News of the achievements of local students and members of the Armed Forces:

* Kelly Gaudian, Skyler Lee and Alexander Hawkins of Arlington have been named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at Gettysburg College.

* Kiernan Bartlett, a graduate of H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, and Luke Bultena, also a graduate of H-B Woodlawn, have been named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at St. Olaf College.

* Vivienne Wooldridge of Arlington, a graduate of Washington-Lee High School, has been named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


* The following Arlington students were among James Madison University students who spent spring break serving others through “alternative spring break” trips around the nation and world:

– Keegan McClelland traveled to Charlotte, N.C., to volunteer with Lifespan.

– Alisa Malychev traveled to Nashville to volunteer with Habitat ReStore of Greater Nashville.

– Haley Grove traveled to Twentynine Palms, Calif., to volunteer at Joshua Tree National Park.

* Ariel Barbosa of Arlington, a student at Eastern Mennonite University, took a leading role in organizing the dedication ceremony of the university’s new student lounge – “The Royal Treatment” – during the observice of the federal Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

* The Arlington Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Arlington Public Schools to bring its Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) program to the Arlington Career Center.

Career Center students participating in the program will start and run a real business (or social movement) over the course of a semester, with support from the Chamber and local business leaders.

The Chamber has offered the YEA! program as a standalone initiative for five years; this is the first class at an Arlington school.

For information on sponsoring or volunteering with the program, see the Website at

* More than 190 Arlington Career and Technical Education students from four middle schools recently built cigar-box guitars and used them to write and perform blues songs about the county’s racial history, which culminated at a concert on Feb. 21 at Kenmore Middle School.

Students in technical-education and related classes at Thomas Jefferson, Gunston, Kenmore and Swanson middle schools took part.

Working with Wilma Jones, an historian and fourth-generation Halls Hill resident, participating students learned more about the community’s African-American history. Rick Franklin, a local blues musician, taught the students how to play three classic tunes on their guitars and then create their own lyrics based on Jones’s stories and their own research of source documents.

The concluding performance was based around the three songs: “You are My Sunshine,” “Some Cold and Rainy Day” and “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad.” Franklin sang the original song, and then sang the song using the students’ lyrics and accompanied by the students on their guitars. Audience members were than asked to join in a sing-along.

As part of the event, Jones – the author of “My Halls Hill Family: More Than a Neighborhood” – was presented with a student-made guitar as thanks for her assistance.

The project was made possible in part by a grant from Virginia Humanities, with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as part of its Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative. Support also came from Changing Arlington’s Narrative on Race (CAN), John Crouch Tobacconist, Alexandria, Va., Abernathy Sticks, Kensington, MD, CB Gitty and the television-production classes at the Arlington Career Center.

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