Lake Ridge Rotary Club awards ‘Unsung Heroes’ Award to Belmont Elementary School’s Parent Liaison
Posted on 07/02/2019
Brenda Paniagua receives award During its annual officer installation banquet, the Lake Ridge Rotary Club awarded an “Unsung Hero” award to Brenda Paniagua, parent liaison at Belmont Elementary School.

The Lake Ridge Rotary Club shares a partnership with Belmont Elementary School, and Paniagua has been instrumental in enhancing this collaboration. Wavery Brown, service projects chair for the Rotary Club, awarded Paniagua with $500 and shared many of the events Paniagua coordinates.

“She ensures families receive a bag of food each weekend through the ‘Blessings in a Backpack’ program and arranged important banking, buying a house, internet safety and other important workshops for parents,” Brown said.

Brown shared that Paniagua organizes the school’s Parent Resource Center with supplies for families and she organizes and seeks donations for major events such as “Muffins for Mom” and “Donuts for Dad.” She is instrumental in translating for the families at many events and parent conference.

She also said that Paniagua organizes the SOAR Nights that are held each month at Belmont Elementary School. These events focus on one academic area each month whether it be literacy, math, science or social studies. She is also the lead to make sure the monthly event is organized and communicated to parents. In addition, she tracks attendance and organizes for snacks and prizes for students.

Karen Giacometti, principal at Belmont Elementary School, attended the banquet and shared that “Brenda is devoted, well-respected by families, students, and staff, and is engaged, thoughtful, kind and professional. Brenda is a valuable staff member and Belmont is lucky to have her.”

Paniagua’s husband, Rene, and their two sons, Logan and Jacob, also attended the event.

The Lake Ridge Rotary Club supported Belmont Elementary School by providing a year’s worth of school supplies and backpacks, volunteering to help with personal reading assistance, and participating in the school’s career day. The Club also supplied boxes of tissues and hand sanitizer, as well as coats, hats, scarves, boots and gloves, and donated holiday dinners and presents.

The Lake Ridge Rotary Club meets every Wednesday morning at 7:30 a.m. at Westminster at Lake Ridge. In addition to Belmont Elementary, the club supports several area organizations, including CASA, Hilda Barg, ACTS, Project Mend-A-House, Salvation Army, Prince William County At-Risk Youth, the Fellowship House, Flags for Heroes and Woodbridge High School JROTC and Interact. They also support several Rotary Foundation international projects.