A student named Alex passed his final exams at the top of his class in his school in rural Uganda this year. In a letter, Alex wrote to the GMHS HOPE club about Christmas on his side of the world. It’s very similar to the holiday season we recognize here in Falls Church. Families prepare their best clothes, he explained, and time is taken to do a lot of cooking in advance. It just comes to show how connected people are, even when living in different worlds.
This year of Alex’s secondary education was one of six which will be sponsored by the Arlington Academy of Hope through HOPE, an organization which seeks to, as founder John Wanda puts it, provide children in Uganda with the same opportunities and education that he knew in the United States, one where “children can sing when they want to sing and dance when they want to dance.”
HOPE is finishing big this year with the Piece of Hope Block Party this Memorial Day from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the Spectrum Park on Broad Street. HOPE members have talked with businesses in the area such as Panera and Mad Fox, and the block is ours for a festival to spread the message of hope.
Admission is free, and there’ll be plenty of games, face painting, prizes, and live music by school bands for participants to enjoy.
The HOPE Club would like to encourage everyone to come, as well as make a last minute call for interested volunteers. If you’re interested in helping set up for the event, fundraising, face painting, drawing caricatures, running a booth, cleaning up, and helping to make the event a fun and engaging experience, please talk to Mrs. Holly Herrington, or HOPE Club members Alex Valentino, Christina Holman. You can also submit any questions to
Check out the HOPE group on Facebook. HOPE would also like to ask for donations of any cool prizes such as theatre or concert tickets that could be given away at raffles.