Closing the academic “excellence gap” in Fairfax

EDUCATION
- Over the past decade, a program called Young Scholars has tried to address the wide disparity in the number of low-income and minority students in gifted and talented programs in Fairfax County schools by identifying promising students at a very young age (WaPo, 4/10):

Experts have put forth a variety of theories to explain why bright students in some groups fail to excel: They may enter kindergarten less ready; lack access to enriching resources or activities; face pressure from peer groups that stigmatize high achievement; or contend with instability at home. A lack of basic skills may mask their potential, and teacher bias may creep in.

As Carol Horn, Fairfax County Public Schools’ K-12 program coordinator, made the rounds at schools with high low-income and minority populations in 2000, she learned that bright students were often perilously behind by third grade, when most decisions about gifted services were made.

“The principals said, ‘You really need to start looking in kindergarten and have something for those students,’ ” Horn says. After a pilot program that included a three-week summer camp, Young Scholars was up and running. Today it has expanded to 82 Fairfax schools, serving 5,266 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, with roughly half coming from low-income families and half identified because they speak English as a second language.

- As DCPS implements the Common Core Standards, teachers say students are learning to read better. (WAMU, 4/14)

- Community college-university pipeline eases higher-ed route (WaPo, 4/10)

- D.C. school proposals trigger debate over future of neighborhood schools (WaPo, 4/12)

- The Post has announced 20 winners of the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award at schools throughout the region. (WaPo, 4/10)

REGION
- The region’s population growth has finally started cooling off. Economists point to federal budget cuts for the slowing growth. D.C. proper, on the other hand, is still attracting swarms of new residents. (WaPo, 4/11)

- Speaking of budget cuts: the national parks in the area, which are huge sources of revenue for jurisdictions across the region, are feeling the pinch as Congress has cut spending on them over the past few years. (WAMU, 4/14)

FOOD | Lindsay Smith, consultant for the Washington Regional Food Funders, reflects on Michael Twitty’s message about why the cultural heritage of food is as important to consider as environmental sustainability and other related issues at the kickoff of WRAG’s Brightest Minds series. (Daily, 4/14)

HOMELESSNESS | Since Mayor Gray launched the 500 Families, 100 Days initiative two weeks ago, 26 families have moved out of the homeless shelter at D.C. General. (DCist, 4/11)

HOUSING | Md. gubernatorial hopeful Brown calls for major increase in affordable housing program (WaPo, 4/14)

WORKFORCE | At Potomac Job Corps Center, working to bridge the skills gap (WaPo, 4/13)

ENVIRONMENT | DC-area transportation is not on track to meet climate change goals (GGW, 4/11)

NONPROFITS | Catching up with Patty Stonesifer (WaPo, 4/13)


Who would have thought that this super famous and super boring Microsoft desktop image would actually be kind of interesting?

- Rebekah

As tuition increases, so does hunger on campus

HUNGER | As the price of college (and related costs, like housing) rise, more students are having trouble affording food, particularly those who are from low-income families or are first-generation college students. Many colleges are starting food banks to serve students otherwise going hungry (WaPo, 4/10):

At the same time that higher education is seen as key to financial security, tuition and living expenses are rising astronomically, making it all the more tempting for students to cut corners on food.

“Between paying rent, paying utilities and then trying to buy food, that’s where we see the most insecurity because that’s the most flexible,” said Monica Gray, director of programs at the College Success Foundation-District of Columbia, which helps low-income high school students go to college.

As campuses look for solutions, the number of university food pantries has shot up, from four in 2008 to 121 today, according to the Michigan State University Student Food Bank, which has advised other campuses on starting them. Trinity Washington University in the District opened one in September, and the University of Maryland at College Park is looking into opening one.

HOUSING
- D.C. wants to buy a lot of land next to the Anacostia metro station to develop it for affordable housing. (WBJ, 4/9)

- Here’s a great write-up of a recent successful effort to purchase an apartment building in Columbia Heights under the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act – the program that helps tenants purchase their properties when landlords put them up for sale. (WAMU, 3/28)

HOMELESSNESS
- Post columnist Petula Dvorak writes about the need for a safe playspace for children at D.C. General and calls on the city to get moving on building it – especially since there is already community approval and funding available for it (including financial support from Pepco). (WaPo, 4/10)

- Although Mayor Gray says he wants to close the homeless shelter at D.C. General, he says NIMBYism will make it difficult to create smaller shelters throughout the city. (WaPo, 4/9)

CHILDREN & YOUTH | Advocates led by the D.C. Alliance of Youth Advocates are drafting a bill that would address sex trafficking in the District. (DCist, 4/10)

ARTS/TRANSIT | Fairfax County considers turning the Silver Line into a massive public art project (WaPo, 4/9). Yes, please! This is such a great idea I won’t even make a snarky comment about the silver line.

