A U.S. Army Color Guard from Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall presented the colors held to celebrate the remarkable interior makeover at Amidon-Bowen on Sept. 8. JBM-HH is Amidon-Bowen’s Partner in Education in Southwest Washington. This impressive ceremony opened the program that officially introduced Amidon-Bowen’s “new look” to the community.

The community and former Principal Almeta Hawkins were invited to the Open House co-hosted by the PTA and the Amidon-Bowen faculty and staff. PTA President Marty Welles and staff members guided visitors through the building to see what today’s classroom is really like. They saw light, color graphics and space to organize different kind of learning activities in every classroom. Technology for teachers and students to use to realize their educational goals is built in. Ward 6 Delegate to the DC State Board of Education Monica Warren-Jones expressed her pride that a school in Ward 6 was making such strides toward excellence. The message is that we are investing in the future of all children in SW.

Amidon-Bowen enjoys a strong relationship with many community groups large and small. In addition to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, which includes groups from Ft. McNair such as the National Defense University and the Industrial College, Target, the Heart of America Foundation, the Department of Education, Everybody Wins and the Department of Transportation have ongoing programs at Amidon-Bowen.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel held a 5K walk, run (or crawl). After their wonderful breakfast for participants, they made their way around the National Mall on September 9th to raise funds for new graded reading material for Amidon-Bowen classrooms to facilitate reading comprehension.

Safeway and Potbelly, supporters of the 1st Day Breakfast at Amidon-Bowen have made that event a success for four years as well as supporting other smaller events through out the years that often go unnoticed. This year DC Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) employees at 1100 4th Street SW have donated school supplies. Community churches and residents of Southwest have provided school supplies and uniforms for ABES students for several years. Civic organizations such as the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly and the 4th St. Neighborhood Group have been available to help in many different ways. Martha’s Table will soon resume their “Food for the Mind” program providing fresh fruits, vegetables and staples as well as healthy recipes and cooking instructions.

The list here is certainly not complete. We look forward to highlighting special programs at the school for the coming year by groups large and small. We all need to be fully aware of the extent that this community cares about its youth. For that matter, the youth of SW need to know that many people care and are doing something about it. As President Kennedy said, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

By Meg Brinckman & Ron McBee. Meg Brinckman is a longtime contributor to The Southwester on education issues. Ron McBee is the ANC Commissioner for single-member district 6D03.

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