Alexandria, VA – This summer a dream came true: Alexandria Children’s Theatre was able to oﬀer a free camp for underserved students in Fairfax county. Children gathered at the former Mount Vernon Athletic Club, just oﬀ Route 1 south of Alexandria. Work is still underway to convert the former tennis indoor tennis club into the Lee District Community Center. Presenting the summer camp was a longtime hope of ACT founder Roberta Cullen.
Thirty students aged 6-12 from the nearby neighborhood participated in the complimentary camp, singing songs and learning dance steps from the popular film Encanto. A bilingual teaching staﬀ introduced the art of theater to children using creative movement activities and craft projects, and the campers performed for their parents on the last day of camp.
The special week was funded by a Fairfax county grant that ACT received this spring. Alexandria Children’s Theatre founder Roberta Cullen says she is so happy to be able to reach students who would never have had this opportunity otherwise.
“I’ve always oﬀered scholarships to my acting classes, but rarely did anyone use that opportunity. Then just before the pandemic, I realized that transportation to our location at Burgundy Farm Country Day School for Saturday classes was another challenge families faced, on top of the cost.
Finally, this spring the pieces fell into place! Most children walked to the camp from their nearby homes, and United Community provided free breakfasts and lunches.”
Cullen hopes this camp begins a long relationship with the new Community Center in Lee District. Alexandria Children’s Theatre has been oﬀering classes through the LINK Club program for ACPS for several years, reaching underserved youth after school and running after-school classes in Arlington and Alexandria schools for their students. This is their first camp for underserved students in Fairfax county.
For information about fall classes at Burgundy Farm Country Day School, 3700 Burgundy Road in Alexandria, visit the Alexandria Children’s Theatre website: www.ACTheatre.com.