WORKFORCE 
- I don’t even know how to categorize this piece since its implications are so cross-cutting: day care costs more than college in 31 states. This has a lot to do with why so many women are staying home rather than returning to work after they have a baby, as a Pew study released earlier this week reported. (WaPo, 4/9)

- The region’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly last month. (WBJ, 4/10)


Even if you’re tired of cherry blossom photos (or, at least, tourists), you should check these pictures out, just for the awesome outfits.

- Rebekah

An “unintended consequence” of healthcare law impacts community health centers

HEALTHCARE | Local community health clinics, like Mary’s Center, are having a hard time competing with MedStar, the for-profit health care provider, as it expands into the the community with new primary care facilities. In the long-term, this could threaten the clinics’ financial stability and ability to continue serving the uninsured. (WaPo, 4/7):

The tension is an unintended consequence of the health-care law, which has set off an intense competition for a growing number of privately insured patients, who tend to be the best-paying customers. Under the law, thousands of people in the Washington area and millions across the country are getting coverage for the first time. That has prompted a variety of health providers to move into neighborhoods that were once the exclusive turf of community health centers, which are designed primarily for low-income patients.

For many consumers, having additional places to get medical care will provide more choice and convenience, health experts say. But community health centers worry that the bigger providers will siphon off the insured, leaving them with more uninsured patients. That, they say, would imperil them financially and hurt the people who have no other place to get care — including illegal immigrants and others who won’t benefit from the health-care law.

FOOD | A couple weeks back, the Washington Regional Convergence Partnership – now the Washington Regional Food Funders – provided testimony in support of more coordination of food policy in the District. Elevation DC reports on the hearing and what a food policy director could do to further work to improve food access in the city. (Elevation, 4/8)

Related: The Washington Regional Food Funders remain interested in advocacy for good food. Today they share this report from the first ever regional gathering of food policy councils and coalitions they hosted last fall and talked about at the hearing.

POVERTY | Silver Spring is characteristic of the growing “suburbanization” of poverty, with a number of nonprofit organizations reporting a big increase in the number of people they serve over the past few years. (WAMU, 4/4)

HOUSING
- What do solar panels have to do with affordable housing? A lot. (Elevation DC, 4/8)

- City Looks to Restart Park Morton Redevelopment (CP, 4/4)

- The Search for Affordable Housing Is Pushing the Middle Class to the Exurbs (Atlantic, 4/8)

Related: This is an issue we looked at last year with an edition of What Funders Need to Know that looked at why philanthropy should focus on supporting housing affordability close to transit.

WORKFORCE | A new report from DC Appleseed says that the District’s job training programs are failing to meet the needs of District residents. The report calls for additional workforce training funding and better coordination among District agencies that work on adult education. (WAMU, 4/4)

EDUCATION
- Obama announces federal grants to help prepare students for careers (WaPo, 4/7)

- D.C. mayoral primary has Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s future up in the air (WaPo, 4/3)

GIVING | Tomorrow, April 9, is Spring2ACTion, Alexandria’s annual day of giving. This year’s goal is to raise $1 million for Alexandria nonprofits. More information here.

TRANSIT | Suuuuuuure. (WBJ, 4/7)


If this isn’t an argument for getting rid of D.C.’s height limit, I don’t know what is.

- Rebekah

There are 5 jobs available for every unemployed veteran

VETERANS | The Post continues its excellent series on veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan today with an in-depth look at veteran unemployment. Unemployment among 25-34 year old veterans remains a couple percentage points higher than the general population, despite a remarkable number of major commitments from corporations to hire veterans:

Add up all the pledges, and they total more than 1 million jobs for a population of unemployed post-Sept. 11-era veterans that is estimated most months by the Bureau of Labor Statistics at 210,000.

The math is overwhelming: There are now about five pledged jobs for every unemployed service member who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan.

It also raises some questions:

If there really are more than 1 million jobs out there, why isn’t every Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran employed? Is there a problem with what the companies are doing? Might it have something to do with the veterans themselves?

