A school like Spring-Mar cannot be successful without making deep connections in the community. We believe that offering support beyond our walls makes us a stronger school and sets the stage for an environment of generosity and consideration for others.
Ecumenical Community Helping Others (ECHO)
For many years, Spring-Mar has supported ECHO, an all-volunteer charity that provides food, financial assistance, clothing, and household goods to low-income families and those with short-term emergencies.
At least once a year, Spring-Mar holds a food and personal items drive for ECHO. Our children often shop with their parents for items to donate and most of them deliver the goods to the collection boxes themselves. This program offers families a great teaching moment and opens the discussion for a child to understand the world outside their own.
Fairfax County Public Schools’ Early Literacy Program and Family Literacy Program
Spring-Mar is proud to sponsor families from both the Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) Early Literacy Program and Family Literacy Program.
The Early Literacy Program through FCPS is a free, interactive parent/child program offered in multiple languages to families with children ages 5 and under who are not currently enrolled in kindergarten. This program covers a wide variety of topics, is play-based, and helps children develop essential early literacy skills.
The Family Literacy Program through FCPS is available to Fairfax County residents with limited English skills, and focuses on the entire family. Students attending the daytime classes are encouraged to bring their children ages 3-5 that are not enrolled in preschool, and students attending the evening classes are encouraged to bring their children currently enrolled in grades K-6. While adults are learning English, the program provides a preschool environment for children ages 3-5 to acquire early literacy skills that will be needed in kindergarten, and the program provides enrichment activities for the older children (K-6).
In December of 2016, we held our “Panda Cares” project for the children involved in both programs. Spring-Mar families selected a child’s name and purchased gifts according to the child’s wish list. Three gifts were purchased for each child – an educational gift (book or puzzle), a small toy, and a needed item (shoes or coat). We also purchased gifts for the classroom for supplies needed by the teachers. Several families had the privilege of delivering the presents to the classrooms. The genuine joy and appreciation from the students, families and teachers was a wonderful gift for the Spring-Mar community. After the gift giving, the FCPS teachers and families invited our families to a great feast to celebrate the relationship between our schools. This is a hands-on experience for our students to learn how to help others in a meaningful way, and we look forward to future years with these FCPS programs.