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Spotlight on National School Social Worker Week 2022

Prince William County Schools, in partnership with the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA), celebrates our school social workers during the week of March 6-12. The theme for National School Social Work Week 2022 is "Time to Shine." School Social Workers shine brightly for their students, families, and school communities. Shining hope. Shining understanding. Shining respect. School Social Workers are especially skilled in identifying and providing services to students who face serious challenges to school success, including poverty, disability, discrimination, abuse, addiction, bullying, loss of a loved one, and other barriers to learning. Visit our webpage to see the services our school social workers provide and how they serve as a vital link between home, school, and community, especially during the last two years which have been extremely challenging for students and community family.

Here is a glimpse of what Prince William County school social workers have been accomplishing this year.

School social worker, Amy Matlin, and the staff at Saunders Middle School conducted activities to promote understanding, respect and support for a prejudice and discrimination-free school environment. No Place for Hate® is an initiative of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). With this initiative everyone plays a role in combating bias and bullying as a means to stop the escalation of hate.

Photo of school social worker and students at Saunders Middle School

School social worker at Enterprise and Rosa Parks shown in photo collage with students with collection for food drive.

Sara Becker, school social worker at Rosa Parks and Enterprise Elementary, coordinated a month-long food drive; and donations amounted to nearly 900 linear feet of food at Rosa Parks, while the total weight of food donated from both schools was 2,500 lbs.

School social worker at Neabsco Elementary, Cory Corben, identified a student need for basic hygiene products at his school. Cory reached out to several organizations for assistance and received an overwhelming response. They are now working on distributing supplies to students in need. One organization is also providing 25 kits with three-month supplies every quarter for the remainder of the school year.

Two photos showing hygiene products collected for students in need at Neabsco Elementary School.

Photo of social worker at Marumsco Hills Elementary School showing students a neonatal kitten and discussing good citizenship, taking care of others, and science development.

School social worker at Marumsco Hills Elementary School brought in a neonatal kitten to classrooms to discuss good citizenship, caring for others, and science development.

Photo collage of two social workers and students with items Freedom High school collected for families during the holiday season.

At Freedom High School, school social workers, Erin Hancock and Aimee Convery worked together in securing a $10,000 donation from the Be A Blessing Foundation and also collected over $600 in gift cards from Freedom staff for holiday assistance this year.

At Gainesville Middle School, the school social worker, Melanie Brown, and other staff held a Giving Tree program this year to collect gift card donations and money for families in need. Ms. Brown also reached out to two churches in the community, Park Valley Church and Gateway Bible Church, for additional donations to the Giving Tree. The Giving Tree program raised $4600 in donations for 22 families in need.
Photo of gift cards collected for Saunders Middle School
Graham Park Middle School social worker with students receiving certificates for completing the Positive Support Program.

Tara Funches, Graham Park Middle School social worker, implemented the Positive Support Program. At the end of the program, students received backpacks filled with school supplies donated by a member of the community.

Rebecca Martin, school social worker, coordinated the First Annual Ellis Elementary Community Resource Event in conjunction with the teacher Meet & Greet, making the best use of the family's time off from work. Representatives from the Department of Social Services, Northern Virginia Family Service, and Community Service Board participated.

Photo collage showing social worker at Kilby Elementary coordination of a resource event held for families in conjunction with the teacher Meet and Greet.