Thank You to everyone who contributed cash and gift cards to McKinley families in need. Together we raised more than $3,600!
If you find that your family is experiencing financial hardship because of the closures in our area, please know that you can reach out to our school social worker, Cherelle Washington, at email@example.com and get confidential assistance. She can point you to some good community resources.
Auction Update: Our indefatigable Auction Committee has wisely but regretfully concluded that we need to table the auction entirely until next fall. We recognize that families may have economic hardships now and that our collective priority needs to be the well-being of the community. Look for the fall game plan later this spring.
PTA Activity Leads: While you’ve got time at home to think, please consider volunteering for one of these activity leads for next school year. Lots of training and appreciation provided!
Parents have asked: what does social distancing mean, and how can I protect my family? Here are some reminders.
As the weather continues to improve, outdoor gatherings of fewer than 10 are viewed as appropriate at the moment, but social distancing techniques must still be practiced. Teens are included in this group, and activities like bike riding and hiking/walking are viewed as better alternatives to gathering in groups.
I received some wonderful messages from you all asking how we can support families in need, both in the McK community and countywide.
Here’s the information I have in hand. If you have other information or ideas, please email me.
Q: What will happen to the hourly employees who work in/for our schools? (e.g., bus drivers, cafeteria staff, etc.)
A: APS has reported that at this time, it will continue to compensate hourly employees as planned. Other positions, including clinic staff and crossing guards, are employees of Arlington County, which has also confirmed these employees will be paid through this time.
Q: What will happen to families in our community who can’t pay bills (rent, utilities, etc.) because parents may be temporarily out of work?
A: There is a program called Arlington Thrive which provides emergency funds to low-income families in need in our area. You can donate to this fund at https://arlingtonthrive.org/donate/.
Q: How can I help McKinley families in need, specifically?
A: The request from our school social workers, counselors, and admin team is this: they would appreciate donations of gift cards, either grocery gift cards or gift cards that function as cash (like a VISA gift card) to help families with bills. You can order one via Amazon Prime and have it mailed directly to me: 901 N McKinley Rd , Arlington VA 22205. Gina Miller will pick them up from me next Monday, 3/23 for distribution.
You may also/otherwise donate to one of the countywide programs/efforts described elsewhere in this email, or to others you may know about.
McK’s families in need are encouraged to get in touch with Cherelle Washington, our school social worker, or Maria Montas, McK’s bilingual resource coordinator.
Q: How can families in need access food?
A: There are a number of ways you can support families’ access to food, above and beyond the measures that APS is taking to provide free lunches to children in need (APS described this in an email late last week). Additional measures you could take include:
Real Food for Kids and award-winning chef, David Guas, are teaming up to help our neighbors. Starting Tuesday, March 17, Chef David will be cooking up meals for grab-and-go distribution at his Arlington restaurant, Bayou Bakery, between 10-11:30 a.m., Monday-Friday.
Needy Arlington children and families can come to Bayou Bakery to pick up a meal, no questions asked. Bayou Bakery is located at 1515 N Courthouse Rd, Arlington, VA 22201.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE DONATE. Your support is urgently needed to help prevent hunger during this unprecedented lapse in access to school meals.
We’ve been watching the developments over the past 24 hours and I think the right thing to do is take the auction online.
The VA PTA last night issued guidance advising us to postpone all events for 30 days. The WHO has issued a sobering announcement. Also, I understand that there is guidance coming shortly from APS which will affect out-of-school-time events starting next week.
And most important, I hope you will join me in expressing our gratitude to our Auction chairs, Jackie Giambalvo, Jen Myers, and Janaki Kates. This has been a really challenging event to plan this year, with the school move uncertainty in the Fall/Winter and now the coronavirus. They have handled this with such grace and perseverance and thoughtfulness. I hope you will join me in sending lots of sympathy and thanks their way.
Don’t disappoint LEO! We’re still short of our 75-bottle goal for the Wine/Spirit Wheel. Please consider donating a ~$20 bottle of wine or spirits, and keep the wheel rollin!
Donations are accepted through March 13, but you will reduce the stress level of the auction planners tremendously if you can drop your bottles off this weekend. There is a donation box on Carly Kelly’s front porch that she will be checking regularly. Email Carly Kelly for her address.