Welcome to Building Blocks! SCAN has finally dived into the world of blogging, and we’re thrilled to bring you a variety of exciting posts in our kick-off week. Although you’ll be sure to hear a lot about our programs and amazing volunteers, Building Blocks isn’t just a blog about SCAN’s efforts. You can also find the latest info on child abuse prevention and a host of interesting information about parenting from around the web. We also have some great giveaways lined up (hint: they involve coffee!), so be sure to check back often.

Writing your first post for a brand new blog can be a little daunting. First impressions are important, and I’m not sure who would read this blog again if I spent my first post rambling about Virginia state laws or the origin of the pinwheel. So instead of giving you the same information you read about in each SCAN newsletter, I thought I’d put it all out on the table and reveal ten things you didn’t know about SCAN.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About SCAN…plus one more for good measure!

1. While we at SCAN of Northern Virginia like to think we’re special, we’re not the only SCAN in the country. There are SCAN’s in communities across the U.S., but Greater Richmond SCAN and SCAN of Northern Virginia are the only two organizations using the name in Virginia.

2. More than 65% of parents who participated in our Parent Education Programs in 2010-2011 were foreign-born, Spanish-speaking parents.

Kids relax with some yoga at our ABC's of Parenting Class

3. Think yoga is only for hippies or Hollywood celebrities? Think again. SCAN partners with YoKid…Stretch Your Limits to provide yoga instruction to children of participants in our ABC’s of Parenting Classes.  While parents learn about praise and discipline, their children learn the ins and outs of sun salutations and warrior poses. Check out this video to learn about one child’s positive experience with yoga!

4. Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in his college dorm room. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniack started Apple in a garage. And our founder Dave Cleary started SCAN in his basement. Many great companies started in humble locations, and SCAN was no exception when Dave founded it in 1988.  Just this year, Dave was named “2011 Champion for Children” by the Center for Alexandria’s Children.

5. 18 CASA volunteers have been advocating for youth through our Alexandria/Arlington CASA program since 2006. That’s five years of service!

6. What do rug showrooms and loveseats have to do with SCAN? Well, we asked ourselves that same question when we  started receiving weekly phone calls from people asking to see our furniture showroom. We thought we were the victims of an elaborate prank calling scheme, but it turns out that we share our name with a now-defunct furniture store in the DC area.

7. Turn your radio dial to 98.7 WMZQ, HOT 99.5 or BIG 100.3 and you might hear the voice of our executive director Sonia Quiñonez. Thanks to our partnership with Clear Channel Communications, you can listen to Parenting Today on major radio stations in the DC area.

8. We’re not big name-droppers at SCAN, but we think it’s pretty great that former NBC4 news anchor Keith Garvin used to be on our board of directors. He has also participated in numerous SCAN events and fundraisers.

We blew out 20 candles at our Toast to Hope birthday celebration!

9. SCAN celebrated its 20th birthday in 2008 with a record-breaking Toast to Hope celebration, along with official recognition from cities and counties honoring our two decades of service.

10. While I don’t like to toot my own horn, ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program (CSJP) interns at SCAN have spearheaded some awesome projects. Our Twitter account, Facebook page, and now our very first blog have all been launched by CSJP interns.

11. Ever wonder what makes SCAN’s website and newsletter so appealing? It might just be our go-to font, Myriad Pro.

Keep checking back throughout the week for a special giveaway, volunteer profile, links to parenting topics, YouTube videos, and updates from our last AIPC meeting!

Have any questions about the ten things you probably didn’t know? Want to share your ideas for Building Blocks? Give us your thoughts in our comments section!

-Jenna Temkin

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