President for a Day

February 17, 2023: If you could be the president for a day, what would you do? What one-time executive order would you declare? Our teaching artist Sharmila Karamchandani asked our Casa Chirilagua kids that question, while ingeniously encouraging them to create a 3D log cabin, just like the one President Lincoln grew up in, out of index cards (how in the world does she come up with these amazing ideas)? Sharmila also discussed with them how President Lincoln’s parents were poor and he borrowed books to educate himself and with determination and hard work he became a United States president. Lesson? No matter your circumstances, you can do and become anything you want to!

That executive order? Here’s what these kids would do:
1) “The first thing I will do is kick out all the boys out from US”
2) “I will end poverty”
3) “I will end homelessness”
4) “I will remove all the rules”
5) “I will make everything free”
6) “I will build more playgrounds”
7) “I will make education free”
Some really good ideas here. Maybe they need sharing with our political leaders.

Inmates Explore Creativity through Writing Contest Organized by Heard

September 8, 2022: Our thanks to the City of Alexandria Sheriff’s Department for this coverage of our writing contest with the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center. So many people worked so hard to make this contest a success, and we extend a special shoutout to our judges: Mary Wadland, publisher of The Zebra, historian, genealogist and author Char McCargo Bah, and Zeina Azzam, Alexandria’s poet laureate.

And an even bigger shoutout to Sheriff Sean Casey and the detention center team! We are so grateful for their support and the hours of logistics that a virtual awards ceremony takes. That said, let’s hope that next year our awards ceremony can be in person again! You can read the entire article here.