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Our Partnerships

Main Street’s educational programs are supplemented by the support of a variety of community partners:

Parental/Family Support

Family Learning Project with The Northern Virginia Literacy Council

The goals of the Family Learning Project are to provide Adult English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, to promote adult reading and writing skills, to provide computer-assisted learning, and to promote interactive reading activities for parents and children.

Services and activities include:

  • Adult English as a Second Language (ESL) classes
  • Adult reading/writing
  • Computer-assisted learning
  • Parent education workshops
  • Children’s book giveaways
  • Homework help and child care for children
  • Interaction activities for parents and children
  • Field trips
  • Free child care and Family dinner

Nurturing Parenting Classes, Fairfax Dept. of Family Services

At a time when the media chronicles acts of violence and abuse, what could be more important than promoting health and nurturing in the family, where children learn the values and beliefs that shape their lives? The Nurturing Parenting Program is an internationally recognized, group based approach for working with parents and their children in reducing dysfunction and building healthy, positive interactions. Developed by Stephen J. Bavolek, Ph.D., the program in Fairfax County is sponsored by the Department of Family Services.

The Nurturing Parenting Program is based on the philosophy that parenting is learned; the way parents were raised directly influences the way they raise their children. The program addresses the need many parents have to learn new, nurturing behaviors in place of others that may be hurtful to children. A basic tenet of the nurturing philosophy is that all parents would rather build happy, healthy interactions in their families than continue to live with problems they were never taught to solve.

In partnership with our community and with a commitment to quality service, the Program promotes self-reliance in families and individuals by providing essential knowledge and resources tailored to the needs of children, adolescents, and adults.

Families living in Fairfax County who want to build healthy interactions and create positive change within their family and community are eligible to participate. Participants must make a commitment to complete the entire program as a family. 100% attendance at the first four sessions is strongly encouraged to allow the group process to develop. Participants with a history of substance abuse must have completed the initial phase of a treatment program.

The Virginia Preschool Initiative

The Fairfax County Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) is a collaborative community effort involving both public and private providers of preschool services to four-year-old children. The mission of the Virginia Preschool Initiative of Fairfax County is to enhance the care, education, and healthy development of preschool children, and to support the child care community.

VPI supports kindergarten success through educational assessments, health screenings (including dental, vision, and nutrition assessments) and follow-up referrals.

VPI encourages family involvement in the preschool setting though sponsorship of center/family activities and assisting families in obtaining needed social services.

VPI enhances the preschool program by providing funds for additional classroom supplies, training and professional development, referrals to other staff development resources, peer coaching and mentoring, funds for substitutes and field trips.

Student Enrichment

Al’s Pals
Al’s Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices is a nationally recognized, resilience-based early childhood curriculum and teacher training program that develops social, emotional and behavioral skills in children 3 to 8 years old. The Al’s Pals interactive lessons and teaching approaches help young children learn to:

  • Express feelings appropriately
  • Use kind words
  • Care about others
  • Use self-control
  • Think flexibly
  • Accept differences
  • Make friends
  • Solve problems peacefully
  • Cope in positive ways
  • Make safe and healthy choices
  • Understand that tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs are not for children

The Al’s Pals curriculum has 46 lessons lasting 10-15 minutes each. The Wingspan-trained classroom teacher conducts two lessons a week, in sequence, over a 23-week period. Designed specifically for the early childhood years, the lessons use guided creative play, brainstorming, puppetry, original music, role plays, and movement to delight young minds and engage them in the development of social-emotional competence.

An original hand puppet named Al serves as a positive role model. Along with puppet pals Ty and Keisha, Al engages children in developmentally appropriate activities that build positive social skills and healthy decision-making. Lessons are rooted in resilience-specific learning objectives and include narratives, puppet scripts, songs and activities that use real-life early childhood experiences.

Between the lessons, educators use teaching approaches learned in the Al’s Pals training to help children practice and generalize skills in daily classroom interactions. An Al’s Pals classroom with posters, photographs, music, “Al’s Place,” and other reminders of positive social behavior becomes a caring environment of cooperation, respect, responsibility, and healthy decision-making.

Wolf Trap Residency

The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts, a program of the Wolf Trap Foundation, was established in 1981 under a grant from the Head State Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The goal of the Institute is to train early childhood professionals in the use of performing arts techniques, which help young children learn basic academic concepts (e.g. colors, shapes, and numbers) as well as life skills (e.g. hand washing, sharing, and problem solving).

A Wolf Trap classroom residency is a partnership during which an artist comes to an early childhood classroom and demonstrates for the teacher how the performing arts can be used to teach curriculum topics.

With the assistance of the Wolf Trap Institute, teachers and parents can help their children to improve in the following areas:

  • Emergent literacy
  • Self-awareness and self-confidence
  • Group awareness and socialization skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to concentrate and remember
  • Gross and fine motor control
  • Awareness of individual creativity
  • Motivation and enthusiasm for learning
  • Conceptual and verbal skills

The collaboration between performing artist and early childhood professionals serves to:

  • Enrich and motivate the teacher’s professional development
  • Engage young children in active, creative learning experience
  • Energize efforts to bring parents and caregivers together into the classroom
  • Enliven the classroom environment

Storytime Express

Ms. Barbara Effron and “Storytime Express” visit Main Street Child Development Center once a month. Ms. Barbara’s programs feature music, puppets, story boards, and other visuals that encourage children to listen to – and participate in – the stories.

Since 1983, Ms. Barbara has delighted children and adults in the metropolitan Washington area with her enchanting tales and musical stories. She has performed at schools, libraries, synagogues, birthday parties, festivals, the Kennedy Center, the White House, the Smithsonian and Busch Gardens.