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Birdhouse Farmers Market Launching Online Winter Market

Shoppers will go to the Birdhouse Farmers Market website to order online between 6am Thursday and 3am Monday. Producers will deliver to the Birdhouse Farmers Market site where market employees and volunteers will aggregate orders for curbside pick-up,

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The Birdhouse Farmers Market is excited to announce the launch of a new Online Birdhouse Winter Market. In response to the success of the Birdhouse Farmers Market’s online ordering option during the 2020 season and the continuing need for access to local, fresh foods year-round, the BFM Board voted to test a pilot program of the Online Birdhouse Winter Market from December through April.

“Whatever the circumstances, feeding people well is what we do at Birdhouse,” says Market Manager Kate Ruby. “Now the Online Birdhouse Winter Market provides a year-round online-only opportunity for our community to connect with the products they love from the producers they trust. Our SNAP customers can continue to access healthy local foods and take advantage of discounted fresh fruits and vegetables all year long.”

Shoppers will go to the Birdhouse Farmers Market website to order online between 6am Thursday and 3am Monday. Producers will deliver to the Birdhouse Farmers Market site where market employees and volunteers will aggregate orders for curbside pick-up, to which cars, bikes, and pedestrians are all welcome to pickup between 4pm -6pm Tuesdays.

Anyone interested in becoming a vendor should visit the vendor page on the Birdhouse Farmers Market website.

The best way to keep track of weekly activities is to visit our website where you can subscribe to the Birdhouse Market Newsletter and to follow the market on Facebook and Instagram.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Community

Grow RVA Gives More Details on Thursday Market at Forest Hill Park

The South of the James Farmers Market will be hosted Thursday evenings in Forest Hill Park, 4pm – 7pm, starting May 6, 2021 and running through October.

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From the South of the James Farmers Market Facebook

We have missed you Forest Hill and are so excited to announce our return to the Park this spring!

The South of the James Farmers Market will be hosted Thursday evenings in Forest Hill Park, 4pm – 7pm, starting May 6, 2021 and running through October.

This truly neighborhood market will provide a weekday vending opportunity for our farmers, culinary artists and artists, restaurant chefs to shop, and the community to gather. Food trucks and other added values, music, programs etc. will add to the charm of this boutique market shopping experience. Many of your favorites will be returning, and we have some stellar new additions!

A liaison group has been created by GrowRVA with the neighborhood associations, vested community partners, and government officials to streamline information, concerns and questions monthly. Our website will be revamped this spring and following us on our GrowRVA or South of the James Farmers Market sites will keep you up to date!

Covid protocols and safety issues have caused many changes to our business plan and model. We are still in the middle of a pandemic, take safety precautions extremely seriously, and feel very fortunate to be open. We will be diligent in enforcing all policies.

2021 is about moving forward sustainably, creating multiple financial opportunities for the small businesses we represent, and hopefully bringing back a true sense of market community in RVA.

Thank you, Richmond VA Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, VA Government officials, Richmond Police Department and friends of GrowRVA for your continued collaboration!

Looking forward to an awesome season! ❤️

Enjoy today!
Karen and Doug Grisevich
GrowRVA.com

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Downtown

Schools can opt for remote learning during inclement weather

Virginia lawmakers insisted there will still be snow days for public school students, though the General Assembly recently passed legislation allowing unscheduled remote learning during inclement weather. 

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By Sarah Elson

Virginia lawmakers insisted there will still be snow days for public school students, though the General Assembly recently passed legislation allowing unscheduled remote learning during inclement weather.

“I have heard this bill referred to as ‘the killer of snow day dreams,’” said Alan Seibert, superintendent of Salem City Schools, during a subcommittee meeting. “That’s not the case.”

Lawmakers passed two identical bills stating school divisions can opt for virtual learning during severe weather conditions and emergency situations that result in the cancellation of in-person classes.

Remote learning or distance education is when the instructor and student are separated by location and do not physically meet.

“I would like to emphasize that this is not a bill to eliminate snow days but simply provide some flexibility to school systems,” said Del. Joseph McNamara, R-Roanoke, who introduced House Bill 1790. Sen. David Suetterlein, R-Roanoke, introduced Senate Bill 1132, an identical bill. The bills had strong support in both chambers, though they each moved through the Senate with unanimous support.

 “As you know this pandemic has made us think outside the box and some benefit has come from this thinking,” said Mark Miear, superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools in the New River Valley, during the House subcommittee meeting.

Public schools must offer 180 days or 990 hours of instruction each year or receive a reduction in state aid, according to Virginia law. School districts typically build in extra snow days for inclement weather. If those days are used up, schools must make up days to meet the required instruction time. The bills also allow schools to make up missed instruction by scheduling a remote learning day.

Both bills state that no school division can use more than 10 unscheduled remote learning days in a school year unless the superintendent of public instruction grants an extension.

 “I’m really glad that the state is allowing this type of [learning] to happen in the 21st century, because it’ll allow us to be able to have days that actually count toward that 990 hours,” said Max Smith, assistant director of operations at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in Richmond.

Miear said unscheduled remote learning days will allow the school district to set an end date for the school year and schedule summer programs. Some districts can miss 17-20 days for inclement weather, Miear said. The updated policy will allow for instruction to be “more consistent.”

Moving to online learning during inclement weather will not make up for lost education, Owen Hughes, a permanent substitute teacher at Elmont Elementary School in Ashland, stated in a text message.

“Remote teaching only truly takes place when there is remote learning,” Hughes stated. “This means that if students are disengaged and not learning, teachers aren’t teaching they’re just talking and staying busy.”

Smith said that it will be easy to implement remote learning days because Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School has been teaching students through virtual learning. The school provided some students with laptops and hotspots if they needed them.

“Now if we hadn’t had an infrastructure in place, it might be really difficult to be able to pull off one of these unscheduled instructional days from the legislation, but we already have the infrastructure in place,” Smith said.

Hughes is concerned some students will not have access to a working internet connection during inclement weather. The General Assembly this session funded the expansion of rural broadband internet access, though it will take a while to implement the infrastructure.

Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico, sponsored a related bill. SB 1303 will require both online and in-person learning to become available to students by July 1. The student’s parent or guardian would decide on the learning modality. The bill expires in August 2022.

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Business

IHOP, Michaels, CAVA, and &Pizza among new retailers now open at Willow Lawn

A number of new restaurants and retailers have recently opened their doors at Willow Lawn.

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A number of new retailers and restaurants have recently opened their doors at Willow Lawn.

Pancake house IHOP opened March 5 in a 4,094 square-foot space between Alpha Comics and European Wax. 60 new positions were hired for the restaurant, which seats 150 customers inside and 32 on an outside patio.

The arts and crafts store Michaels opened at Willow Lawn on February 27. Michaels is in a 17,477 square-foot space near Gold’s Gym and Ross Dress for Less.

Other new additions at Willow Lawn include CAVA, which opened in January 2021, and &Pizza, which opened its first Richmond location at the shopping center in September 2020.

In addition to IHOP and Michaels, Willow Lawn features a variety of retail, dining, and services including Kroger, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Alpha Comics & Games, Lucky Road, and Pho 95 Hai Ky Mi Gia.

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