In early January, APAH’s Education Resource Carnival hosted over 80 participants who learned about Arlington’s educational resources from 28 service partners, ranging from Even Start, a literacy program at Barcroft Elementary school that focuses on supporting immigrant families and their children, to La Cocina VA, a culinary training program that will be headquartered at Gilliam Place.
Additionally, children played coin drop and lollipop games, adults participated in a prize wheel. A wagon and bike were raffled off to two lucky families, both generously donated by the Arlington Science Focus PTA. All participants were able to enjoy popcorn and lemonade, while the Arlington County Parks and Recreation TEAM program provided face painting and balloon animals for the children.
Participants appreciated being able to learn about the broader scope of resources available to Arlington residents. One APAH resident was excited to share information with her family to help her grandchildren. Another mom was excited to learn about a program perfect for her teenage son after searching for months to find an appropriate activity. The wide range of service partners at the Carnival allowed participants to gain educational information for adults and children, some gaining tips for neighbors and friends.
Several partners, including Girls on the Run, Rosie Riveters, Edu-Futuro, and Virginia Cooperative Extension, recruited for programs scheduled to take place at APAH properties this spring. But partners also appreciated being able to connect with each other to learn about other opportunities for their clients and consider future partnerships.
It took the efforts of 10 volunteers to put on a true community resource carnival—drawing on the programs and resources of Arlington to help APAH residents and those in the community find information such as teen after school programs, English language classes, internship opportunities for high school students, and ways to increase engagement within families. Many partners and participants already indicated the eagerness to participate in the event next year!