Related: Veterans often encounter unique challenges when they start their first civilian job. Last year WRAG members interested in more effectively supporting veterans in our region met with an HR expert in military transitions to learn about the issue, and ways philanthropy can promote better hiring and on-boarding policies to ease these transitions. (Daily, Sept. 2013)

BUDGET
- Mayor Gray released his 2015 budget proposal this morning, and there are lots of spending proposals of note, including a cost-of-living bump for TANF recipients, $2 million toward programs focused on helping families avoid homelessness, and another $4.7 million toward homeless veterans. (WaPo, 4/3)

- Gray Excludes Funds For College Scholarship Program From 2015 Budget (WAMU, 4/3)

COMMUNITY | The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum has announced a $30 million gift from Boeing that will support educational activities and exhibitions, including a major renovation of its main hall. (DCist, 4/3)

EDUCATION
Loudoun County chooses Eric Williams as new schools superintendent (WaPo, 4/2)

- Maybe paying for good grades is not so bad, says the Post‘s Jay Mathews after the number of students taking AP exams in area schools significantly increased when students and teachers were paid for high scores. (WaPo, 3/30)

WORKFORCE | Md. minimum-wage bill clears key Senate hurdle; implementation would take until 2018 (WaPo, 4/3)


Via Ghosts of DC, here’s a kind of odd promo video for Washington from the 1930s. It’s 6 minutes of back-to-back terrible jokes, but the footage is pretty cool.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back to being almost daily on Tuesday. 

- Rebekah

 

An effort to reduce pregnancies among Hispanic teens in Montgomery County

YOUTH | While the overall teen pregnancy rate has been declining, there remains a significant disparity between Hispanics and other groups, an issue that one local nonprofit has been working to address in Montgomery County (WaPo, 3/29):

Even as the Latino birthrate has fallen in Montgomery over the past two decades, it remains more than 2.5 times higher than the rate for the county’s black girls in that age group and more than three times the rate for white girls.

[...]

Since 1996, the earliest year in which Montgomery officials have published data, the great disparity between birthrates for Latino and white teenagers has hardly changed. Meanwhile, the gap between black teenagers and Latino teenagers has increased. This has perplexed local officials at a time when teen pregnancy rates in the nation are plummeting and the gaps between all races and ethnic groups continue to shrink.

For advocates, the disparity has come to symbolize the socioeconomic gulf between Latinos, largely a population of new immigrants, and more established populations in one of the country’s most affluent counties.

COMMUNITY | Today the Citi Foundation announced the launch of Pathways to Progress, a three-year, $50 million initiative in 10 cities, including D.C., to provide career training to 100,000 low-income youth. (Citi, 3/31). More information on the initiative is available here.

VETERANS | The Post commissioned a wide-ranging survey of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a must-read for those interested in issues affecting veterans and their families. The quick take-away from the intro: “More than half of the 2.6 million Americans dispatched to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with physical or mental health problems stemming from their service, feel disconnected from civilian life and believe the government is failing to meet the needs of this generation’s veterans.” (WaPo, 3/29)

Related: WRAG members have been convening regularly over the past year to look at ways philanthropy can better support veterans and their families in our region. Last year, they learned about challenges some veterans encounter when transitioning to the civilian workforce, and today (literally, right this minute) they are examining the potential of scaling up a successful program in Montgomery County for the entire region.

HOUSING
- Housing advocates see great potential for affordable housing options in Ward 8, particularly as developers begin to re-hab the area’s “abandominiums” – condos and apartments that have been left empty. (WAMU, 3/28)

- How your housing affects your health (WaPo, 3/26)

EDUCATION/WORKFORCE | In his latest column, Robert McCartney argues that recent changes to the GED exam, put in place to meet higher demands of employers, are making the exam far more difficult to pass during a time when unemployment for those without high school diplomas is so high. (WaPo, 3/29)

REGION | The population of the Greater Washington region continued to grow last year, due primarily to the availability of jobs. (WaPo, 3/28) As Stephen Fuller explains in the article, “very few people flock to D.C. to enjoy the weather.”

HEALTHCARE | Maryland gears up for health exchange redo (WaPo, 3/30)

ARTS/PHILANTHROPY | S&R Foundation provides Washington Ballet with live music, affects city’s music scene (WaPo, 3/28)

CSR | Breaking Down The Benefits Of In-Kind Giving — And The Regulations Around It (Forbes, 3/30)

Related: On Thursday and Friday last week, WRAG and Johns Hopkins University hosted the second session of the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility. Check out the speaker-line up and photos from the session. From the pictures, it looks like a fun and jammed-packed two days. We’ll begin taking applications for the 2015 class early this summer. More information here.


