All posts by Erin Cohen


Attention ACP partners! We have recently come across several education grants that could be of tremendous help to teachers and schools in our area. We’ve rounded up a list of grants below to help you get started:
Grant: Teacher Grant
Purpose: To fund projects that make creative use of common teaching aids, approach curriculum from an imaginative angle, or tie nontraditional concepts together for the purpose of illustrating commonalities
Funder: Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores
Eligibility: PreK-12 certified teachers teaching in the subject of the project at public, private, charter, or parochial schools within the U.S.
Deadline: September 30
Amount: $100 – $500
Grant: Best Lesson Plans on Energy and Sustainability
Purpose: To award grants for classroom materials/activities related to energy and/or sustainability. All lessons must encompass energy and/or sustainability knowledge; be appropriate for students in kindergarten through eighth grade; include goals and plans for measuring students’ understanding; include a fully detailed description of the lesson plan, handouts, etc., with a list of all materials needed; be created by one teacher without the use of existing prepared educational materials outside of those available on; and encourage student development through participation opportunities.
Funder: Save on Energy
Eligibility: Teachers
Deadline: October 21
Amount: Six grants of $500 in the form of Visa Reward Cards  
Grant: School Gardens
Purpose: To support the building, amendment, or revitalization of gardens on school campuses, with preference given to rain, pollinator, native habitat, and other natural infrastructure projects; food gardens will also be funded
Funder: Nature Conservancy
Eligibility: A school must be public or charter; can be an elementary, middle, or high school.
Deadline: October 31
Amount: 55 grants of $2,000
Grant: School Garden Grant Program
Purpose: To support school garden projects designed to help students learn about topics such as nutrition and health, sustainability and conservation, food systems, and community awareness. Garden projects may be at any stage of development (planning, construction, or operation). Priority will be given to both limited-resource communities and to projects that demonstrate strong buy-in from stakeholders as well as the ability to financially sustain the garden.
Funder: Whole Kids Foundation
Eligibility: An applicant must be a nonprofit K-12 school (public, private, or charter) and/or a 501(c)(3) organization that is developing or currently maintaining a garden project on school grounds as a way to interest children in fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, the applicant must have the support of a specific partner organization from the community (a nonprofit, farm, local business, Whole Foods store, or garden club) that brings added support and sustainability to the initiative. The applicant, if a nonprofit, may be the community partner for the grant.
Deadline: October 31
Amount: $2,000
Grant: Grants to Engage 6-8 Grade Students in Mathematics
Purpose: To incorporate middle school classroom materials or lessons that actively engage students in tasks and experiences aimed at deepening and connecting their content knowledge. Materials may be in the form of books, visual displays, slide shows, videotapes, or other appropriate media.
Funder: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Eligibility: Applicants must have current NCTM PreK-8 school membership and teach mathematics in grades 6-8 at least 50% of the school day.
Deadline: November 4
Amount: Grants of up to $3,000
Grant: Materials-Based Research
Purpose: To support the expanding definition of craft-based research and promote collaboration between the fields of craft, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Grants will be awarded to interdisciplinary teams of researchers to encourage mutually beneficial innovation in craft and STEM fields, with a focus on materials and process-based research.
Funder: Center for Craft, Creativity & Design
Eligibility: Teams should include one maker and one professional working in a STEM-based field (e.g., material science, manufacturing, environmental studies, medicine, structural engineering, etc.), including academics, researchers, scientists, full-time makers, or other skilled specialists.
Deadline: November 16
Amount: Grants of up to $15,000 over eighteen months
With grant funds totaling thousands of dollars, you won’t want to miss out on these opportunities! If you have any questions about an individual grant, please contact the organization directly. If you would like to learn more about Adult Career Pathways, our Dual Generational Pathways Initiative, or learn how your organization can become an ACP partner, please contact Jolene Virgo by e-mail at

GRANT: Your Child Can Make A Difference!

Does your child want to make a positive difference in the community? Here is the perfect opportunity!

Grant: Summer of Service
Purpose: To afford youth the opportunity to turn creative ideas into projects that will positively impact their communities
Funder: Youth Service America and The Walt Disney Company
Eligibility: Youth ages 5 – 18
Deadline: September 30
Amount: Three hundred and forty winners will be awarded individual $500 grants to implement their projects.



For more information on grants or Dual Generational Pathways initiatives that may be helpful for your child, contact Jennifer Pocai at

Preschoolers Explore Careers at MEC’s Health Education Day

Sixty preschoolers enrolled at Annandale Christian Community for Action’s (ACCA) Child Development Center visited the Medical Education Campus (MEC) on August 10 for a full day of interactive learning about nutrition, healthy eating habits and health care careers.


