Whew! We’ve been busy

After opening on September 18, VU has been up and running! Most Mondays and Tuesdays so far we have been averaging 15 students each night. And in addition to the seasoned volunteers who returned, we have oriented more than a dozen new volunteers so far! I know it’s a bit…

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Reading Goal Achieved!

These VU students were among the readers who helped reach their reading goal–one sprinkle at a time! Every time a student read aloud to a volunteer for 20 minutes, they put a sprinkle/sticker on the ice cream cone. The goal was 120 hours of reading, and the reward was an…

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New Tablets at VU!

We always try to make learning enjoyable at VU, but the fun factor got a boost with the recent addition of Kindle Fire tablets (kids version) to the program. As a result of a generous donation, students are using brand new tablets to aid them in learning and practicing math, money skills, telling time, spelling, phonics,…

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A Lasting Legacy for Retired President

Barbara Sorenson, a tireless volunteer, advocate, and former president for Vecinos Unidos, a nonprofit after-school program in Herndon, retired in 2016 after serving children in the community for 15 years. On April 19, Andrea Ciecierski, the current president; the board of directors; and 30 volunteers gathered to recognize her years…

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VU’s Lasting Impact

Sometimes VU has the wonderful opportunity to hear from students who participated in the early days of the program. At that time, it was a bit different in structure and served older students, but the goal of helping students succeed in school and life was the foundation then as it is…

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Story Time at VU: What Happens Next?

We recently added something new at VU–Story Time. The kids gathered round, sitting on their carpet squares, to listen to two volunteers each read a story. We received a wonderful gift of some classic children’s books from the ’50s, ’60s an ’70s. Because they were too fragile for the kids to handle,…

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We All Scream for Ice Cream

We are getting close to our reading goal and our fabulous ice cream party! The kids have finished 224 of the 360 reading units–that means only 136 to go. As soon as they reach the top, it will be party time and that ice cream will taste so good!!! We…

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2016 Moments Worth Remembering

Before too much more time elapses in 2017, we at VU want to take a moment to reflect on a momentous 2016—a year of change. In early summer, Barbara Sorenson, VU’s president and fearless leader since 2006, decided it was time for a well-deserved break and retired from VU. Her…

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Books: The Best Gift Ever

On the last day of homework assistance for 2016, VU students received a holiday gift bag. By far the favorite item was the personally selected book that each child found inside! Thanks to a fundraising effort by volunteer Alicia Bowen (far left in photo), VU president Andrea Ciecierski was able…

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Parent Night 2016

When I check students in at VU’s homework program, I am able to meet the parents as they drop their children off. Although I don’t speak Spanish (many of our volunteers do) and many of the parents do not speak English, it’s still easy to communicate with a smile and a personalized greeting that their…

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