Riderwood to Host May 18 Tea Party and Awards Ceremony for Beltsville Academy Students

Riderwood to Host May 18 Tea Party and Awards Ceremony for Beltsville Academy Students Completing the Forming Opportunities Reaching Women and Restoring Dignity Program WHAT: A Tea Party and Awards Ceremony hosted by Riderwood retirement community's Catering and Community Resources teams 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.  This 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." EVENT ITINERARY: The  Tea Party and Awards Ceremony will be a dressy occasion for the girls and female residents, who will wear hats and white gloves.  The students have written poems and some will share their poems on this day. There will be an awards ceremony for the 8th grade girls who will be graduating from the program. WHEN/WHERE: Friday, May 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., in the Celebrations Room at Town Center at Riderwood, 3140 Gracefield Road, Silver Spring, MD 20904. RIDERWOOD'S CONNECTION: Riderwood and the Beltsville Academy have been partnering for many years. One of the school's chorus sings at Riderwood's annual Earth Day event, and 5th graders were involved last year in "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" pitting themselves against Riderwood residents.