guide

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month.

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month.

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Superintendent Michelle Reid Shares FCPS’s Hidden Gems

Superintendent Michelle Reid

Waitlists Open for Affordable Housing

Waitlists Open for Affordable Housing

Wednesday, September 6

Budgets Set Policy Directions

“I predict [the conference committee compromise] will be accepted as the best compromise that can be reached at this time.”

Climate Action Conference at Lake Braddock

Supervisor James Walkinshaw will hold his first Climate Action Conference at Lake Braddock Secondary School on Saturday, Sept. 30.

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Nature’s Late Summer Bounty

Nature’s fresh produce market is open with its bounty of late season offerings of nectar, fruits, and nuts for insects, birds, and mammals.

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‘Every Day is Beautiful’

Families celebrate milestone birthdays.

“I have a beautiful family and could not ask for more.” — Norma Safren celebrating her 93rd birthday.

Alexandria News Briefs

Alexandria News Briefs

Fall and Halloween Events in Alexandria

Fall Events in Alexandria

Labor Day is So Much More

Every year on Labor Day it is important to pause to reflect on the monumental contributions of laborers that have shaped the prosperity of Virginia and our nation as a whole.

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Cool Cars Brighten Sweltering Summer Day

More than 6,500 people attended the 24th annual Labor Day Car Show in Fairfax City.

More than 6,500 people attended the 24th annual Labor Day Car Show in Fairfax City.

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Simpson Named Business Leader of the Year

Best in Business reception slated for Oct. 12.

“Our family has always been involved in the community.” — Donald Simpson Jr.

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Virginia Native American Festival

Riverbend Park's Virginia Native American Festival is on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Women’s Summit in Tyson's Hilton Coalesces Local Women

Next election alarms many who see women’s rights infringed

There is nothing quite like entering a ballroom overflowing with 1,000 (mostly) women to understand the effect the last few years have had on Virginians. They are fired up. One could hear the buzz all the way down the hall.

NoVa Sr. Olympics Hits Record Registration

Registration for the 2023 Northern Virginia Senior Olympics has hit a record number of 924, up 11% over last year.

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Providing Access to Fresh, Healthy Food

WFCM’s second, client-choice pantry opens in Centreville.

Fairfax County is a great place to live – for those earning enough money to keep a roof over their heads, pay their bills and feed their families. But people struggling to make ends meet often turn to Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM) for help.

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‘He’s Still Here; My Uncle Will Be Gone Forever’

Green sentenced to prison for killing Chantilly man.

“Nothing the victim did that night justified his death, nor did anything Ms. Osorio Cordero did warrant [Green’s] malicious assault on her.” — Judge David Oblon, Fairfax County Circuit Court

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Michelin-Starred Chef Perfects Vegan Ice Cream

Store’s ribbon cutting is on Saturday.

When it comes to eating ice cream, the top priority for most individuals is undoubtedly the combination of great taste and the right texture — hard to do with vegan ice cream.

Affordable Housing-Talk Not Action in Fairfax, Reston

The shortage of affordable housing in Fairfax County and Reston rarely gets the analytical attention that the Connection’s edition of August 16-22 delivered in Mercia Hobson’s “3rd Wealthiest County in U.S. Fails to Provide Affordable Housing.” The article is based on conversations with several knowledgeable staff members of one excellent Reston’s charitable organization, Cornerstones, people serving the homeless and those in danger of becoming homeless.

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Westfield v. Mount Vernon

Westfield scores on its first possession and finishes 42-0.

The Westfield Bulldogs faced the Mount Vernon Majors on Thursday Aug. 31, 2023 in Chantilly for a non conference matchup.

News Briefs


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Neighborhood Restaurant with Upscale, Modern Feel

After a year in Fairfax City, Draper’s holds ribbon cutting.

Draper’s Steak & Seafood, at 3936 Blenheim Blvd. in Fairfax, is in a location steeped in history.

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Barricade Ends Peacefully

A man was safely taken into custody following a 6-hour barricade that ended around 10 p.m Aug. 29, in a neighborhood near Monument Drive and Government Center Parkway.

Springfield Man Dies in Motorcycle Crash

A 22-year-old man died in a motorcycle crash on the afternoon of Aug. 31, 2023 in Fairfax Station.



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Professionals Learn More About Native Plants

Native plants may be climate change survivors

Imagine a world without forests. Lands unable to control soil erosion, filter and clean water, control temperatures, store carbon, provide building materials, produce food and medicines, or soothe the soul with the sound of rustling leaves.

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Never Forget

City to mark anniversary of 9-11 attacks.

“We claim this ground in remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001. To honor the 184 people whose lives were lost, their families, and all who sacrifice that we may live in freedom. We will never forget.” — Pentagon 9-11 Memorial inscription.

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Update, 4 Years Later


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A Noteworthy Milestone

Alexandria Harmonizers celebrate 75 years.

The Alexandria Harmonizers, Alexandria’s own internationally acclaimed a cappella performing group, will celebrate their 75th diamond anniversary with a special performance Sept. 9 at the Rachel M Schlesinger Concert Hall on the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

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3 Dates to Circle for Dining in September

A trio of celebrations awaits this month, ranging from an arts-and-cocktails soiree early on to a celebration of Oktoberfest to a bluegrass brunch to beat the band. Kick off the journey to autumn with some September fun – here are some of the month’s best bets.

Wetlands Ordinance – Existing Bulkheads Generally Grandfathered

There has been a lot of information and misinformation being shared with community members, especially those who live along our waterways, as to what is permitted or not permitted based on the 2020 Virginia Wetlands law.

17 Year Old Arrested For Murder

FCPD Detectives from the Mount Vernon Police District arrested a 17-year-old suspect in a fatal shooting in a Woodlawn parking lot on Friday, Sept. 1.

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New Police Commander Urges Community Dialogue

“This is your police department.”

“It takes a lot to work in the Mount Vernon district,” Fairfax County police Captain Marc Mitchell told his audience at an Aug. 30 “Meet the Commander” gathering at the Sherwood Regional Library.

Tuesday, September 5

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Learning Outside the Classroom

Students raise funds to build schoolhouse in Africa.

School house