ACCA, a preschool center serving diverse and low-income families in the Northern Virginia area, partnered with the MEC to offer children, ages 3 to 5, a learning experience referred to as Health Education Day. The event was a first for MEC nursing student volunteers who facilitated the activities and earned pediatric clinical hours toward their graduation requirements. ACCA instructors and parent volunteers assisted while children participated in several activity stations related to hand-washing and healthy snack preparation, health care professions, exercise/active play and body tracing, creating a paper silhouette of each child. Each child learned how to properly brush their teeth, identify parts of the body and had the chance to dress up in costumes as nurses and doctors to gain insight into what it means to treat patients.


ACCA Child Development Center Executive Director Maria Isabel Ballivian said her organization partnered with NOVA’s Dual Generational Pathways to assist in the process of enhancing post-secondary educational attainment of low-income families and early childhood care providers.

The partnership has led to introducing college activities to children enrolled in the ACCA program through Pathways’ Crayons-to-College field trip initiative. For the past three years, Dual Generational Pathways has partnered with ACCA, Hopkins House and Northern Virginia Family Services Head Start preschool centers to offer day trips to NOVA campuses.

“Health Education Day was a wonderful way for the nursing students and faculty at the MEC to help our children become more comfortable with interacting with nurses in a medical environment,” Ballivian said. “It’s very inspirational for our children to visit an institution like the MEC. This experience will leave a lasting impression in their minds that could lead to them exploring what they want to be when they grow up.”

Laura Thomas, an ACCA parent said she was eager to attend Health Education Day with her 5- year-old daughter Zahra. As a 2008 NOVA graduate, Thomas attributed her success in becoming a registered nurse to the quality education she received while enrolled in the nursing program at the MEC.

“I thought this was an amazing opportunity for our children to learn more about what it means to work in health care,” Thomas said. “My daughter has always been fascinated with wanting to be a nurse when she grows up. Out of all the field trips I usually attend with my daughter, I was particularly excited to visit the MEC and show her where I went to school and earned my degree. NOVA has truly changed my life and I wanted to share this experience with her.”

For interest in becoming a community partner or additional information on NOVA’s Dual Generational Pathways initiative, visit their website.

***Article written by Michelle Chaudoir at NOVA’s Medical Education Center.

ATTENTION PARTNERS: you may be interested in these grants

At Dual Generational Pathways, we recognize that the success of our program relies on the assistance and success of our wonderful community partners. As part of our ongoing effort to improve the lives of our students and their families, we want to keep our Partners up to date on any potential grant opportunities. This week, check out these two opportunities below:
Grant: National Youth Technology Program
Purpose: To support programs that provide youth with access to new technologies that help them become fluent in digital learning while developing the skills they need for future education and career success
Funder: Best Buy Foundation
Eligibility: Applicants must be a nonprofit organization with an existing out-of-school time program and a proven track record of serving youth between the ages of 13 and 18 in underserved communities. Preferred locations include areas where Best Buy Teen Tech Centers are located, including but not limited to Chicago, Denver, Jersey City/NYC, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, San Antonio, Seattle, and Washington D.C.
Deadline: October 1
Amount: Up to $200,000

Grant: Pay for Success Grant Competition for Preschool
Purpose: To award grants to state, local and tribal governments interested in exploring the feasibility of Pay for Success to expand and improve early learning. The grant program supports initiatives which are based on evidence; focus on outcomes; and improve early, elementary, secondary and post-secondary education while generating savings for taxpayers.
Funder: U.S. Department of Education
Eligibility: State, local and tribal governments
Deadline: October 6
Amount: 7 and 14 grantees, with awards ranging from $200,000 to $400,000.
 If you have any questions about these grant opportunities, please contact the organizations directly. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Dual Generational Pathways partner, please contact Jolene Virgo at

Parent Tips and Tricks for College Readiness

With a few simple steps, your child can be college bound! Help set your child up for a bright future in college with these tips and tricks:

 Meet with your son’s or daughter’s school counselor at least once a year.

 Keep track of your child’s grades. Every class counts!

 Make sure they’re taking the right college entrance tests.

 Fill out forms they need to get scholarships and grants.

 For more information about how to help your child plan for college and beyond:

This site gives you information and instruction for filling out the free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Use the “forecaster” to get an early estimate of your child’s eligibility for federal student aid.

Virginia Wizard ( 
The Wizard can help students understand their skills and interests, choose a career, and find a college that offers the program they need to pursue their career goals.

This site provides a listing of public and private 2-and 4- year colleges and universities in Virginia, financial aid resources, and more.

Questions about other ways you can help  your child prepare for a bright future at college? Contact your Adult Career Pathways advisor/counselor to get more information.

Why Parents Should Make College A Goal For Their Children

As summer draws to a close, many small children are about to trek off to preschool or kindergarten for the first time. You’ve probably heard the phrase “Education is the key to your future.” Maybe you have even said it yourself! There are untold benefits from continuing your education after high school, including more career options, higher career satisfaction, and higher pay. Even though preschool and kindergarten students are very young, it’s always a good idea to start talking about education goals early!


