SILVER SPRING, MD (May 18, 2012) -- Riderwood retirement community's Catering and Community Resources and Wellness teams today hosted a Tea Party and Awards Ceremony for 45 female students of Beltsville Academy who are completing the F.O.R.W.A.R.D (Forming Opportunities Reaching Women And Restoring Dignity) program.
The event was a dressy occasion for the girls and female residents, who wore hats and white gloves. The students shared their original poems with Riderwood residents. An awards ceremony honored the 8th grade girls who are graduating from the F.O.R.W.A.R.D program.
The F.O.R.W.A.R.D program is designed to empower young women, especially African-American and Latino. These young women now include grades 6th-8th who participate in reading/language arts lessons and activities, which encourage young women to strive for academic and personal achievements. They also participate in activities to encourage community awareness, helping others and they earn community service hours.
This is the program's 3rd year at Beltsville Academy. F.O.R.W.A.R.D consists of about 30% of the total female middle school population. Talitha Simeona-Moon, a teacher at the school and founder of this program at the school, said, "This percentage is amazing since the program is voluntary and usually held after school hours."