Provided by City of Manassas
On June 11, the City of Manassas will hold their free Neighborhood Conference at Jennie Dean Elementary School. This year, building community is pretty sweet as participants will dip donuts from Krispy Kreme.
This conference focuses on bringing residents interested in improving their neighborhoods together with Manassas City Public School (MCPS) representatives who will share the schools’ newest initiatives. Experts in building better communities, landscape beautification, and wellness will also be on hand to work with neighbors. Krispy Kreme Donuts, which will soon open a Manassas store, will set up a dipping station where company representatives hope to meet their new neighbors and share their sweet treats.
Recognizing that neighborhoods and schools need to work together to be successful, this year’s conference spotlights the efforts of MCPS to help all its students shine. Shayma Bautista, MCPS Community Liaison, and Dr. Melissa Saunders, MCPS Director of Curriculum and Instruction, will talk about the Footsteps-2-Brilliance, an initiative that better prepares pre-K students for kindergarten, and other resources that serve our students. Jennie Dean Elementary Principal Dr. Zella Jones, will welcome attendees and answer their questions about the upcoming school year.
Keynote speaker Zuzana Steen, University and Academic Relations Manager at Micron Technology and President of the Manassas City Public Schools Education Foundation, will talk about investing in the success of schools. The Community Association Institute, an international association dedicated to improving communities, will offer advice and ideas to neighborhood associations. LA Fitness will be on site to offer wellness exercises, tips to get ready for summer, and maybe a way to work off those donuts.
Participants may attend one of three afternoon workshops. One teaches how to analyze a neighborhood’s strengths and weaknesses through a block walk. Another outlines ways to play in neighborhood parks, keep neighborhoods beautiful, and avoid property code violations. A third workshop discusses how today’s students learn with more than books and blackboards.
Conference attendees will be served a free lunch and have a chance to win raffle prizes like free summer camp registration, thanks to generous sponsorships from community partners. Home Depot garden experts will present tips on beautifying landscapes, and the Manassas Host Lions Club will conduct free vision screenings. Those who register before the conference will also receive a free t-shirt.
City of Manassas Neighborhood Services Manager Kisha Wilson-Sogunro says community members wanted to see the conference return this year after piloting the Neighborhood Recreation Expo. “The conference is a chance for community members to get together, see what others are doing, get questions answered, and see how we can work together to build a better community.”
Bristow Station resident Nicole Smith agrees, saying, “We are always looking for ways to improve our neighborhood and the conference is a great opportunity for all of us to receive training and meet other community leaders.”
The Neighborhood Conference will be held at Jennie Dean Elementary School, 9601 Prince William Street, on June 11 from 9 a.m. till 2:30 p.m. and is free. Visit manassascity.org/neighbor or call 703-257-8240 to register.