Former Educate Don’t Segregate Group’s First Event Draws a Crowd

A first-time community services fair put on by the group formerly known as Educate Don’t Segregate saw a huge turn out Monday night, to the pleasant surprise of its organizers.

The group, which now goes by Community Advocates for Education (CAfE), teamed up with Leesburg Elementary School to host a Community Services Night for all Leesburg area families.

Hundreds of students and their parents packed the school’s gymnasium to visit with representatives from more than 30 community organizations and businesses. Among the nonprofits represented were Loudoun Interfaith Relief, Mobile Hope and Paxton Campus. Businesses that set up booths at the event included Dragon Yong In, New York Life and Inova Loudoun.

There was plenty to keep the kids entertained, too, with face painting, crafts, dancing, and tours of a big red fire engine.

“It’s like a one stop shop to get to know what’s in your neighborhood,” Leesburg Elementary Principal Angela Robinson said.

Kids dance to “Uptown Funk” at the Community Services Night organized by Community Advocates for Education on Monday. (Danielle Nadler/Loudoun Now)
Kids dance to “Uptown Funk” at the Community Services Night. (Danielle Nadler/Loudoun Now)

She’s helped put on similar community service fairs at Sugarland Elementary School in Sterling. She said she was particularly impressed with Monday’s event because it was the result of efforts from parents and other community members, and it catered to families who spoke English and Spanish. “So that everybody can get the information,” she said. “I don’t think families always know all of the choices in child care or other services they have. This is a good chance for them to get to know what’s available.”

Evan Macbeth, one of the founding members of CafE, was impressed at the large crowd that showed up on a summer weekday night, which indicates a need for this type of community outreach. He said several people suggested the group put on community service nights at other schools throughout Loudoun.

(Danielle Nadler/Loudoun Now)
(Danielle Nadler/Loudoun Now)

The fair was the first event put on by CafE since it changed its name and focus following the contentious Leesburg Elementary attendance boundary debate. The group formed as Educate Don’t Segregate during that process in March to protest one of the School Board’s proposals to assign more students to schools closest to their homes, which would have resulted in high concentrations of poor and non-English speaking students at just two schools.

The School Board opted for a boundary plan that more evenly divided those students among the town’s nine elementary schools. Once that issue was put to rest, members of the group agreed to turn their focus to helping academically at-risk students and their families in the Leesburg area. The group’s new mission is “to advocate for the best educational outcomes for students in Central Loudoun and to foster greater community involvement.”

Lydia Pellow, co-chairwoman of the group’s community outreach efforts, said that Community Advocates for Education wants to provide resources—as well as connect families to already available resources—to help the schools meet those students’ needs, and Monday was a good step toward that goal.

Hundreds packed the gymnasium of Leesburg Elementary School for the inaugural Community Services Night. (Danielle Nadler/Loudoun Now)
Hundreds packed the gymnasium of Leesburg Elementary School for the inaugural Community Services Night. (Danielle Nadler/Loudoun Now)

2 thoughts on “Former Educate Don’t Segregate Group’s First Event Draws a Crowd

  • 2016-08-09 at 5:31 pm

    Ironic that Evan MacBeth, who is running for the Leesburg Town Council, recommended service nights at other schools throughout Loudoun. If he had it his way, he would use the “free advertising” to do similar services weekly within Leesburg on our dimes and charitable businesses/organizations. Perhaps he should consider adding the American flag to the CAfE Facebook webpage as the Meican flag seems very lonely and strangely out of place for some reason. If you visit his Mayoral Candidate Facebook website, he has been pandering to the at-risk neighborhoods (Plaza Street) by prioritizing major intersection reconstruction, which ironically doesn’t correlate with the needs with the State, Loudoun and Leesburg. Fortunately, the intersection at Route 7/Battlefield Pkwy. will be addressed first, which was interestingly third on his list, and shows his continued bias. I have conveyed to many local folks that should Evan be elected, his ideology has and will always be focused around the at-risk neighborhoods, and not the primary tax-paying base equally, thus resulting in him not being able to make unbiased decisions. With his current position on the LCDC, as Vice-Chair (under Marty Martinez who is the Chair and already on the Leesburg Town Council), I see the duo, plus other liberals on the Council, such as Kelly Burk, continuing to make some terrible economic and other decisions.

    • 2016-08-09 at 11:05 pm

      My name is Tony Fasolo and am working on getting my screen name changed but I wanted “Leesburgfinest” to know who I was–who are you?
      Whoever you are–how can you turn a positive event like this into something it isn’t? What have you done to help the community? Evan, Marty and Kelly have done plenty. Kelly was school teacher, supervisor and now a council member. Evan is a caring parent and citizen who cares for his community(e.g.he was also active when he was a member of Exeter where I live). Marty has served on the council for several years and is there to help the underserved. They are “in the arena” working to improve the lives of ALL Leesburg citizens , not someone who criticizes without facts and examples or offering something better.

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