APS Staff Honored as Champions for Kids

Connect With Kids logo "It only takes a minute"Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families Names Champions for 2019

Updated 6/6/2019

The Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families (APCYF) recently announced their 2019 Connect With Kids and Do For Kids Champions. APS staff were honored in both categories, among other Arlington champions.

Connect with Kids Champions are individuals or groups who do things WITH kids. They excel at building relationships with young people that are positive and supportive; and guiding them in their growth and development. APCYF named four Connect with Kids Champions this year, including Darlene Owens, Arlington Public Schools Extended Day Program, Long Branch Elementary School. Darlene collaborates with participants and helps facilitate their ideas – sometimes very big and creative ones – into a reasonable plan of action that the students can make a reality.

APCYF also honored as Connect with Kids Champions the Gunston Design and Engineering Club: Steve Ellis, James Kolody, Topher Paterno. These club leaders help students design and construct projects, putting the students in charge of solving safety, style, team, cost, and other problems. They engage as trustworthy mentors who can help with teamwork and interpersonal issues, personal goals and motivations, and complicated problems and issues.

Do For Kids Champions are individuals and groups who do wonderful things FOR kids. They create opportunities for youth and support some of their unmet needs. APCYF named five Do For Kids Champions this year, including the APS Aquatics Management Team. The team of aquatics professionals teach 3rd and 4th graders to swim and enjoy the water in such a positive and caring manner that students overcome any fears as they learn to enjoy swimming.

The Hilton Arlington Hotel management team was also honored for there connection with Kenmore Middle School. Hilton Arlington hosts an annual event for students at Kenmore Middle School Check In Program, to provide a hands-on experience for students to learn about the hospitality industry.

The Connect With Kids Champions award was created by Mary Ann Moran, of the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families, in 2004 as a way to recognize people in the community who go out of their way to connect WITH kids and develop positive, supportive relationships with them; and to inspire others to also connect with kids.

In 2018 APCYF added the Do For Kids Champion award to recognize individuals and groups who do wonderful things FOR kids. Since 2004, the APCYF has recognized 121 Champions. They come from all walks of life – neighbors, friends, businesses, parent, or professionals working with young people. What sets these Champions apart is their intentional and deliberate attentiveness to the needs of young people and the support they provide.

The awardees were honored at a small reception and ceremony on Monday, June 3 at the Arlington Department of Human Services Stambaugh Building.