Thursday, April 22, 2010

20 Years of WMAA & Carl Sandburg

Tonight, I attended a terrific event at National Airport celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Carl Sandburg Intermediate School's partnership with the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority (WMAA).

This partnership was started in 1989 for several purposes. The school chorus, jazz band, and orchestra play for travellers in the terminal. Students art is displayed in an annual art competition. WMAA providers internships and mentors for students. They sponsor special events and tours. Last year, the school system named the Authority one of their Business Partners of the Year - more information is here.

The program featured some terrific performances by the students, testimonials from students and one of the WMAA employees who serves as a mentor and some speeches by the WMAA's Chief Operating Officer Margaret McKeough, FCPS Assistant Superintendent Scott Braband, Principal Glynn Bates, and PTA President Anna Diefendorf. The FCPS, the PTA and the Authority then entered into a new contract reaffirming their continuing committment.

There are some great things going on at Carl Sandburg. When I walked in, I thought a professional orchestra was playing. It turned out it was 7th & 8th graders. The Sandburg Jazz Ensemble was also playing. When I attended Carl Sandburg's predecessor, Stephen Foster Intermediate School, there was no such thing. Giving the students these kinds of opportunities to perform, display their work and interact with so many adults is the kind of thing that enriches the educational experience and changes kids lives. We are lucky to have this kind of program in the West Potomac pyramid and the Mount Vernon community.

I've posted some pictures below. It's a great program.

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