casaA $10,000 grant in 2017 helped support Casa Chirilagua's Kids Club Program.Casa Chirilagua received a $10,000 grant in 2017 from the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s Community Investment Funds grant cycle to support its Kids Club and Summer Kids Club programs.  They shared the following testimonial to demonstrate the impact of this support on its community.

In front of her peers and community, Anna’s* mother and father begin their address to her, “Dear Anna —,” immediately they pause to collect themselves, their eyes welling up with tears. “We want to congratulate you on your first achievement in school. Your education is the best gift that we as parents can give you. We want you to keep on being a hardworking student, responsible, obedient, and respectful. We want you to fly high … because you have the opportunity and support from us. Our greatest pride is seeing you get an education. We love you.”

Every year parents of the Chirilagua community pause to come together and celebrate a milestone: their 5th grade children’s graduation from Kids Club, a keystone program at Casa Chirilagua which provides academic enrichment for 1st-5th grade students in an under-served community. This milestone is significant for various reasons. Beyond attaining a higher level of education than some of their parents had in their country of origin, these students’ success builds self-confidence and represents a dream of even greater achievements to come for their entire family.

“My son Pedro* finished 5th grade thanks to Casa Chirilagua’s support. I’m very happy and proud of him for finishing 5th grade. My wish for him is to continue his education, to be the best student in school and the best son. My biggest hope is to see Pedro graduate from high school and college. Congratulations. I love you, and keep moving forward.”

Four years ago this community event did not yet exist. It was the parents in the community who came together to create this celebration. This past year, grants from funders such as the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia enabled Casa Chirilagua’s Kids Club to build on the parents’ efforts and reach even more children in the neighborhood and continue to provide a high-quality after-school enrichment program.

A BIG THANK YOU to the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia for selecting Casa Chirilagua as a grantee.  Together, your board, staff, and donors are helping Casa Chirilagua lay the foundation for the emergence of local leaders in Alexandria, Virginia. Please do extend a heartfelt "gracias" from our "familias" to your Community Foundation families.

* Names changed for privacy.

For information on how to create future milestones in our community, please visit www.casachirilagua.org.

Please consider a donation to the Community Investment Funds to support families like the clients of Casa Chirilagua.