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Education and Community Development

The Education & Community Development (ECD) Program provides enrichment programs and case management services meant to break the cycle of poverty to the residents of four centers: Ragan Oaks next to Fair Oaks Mall, Robinson Square next to George Mason University, Barros Circle in Centreville, and Wedgewood, the largest center, located in Annandale.

The Education & Community Development Program served 1,817 people last year, who received the following:

1. Case Management:
Case Management is defined as providing an in-depth assessment in order to provide financial assistance, employment assistance, life skills, budgeting, and help applying for benefits. These services are ongoing as opposed to one time emergency assistance. Case management helps your / our neighbors develop financial, housing, education and/or employment goals.

2. Emergency Assistance:
Emergency Services include but are not limited to food, clothes, counseling, emotional support, resource connections, information, referrals, dental cleanings and co-pay, vision and eye glasses referrals, translation, and computer or printing access.

The Education & Community Development Program has served over 500 children this year. Youth programs focus on developing healthy academic and lifestyle habits. The cornerstone of our programs for school age kids continues to be Homework Help and Life Skills. Homework Help is held at least four days a week at all four community centers. Staff, interns, and volunteers are available to assist students with homework and other academic work. Students have access to school supplies, computers, printers, and supplemental materials along with group and one-on-one assistance. Over 440 school age youth regularly attend Homework Help. Life Skills Groups are held weekly for youth based on gender and age. Junior Boys and Girls Groups are held for youth in grades 2-6, and Senior Boys and Girls Groups for grades 7-12. Over 250 students attended at least one session of Life Skills class.
Students’ efforts are recognized at the end of the school year during FACETS’ Academic Achievement Banquet. The 2018 Academic Achievement Banquet recognized a total of 168 students. One hundred percent of high school graduates in the ECD program transitioned into a 2-4 year college program in the fall of 2018.

Last year, the ECD Program was able, for the first time, to partner with Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE). SAVE Promise Clubs are places for young people across the country to show their leadership, creativity and passion for protecting their friends, schools and communities from violence BEFORE it happens. FACETS was able to host one week in February and October of this powerful approach to preventing violence at our community centers.

During school holidays and summer break, parents may experience a financial burden in providing nutritious, complete lunches for their children. FACETS’ ECD centers provide bagged lunches to students on school holidays and breaks through the donations of faith communities. During the summer break, ECD communities participate in the Fairfax County Summer Food Service Program, which provides complete lunches to students at no cost to the parents. A total of 3,600 lunches were provided during summer 2017 at Robinson Square, Ragan Oaks, and Wedgewood. This program eliminates anxiety for those in our community who are food-insecure.

Two major events are held each year to benefit the youth at ECD communities: Back to School Parties and Sibling Shop. Back to School Parties are held in August of each year. Students receive essential school supplies that have been donated and are treated to crafts and snacks by volunteer corporate partners. Sibling Shop is held in December. Volunteer corporate partners assist each youth in choosing a gift for his/her sibling from a collection of newly donated toys and games.

 

Life Skills Groups Provide:
Budgeting and Money Management
Family and Culture Awareness
Problem solving, Decision Making, and Responsibility
Confidence, Social Skills, and Group Work
Support for Mothers
Self-awareness and Boundaries
Communication
Being Active and Healthy
Parenting
Senior Support