You know how in some circles the first thing people ask you is “what do you do?” That drives me crazy. Here’s a cool video that gives an overview of all of the obnoxious ways people form quick judgments about new acquaintances all over the country.

- Rebekah

You need to work 137 hours a week on minimum wage to afford rent in D.C.

HOUSING | Another day, another study that shows that housing in the Greater Washington region is really, really (really) not affordable. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition:

Renters in the District of Columbia need to work 137 hours per week at the minimum wage of $8.25 an hour to afford a Fair Market Rent of $1,469.

Renters in Maryland need to work 138 hours per week at a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to afford a Fair Market Rent of $1,297.

Renters in Virginia need to work 115 hours per week at the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to afford a Fair Market Rent of $1,088.

On the bright side, when D.C.’s minimum wage rises to $11.50 an hour, workers will only need to work a leisurely 98 hours a week to pay their rent. (WAMU, 3/24)

HOMELESSNESS
- The Gray administration has been ordered by a D.C. Superior Court judge to immediately stop sheltering homeless families in rec centers on freezing nights. (WaPo, 3/24)

- There are over 4,000 homeless students attending D.C. schools – a number that has increased 60 percent over the last five years. (WAMU, 3/20)

Related: Late last year we published What Funders Need to Know: Educational Outcomes and the Relationship to Housing, which looked at the impact of housing affordability, or lack thereof, on educational achievement.

ARTS | WRAG member Ken Grossinger, chair of the CrossCurrents Foundation, recently penned an article for Grantmakers in the Arts’ Reader on an innovative public art project in Baltimore that used street art to draw attention to negligent landlords and pushed the city to raze dilapidated buildings that were blighting low-income neighborhoods. Today, we’ve re-published the article on the Daily. (Daily, 3/25)

Related for arts funders: The Arts & Humanities Working Group, which aims to increase awareness among philanthropy of our region’s vibrant nonprofit arts sector and how the arts can positively impact other issue areas – including social justice and community development – is meeting on April 24. More information is available here.

COMMUNITY | Get to know Nicky Goren, the next president of the Meyer Foundation. (WBJ, 3/20)

EDUCATION | As the expiration date of D.C.’s No Child Left Behind waiver approaches, the U.S. Department of Education has issued a new report criticizing the Office of the State Superintendent of Education for its lack of progress toward improving the city’s lowest-performing schools (WaPo, 3/24):

[OSSE] has faltered in pressing for improvements in the District’s lowest-performing schools, arguably the most important aim of the original No Child Left Behind law. Those schools were supposed to develop plans for improvement in seven key areas, from leadership and staffing to curriculum, family engagement and school culture. The OSSE promised to monitor those efforts and to report annually on the schools’ progress.

The OSSE has not done that, according to the federal report issued last week that outlined several other problems at the agency, including a failure to direct federal Title I funds to the appropriate schools and to include required data on school report cards.

FOOD | Yesterday, WRAG’s Lindsay Smith, consultant for the Washington Regional Convergence Partnership, testified before the D.C. Council on the need for more coordination of D.C.’s food policy. You can read her testimony here.

Related: Better coordination of food policy is especially important as there are many food-related initiatives happening around the region, as well as a growing number of funders who are investing in the area of food. To help educate local philanthropy on the food system, earlier this month we released What Funders Need to Know: The Food System.

VETERANS | Some Grant Makers Get Savvier About Aid to War Veterans (Chronicle, 3/23)

Related for WRAG members: Funders in our region are identifying ways to better serve veterans and military families locally. WRAG members are invited to join us for a brown bag lunch discussion next Monday on the topic. More information is available here.


Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of one emotionally overwrought Saturday detention, when a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel, and a recluse talked a lot about their feelings in one of my favorite 80s movies.

- Rebekah

Success of school reform in the District is a mixed bag

EDUCATION
- As always, the state of the District’s schools are front and center in the mayoral campaign. An overview of the Gray administration’s school reform efforts shows that progress has been decidedly mixed (WaPo, 3/14):

Enrollment is growing, test scores are improving and — six years after Gray authored a bill expanding access to early childhood education — the city leads the nation in the proportion of preschoolers in public pre-kindergarten.

But the city’s long-struggling schools are still below par by many measures, leaving room for criticism on multiple fronts: the state of middle schools and special-education services, inequities in the funding of charter and traditional schools, and the enormous — and in some cases growing — gaps in academic achievement between needy and well-to-do children.

