Henrico County VA
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2 schools honored by Holocaust Museum

Freeman and Henrico High Schools were recognized recently by the Virginia Holocaust Museum for their efforts to teach students about the Holocaust and genocide.

The museum’s director of education, Rena Berlin presented the “NOW” award to both schools for going above and beyond in giving students a closer look at the Holocaust.

It was the first time the museum had ever given the award.

“I think this award will spark even more interest and awareness of the mission of the museum and the initiatives of our school organizations that have partnered with the museum,” said Freeman High School Principal Anne Poates.

Teachers from both schools participated in the museum’s Alexander Lebenstein Teacher Education Institute, a three credit graduate class in conjunction with the University of Richmond, which is taught by museum staff and current and former classroom teachers at the museum. Both schools brought students on tours of the museum during the school year.

Henrico High School brought its entire staff to the museum for training on how to teach students about the Holocaust before school began.

“It is exciting to receive this award because our efforts went beyond learning about the Holocaust. Everyone learned not only how to become tolerant of other cultures, but how to embrace these cultures as well,” said Henrico High School Principal Ron Rodriguez. “We are extremely grateful and humbled by the recognition.”

The two schools tried to gain an understanding of the Holocaust in a variety of ways, through art, music and critical examination.

“The (schools) understood that in order to teach about ‘Man's inhumanity to man’ they needed to focus on teaching students about genocide, past and present, in order to change the world,” Berlin said. “I am excited that these schools stepped out of the SOL pattern in order to bring depth of understanding and analysis.”
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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