The Neediest Kids: A Spotlight on Fairfax County Public Schools

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Did you know that Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is the 10th largest school system in the United States? Serving more than 186,000 students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12, 28 percent of these students, or approximately 52,080 youth, are eligible for free and reduced-price meals (FARMS)- a primary indicator of poverty. This is where The Neediest […]

The Haunting of a City

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D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier said there are no confirmed sightings of Tatum and Relisha together after March 1, and no sightings of Relisha at all after that date. –The Washington Post

Our Redemption

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The homeless mothers sit before me, dressed in their best clothes, well groomed, cautiously, hesitantly returning a smile to me. Ranging widely in complexion, height, and shape, their commonality is very striking. They are young (under 25), single, and have children. They are poor and live in a transitional housing program. They are the objects […]

Opposing Forces

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It seems that her face, an angelic, wistful, and questioning portrait, is circulating everywhere, calling out for someone to help us find Relisha. Vigils, newspapers, police press conferences, television interviews, City Council hearings, all question what happened to this quiet little eight-year-old girl who resided in a massive emergency homeless family shelter with nearly 600 […]

Generative Reflections on Mr. Mandela

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Recently, three young adult men visited the offices, catching me up on their lives. We laughed over the antics which kept them all under the intense scrutiny of the staff when they lived as teens in NCCF’s group home many years ago. Soberly, we talked about how they are doing now and their vision for […]

There Are No Flowers There

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Today was the height of the ever so brief National Cherry Blossom season. I normally take a sort of suburban, somewhat distant notice of the cherry trees along the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC when this magic day arrives…..when the thousands of trees bloom all along the Potomac River. After all, they were donated to […]

How Did We Get Here on Valentine’s Day?

This week, as we celebrated Saint Valentine’s Day, approximately half of 190 million valentines were given to family members other than a husband or wife, usually to children. When valentine-exchange cards made in school activities are included, the number approaches 1 billion, and teachers receive the most valentines (US Greeting Card Association, 2010). So I […]

Poverty — Keeping It Real

So I have been preoccupied with poverty lately, and the fact that it universally poses the biggest insult to a healthy childhood. The 1980 Rockefeller Foundation Commission on Children Report listed poverty as the biggest assault to children, and I have never forgotten this. Maybe because I was born in poverty in rural South Carolina. […]

Help a Student. Donate a Backpack.

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NCCF's Back to School Drive 2022