Related: One more piece of Gray’s education record: OSSE (WaPo, 3/14)

- D.C. Council member David Catania has introduced three bills that would improve special education. (WAMU, 3/18)

- A Greater Greater Education contributor explains why improving the socioeconomic diversity of D.C.’s middle schools should be front and center in education reform proposals. (GGE, 3/14)

- A report on issues facing the Prince George’s County school system recommends that officials increase their focus on Latino students, re-brand the school system to improve its image, and reduce duplication in the central office. (WaPo, 3/13)

COMMUNITY | On the Association of Small Foundation‘s blog, Mary McClymont, president of the Public Welfare Foundation (and a member of WRAG’s board) explains why civil legal aid is a strong ally for philanthropy (ASF, 3/13):

For funders, civil legal aid can serve as a significant tool in their toolbox, similar to community organizing, advocacy, or research. It adds value to their grantmaking programs, such as affordable housing, access to health care, education reform, economic development, income security, domestic violence, or children and families.

For funders concerned about creating broader impact or ensuring that policies are implemented and sustained, legal aid lawyers are likewise terrific partners. These lawyers see the problems low-income people face every day, and they use that knowledge to build broader advocacy strategies in a variety of social policy areas in which funders are engaged.

YOUTH | The New York Times‘ “Room for Debate” series takes on some of the assumptions that underlay the Obama administration’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative. (NY Times, 3/12)

Related: WRAG members are invited to a funder-only discussion on new strategies to support boys and young men of color. More information here.

WORKFORCE | D.C., Maryland and Virginia shed jobs in January as their unemployment rates fall (WaPo, 3/17). According to Stephen Fuller, you can blame the weather for this phenomenon.

BUDGETS
- Education, public safety dominate Leggett’s proposed 2015 Montgomery budget (WaPo, 3/17)

- Prince George’s executive proposes $3.41 billion spending plan for fiscal 2015 (WaPo, 3/13)

DEMOCRACY | WAMU has a great voter guide (supported by the Bernstein Family Foundation) for the various races underway in D.C.

FOOD | Advice For Eating Well On A Tight Budget, From A Mom Who’s Been There (NPR, 3/13)

RFP | UMD’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership’s TERPhilanthropy Fund is seeking proposals from programs that work with the childhood cancer community. More information is available here.


If you’re as sick of the snow as I am, you might appreciate this – urban jungle (Google) street view.

- Rebekah

Middle schools are DCPS’ next big challenge

EDUCATION
- The “looming challenge” for the D.C. public school system, according to the Post, is the high rate of attrition among students entering middle schools. A significant number of families pull their children out of the traditional school system to avoid sending their kids to DCPS middle schools, which are perceived to be substandard (WaPo, 2/18):

After the 2011-12 school year, 11 percent of the system’s fourth-graders did not continue on to fifth grade in a traditional D.C. public school, according to city data. From fifth grade to sixth grade — the city’s usual transition point from elementary to middle school — the system’s enrollment that same year plummeted by 24 percent.

Often, those leaving D.C. schools are those with the most educated and engaged parents, who worry that the city’s middle schools won’t prepare their children for the rigors of high school and beyond. They cite poor academic results, concerns about safety, discipline and culture, and a lack of course variety and extracurricular activities that students need to stay engaged and to prepare for high school.

- Greater Greater Education asks: More and more DC students are taking AP classes, but what are they getting from the experience? (GGE, 2/14)

- In a New York Times op-ed, two foundation leaders, including Kenneth Zimmerman of the Open Society Foundations, highlight positive changes in school discipline policies that have reduced the number of suspensions in California and Maryland schools (NY Times, 2/16):

Ultimately, full-scale change requires giving teachers the tools and resources to effectively manage their classrooms. It also means ensuring that students are not victims of the kind of stereotyping or racial bias that results in unfair punishments. As a nation, we need to embrace the reforms, both large and small, that keep students in school learning rather than out of school misbehaving.

DAILY | Today we’re announcing some changes to the Daily WRAG.

WORKFORCE
- The New York Times has a cool tool to measure how many more hours you would need to work (or debt you would need to take on) to get by on minimum wage in your state. (NY Times, 2/8)

- Intellectually disabled struggling to find work (WaPo, 2/17)

HEALTH CARE | Va. Senate panel proposes alternative to Medicaid expansion (WaPo, 2/17)

ENVIRONMENT | There’s a 443-foot long machine digging a 13-mile long tunnel beneath D.C. that will one day help deal with the wastewater that today runs into the Anacostia, Potomac, and Rock Creek. (WaPo, 2/15)


Here are some cool photos from the first 12 winter Olympics. The outfits were definitely different. The ski jump was just as terrifying.

