The Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF) is strategically aligned with Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) to support the needs of the schools, students, teachers, and families in Loudoun. Working with community partners and LCPS we are able to support programs and initiatives across Loudoun that provide unique experiences to basic needs. Many times, these programs begin with funding and leadership from community partners and expand with the support of LCPS.
LEF – LCPS Backpack Coalition
The LEF-LCPS Backpack Coalition began in 2012 thanks to a generous matching grant of $100,000 from 100WomenStrong. Our program provides family-style meals to food-insecure students and their families to ensure they have enough to eat on the weekends during the school year. For more information about volunteering, please visit our LEF-LCPS Backpack Coalition Facebook page.
During the 2018-2019 school year, the Backpack Coalition packed over 31,000 meal bags and supported 27 schools across LCPS.
Community School Initiative
A community school is a public school – the hub of its neighborhood, uniting families, educators, and community partners to provide all students with top-quality academics, enrichment, health and social services, and opportunities to succeed in school and in life.
The Community School Initiative in LCPS was started at Sterling Elementary School in 2016 thanks to the generous support of 100WomenStrong to hire a Full-time Community School Coordinator position at the school. In the 2018-2019 school year, the Community School model provided families with clothes, shoes, and other basic supplies 538 times; enabled 135 families to receive weekend meals throughout the school year; supported 6 academic programs for 323 students; and provided 9 after-school enrichment programs for 373 students.
Loudoun International Youth Leadership Summit (LIYLS)
The 8th Annual Loudoun International Youth Leadership Summit was held March 31st to April 10th, 2019 . Each of the participating Loudoun high schools conducted programming to engage a broader spectrum of students in the school. In total, eight Loudoun County high schools (Dominion, Park View, Potomac Falls, Rock Ridge, Broad Run, Champe, Loudoun Valley, and Woodgrove) and 34 international delegations (130 students and 35 teachers) representing Australia (2), Bosnia-Herzegovina, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany (3), Greece, Hungary, Italy (2), Japan, Lebanon (3), Mexico, Norway, the Netherlands, Panama, Poland (2), Romania, Scotland, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa (2), South Korea, and Spain took part in the event.
The LIYLS 2019 theme was “Mind of a Nation. Spirit of the World” Discussions, activities, and speakers focused on examining how personal identity shapes our world view, how communities form collective identities, and how the world community can work together to solve the most pressing issues we face in the 21st century. Utilizing resources from Peace First, a global non-profit, summit delegates and Loudoun students developed action plans to implement change in their own communities.
PROPEL Academy and Level Up Programs
In 2017, the LEF received a Good Neighbor grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to support the creation of after-school STEM programs that would proactively close the Excellence Gap by targeting high-achieving, low-performing economically disadvantaged students. These students are engaged in tasks designed to build computational and analytical thinking skills within the context of intensive, long-term STEM investigations. Now in its third year, the PROPEL Academy (formerly EDGE Plus Academy) serves 30 fourth and fifth grade students at 9 LCPS elementary schools and the Level Up program serves between 30 and 90 sixth and seventh grade students at 4 LCPS middle schools.
During the 2018-2019 school year, PROPEL Academy students competed in a Vex Robotics competition at the Academies of Loudoun. To see details of that competition, click here. Our Level Up students participated in a STEM summer camp at the Academies of Loudoun in June, with hands-on learning in subjects like Polymers and Crystals, Genetic Engineering, and Vex Robotics.
The LEF supports STEM learning across the division, including:
- grants for LCPS’s creation of first-ever computer science immersion elementary schools in Virginia,
- support for specialized equipment at the Academies of Loudoun, and
- co-hosting the Inspire Loudoun teacher conference that shares best-practices for technology driven educational pedagogy.
Mental Health and Wellness Programming
Thanks to generous community partnerships with Inova, Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, and A Place To Be, the LEF has helped to expand the mental health and wellness programs offered for LCPS students at all grade levels. Programs supported include:
- Sources of Strength
- Social Emotional Learning curriculum in our elementary schools
- Same Sky Productions: A WILL to Survive and Behind the Label
Virginia K-12 Computer Science Pipeline
The LEF is working with LCPS and Chesapeake Public Schools (CPS) to develop a sustainable and replicable model for how to implement Virginia’s integrated Computer Science standards and ensure that Kindergarten through Grade 12 students are given the skills, certifications, and experiences necessary to enter the current and future technology workforce. The goal of the Virginia K-12 Computer Science Pipeline initiative is to provide a successful long-term sustainable strategy to integrate computer science and computational thinking skills into every subject (i.e. Math, Science, Social Studies, etc.) for grades K-12 to bridge the gap between computer science education and the Tech Talent workforce pipeline.
The Virginia K-12 Computer Science Pipeline includes integration of computer science and computational thinking skills in grades K-8 with enhanced curriculum in grades 9-12, including an Experiential Learning program. This program will include internship, mentorship, and job shadowing opportunities with local business and industry leaders. If you or your company are interested in supporting LCPS student internships in 2018-2019, please contact Samantha Courtney at email@example.com.