A 2013 study done by the College Board reports that in addition to higher pay, college graduates are more likely to have health coverage by their employer and pension benefits. According to the study, in 2011, employers provided health insurance to 69% of full time workers with bachelor’s degrees compared to the 55% of full time workers who only had a high school diploma.

The College Board also reports that 51% of workers (age 30-45) with a bachelor’s degree or higher report being very satisfied with their jobs. Compare that to the 42% who have no high school diploma and the 47% who have a high school diploma!

The same study claims that the median lifetime earnings of those with an associate degree and those with some college education but no degree (such as certificate holders) are 27% and 13% higher than the median earnings of high school graduates. The same study also states that college graduates are less likely to smoke, and families of college-educated parents are less likely to be obese.

With benefits like these, it makes sense that you would want to encourage your children to go to college! Sharing the opportunities that a college education can bring is a great way to introduce the idea of college to a child!

Read more about how to introduce the idea of going to college to your child in this blog post HERE.

Fall 2016 NOVA Shuttle Schedule

Attention Dual Gen students! Are you looking for transit options to get to and from campus this semester? Consider taking the NOVA Shuttle! The shuttle is FREE for students, faculty, and staff when you show your NOVA ID card. This convenient shuttle makes commuting to and from campus easier than ever. Take a look at the schedule below for ride times and more information:
The following schedule will be in effect starting Fall 2016:
Route A – Annandale Campus / 7630 Little River Turnpike / Dunn Loring Metro
  • In service Monday through Thursday until 5 PM
Route B – Alexandria Campus / Ballston Metro
  • In service Monday through Thursday until 5:40 PM
  • No longer a stop at Arlington Center
Route C – Alexandria Campus / Braddock Metro
  • In service Monday through Thursday until 7:30 PM
  • Route will not run between 10:15 AM – 12 PM
  • Route will not run between 1 PM – 2 PM
Route D – Annandale Campus / Seven Corners Transit Center / Alexandria Campus
  • In service Monday through Thursday until 5:30 PM
  • Route will not run between 12:45 PM – 2 PM
  • Manassas Route has been discontinued (MIP closed)
    • PRTC’s OmniLink Bus offers weekday service between the Manassas Campus and Manassas Mall
    • Route Info: OmniLink Manassas to NOVA
Route E – MEC Campus
Route F – Loudoun Campus / Whiele Metro / Reston Center / Signal Hill
  • In service Monday through Thursday until 5 PM
All NOVA students, staff or faculty can ride FREE by showing their NOVA Card! Shuttle tracking and updates are available real-time through the RideSystems app or online at
You can now Text “NOVA Shuttles” to 1-800-546-6141 to receive emergency alerts about the shuttles via text message.
Questions? Please contact Parking & Transportation Customer Support at 703-323-3123 or

VIDEO: Hear From A Local Partner

How does partnership with Dual Generational Pathways, Adult Career Pathways, and NOVA impact an organization and the people it serves? Watch our video below to hear from our local partner at Hopkins House preschool:

If your organization is interested in partnering with Dual Generational Pathways or Adult Career Pathways, please contact Jolene Virgo by e-mail at

How To Introduce College As A Goal For Children

You are probably aware of the numerous benefits of a college education. People with college degrees typically make more money than those who only graduated high school. Graduates report a higher rate of job satisfaction. In addition to these, many college graduates lead healthier lifestyles. With benefits like these, it’s never too early to introduce college to your kids!

The first eight years of your child’s education will provide them with fundamental skills and knowledge. Admittedly, some of these lessons might not be very exciting. However, this knowledge can open him or her up areas they find particularly engaging or interesting! When your child finds something like this, you can tell him or her about jobs that specialize in those areas, or about how much more they could learn about it if he or she goes to college!

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You can also ask your child what he or she wants to be as a grown up. Even if you get a different answer every week, you can still point out that many jobs require a college degree. You can gently tell your child that even zookeepers have to take special classes to know how to take care of the animals at the zoo.

Another way you can introduce the idea of college to a young child is to read to him or her often! Not only will this stimulate your child’s imagination, but if he or she asks questions, it can be an opportunity for you to share resources like the dictionary or encyclopedia. Showing your child how to look things up will provide a nice foundation for research later on in life!

Getting your child excited about college is very important! It will help to establish academic routines that will be helpful in the future.

Our Crayons To College field trip for preschool students is one of the cornerstone initiatives of the Dual Generational Pathways program. This field trip takes young students at local community preschools on a tour of NOVA, with fun stops at locations like the cafeteria, library, and theater. Students love being a part of campus for the day, and it is our hope that the Crayons to College trip will spark an interest in college that will continue to grow over time.