And, hat tip to Philanthropy Fellow Sara Gallagher, who passed along this video – what a conference call would be like in real life.

- Rebekah

Focusing on at-risk students can improve all students’ achievement

EDUCATION
- A new study found that schools are best served by targeting resources toward at-risk students, as data suggest that having a large number of disadvantaged students in a school brings down the overall achievement level of all students (WaPo, 2/13):

For example, researchers found that children who were homeless or mistreated disrupted their classrooms, pulling down reading achievement and attendance rates among children who were not homeless or mistreated. Along the same lines, schools filled with many students who did not receive adequate prenatal care had overall poor reading achievement, even among those children who did get prenatal care.

- DCPS chancellor Kaya Henderson was on the Kojo Nnamdi Show on Wednesday for a wide-ranging discussion about the state of the city’s schools. (WAMU, 2/12)

- Md. lawmakers debate expansion of education for 4-year-olds (WaPo, 2/12)

- D.C. Lags Behind Maryland, Virginia In AP Pass Rates (WAMU, 2/12)

- A fight is brewing over tests in the Common Core age (WaPo, 2/13)

ARTS | President Obama has named Jane Chu, currently the president of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, as his nominee to head the National Endowment for the Arts, a position that has been vacant for over a year.

In reaction to this announcement, Robert Lynch, head of Americans for the Arts, said (WaPo, 2/12):

“If there had to be a long wait, this candidate looks like a really great person to have waited for … Her background in Kansas City at the local level is as someone who understands how the arts can transform a community. She talked about the broad array of the arts to the broad spectrum of people, which is an important philosophy to bring to the nation’s highest arts position.”

WORKFORCE | A recent study found that, while more women are getting jobs in STEM-related fields, gender bias still creates challenges to keeping them in these jobs. (WaPo, 2/12)

HEALTH CARE
- Health insurance enrollment on target in January (WaPo, 2/13)

- 74,000-plus have signed up for health care in Va. (WTOP, 2/14)

TRANSIT | Metro really, really needs more Congressional funding. (WAMU, 2/13)

NONPROFITS | IRS plan to curb politically active groups is threatened by opposition from both sides (WaPo, 2/12)


Awww, I guess Vikings weren’t just brutal marauders after all.

For those of you who aren’t in the mood for Valentine’s Day schmaltz, here’s a (depending on your feelings toward heights) thrilling and/or terrifying video.

Enjoy the long weekend. The Daily will be back on Tuesday.

- Rebekah

Senior villages throughout the region help older adults age in place

AGING
- The Greater Washington region is leading the country in the formation of senior villages – neighborhood-based grassroot networks that help older adults live at home by mobilizing volunteers to help with things like shopping, transportation, house repairs, and by connecting them with social and cultural activities. (WaPo, 2/7)

The Washington area may be particularly receptive to villages because it is a more transient place than many metropolitan areas, with close relatives often living far away, said Barbara Sullivan, Mount Vernon at Home’s executive director… But the concept also works particularly well here because the area attracts so many career government and nonprofit workers, said Andy Mollison, vice president of the Washington Area Villages Exchange and founder and former president of Palisades Village in the District.

“Washington has always been a hotbed of volunteer activity,” he said. “People who’ve been running things all their lives, whether it’s PTAs or local food drives.”

- The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia digs into some of the data and findings of their latest report, A Portrait of our Aging Population in Northern Virginia. (CFNoVA, 2/7)

WORKFORCE | On their blog, the Washington Area Women’s Foundation features a great infographic highlighting the significant wage disparity between traditional and nontraditional jobs for women. (WAWF, 2/6)

ARTS | In advance of their 40th anniversary celebration on March 17, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region featured a special blog post from Dana Tai Soon Burgess about how important the foundation and its donors’ support for local arts organizations has been over the years. (CFNCR, 2/6)

HOUSING | Fairfax County officials are looking at ways to assess fees on developers to create affordable housing close to transit stations. (Fairfax Times, 2/5)

HOMELESSNESS | Editorial: D.C. needs a plan to deal with homelessness (WaPo, 2/7)

EDUCATION | A Greater Greater Education contributor looks at how instituting “controlled choice zones” could lead to more socioeconomically diverse schools in D.C. (GGE, 2/5)


Here’s something cool for music and/or data lovers: Google created a fascinating interactive timeline showing the rise and fall of various musical genres, sub-genres, and individual artists since the 1950s.

- Rebekah

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