Breaks With Impact (BWI) Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign-up?

Visit for dates, times, and to sign-up.

What will we do?

Participants will take part in discussions and activities to learn more about social issues facing Alexandrians. They will volunteer at locations in the city each day and hear from a speaker.

Will I receive service hours for participation?

For one day programs, you will receive four and half direct service hours and service learning hours. For three day programs you will receive 12 direct service hours and 18 service learning hours. We are happy to complete service verification forms, please bring them with you.

What special precautions are you taking during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Thank you for trusting us to have your child participate in our service-learning program. We will take several safety measures in order to keep us all safe. Please ensure that your child is aware of these procedures and agrees to follow them:

-          As a parent/guardian, you must agree and understand the inherent risks for your child to participate in this program.

-          All students must wear a face covering – neck gaiters are not allowed as scientific studies has decided that these are not appropriate to stop droplets from spreading.

-          All tables and chairs, any supplies and materials have been disinfected prior to the start.

-Students will be supplied their own materials and will not share - unless they are a siblings or live with one another.

-          When entering the building, all students will wash their hands and staff will take their temperature. For our multiple day programs, temperatures will be checked every day. 

-          Students and staff will wear a mask at all times.

-          Lunch will be outside and participants must bring their own food.

-          There will be a mixture of inside and outside activities.

-          When inside, possible doors and windows will be open and the students will be placed at least 6ft apart.

-          Siblings are allowed to sit together.

-          When outside, students may take their masks off ONLY when 10ft apart.

-          Hand sanitizer will be available at all times.

-          When inside, the students will be on a break outside for about 10-15 minutes every hour.

-          Students not obeying with these rules will be expelled immediately from the program.

What about transportation?

We do not plan on using public transit for Spring 2021. During the summer, participants will be provided passes and use public transportation to get from location to location. 

Will I be supervised?

Participants will be supervised by qualified adults the entirety of the program  The adults undergo a background check and have extensive experience working with youth in secondary education. There will be a ratio of less than 10 youth to one adult for middle school programs and 12 youth to one adult for high school programs.

What do I need to bring?

Bring a small backpack, pen or pencil, and a water bottle. Less is more - you will be responsible for carrying everything you bring. Lunch will not be provided, per CDC reccommendations, and students are encouraged to bring their own food and snacks. Please let us know about dietary restrictions. If you need a signed service verification form, please bring it.

What do I wear?

Please wear appropriate clothing, keeping in mind the weather. Please plan on bringing a raincoat, hat or sunscreen as needed. Dressing in layers is best; wearing clothing that you don't mind getting dirty is good. Please wear appropriate clothing with the understanding that we are guests at the nonprofits where we will serve.  Closed toe shoes are required.

Can I see a schedule?

Sample Schedule:
1:00 p.m. – Registration & Welcome
Afternoon: Examine the issues addressed by second service site, volunteer and reflection
Late afternoon: Service learning exercise or speaker & break
Farewell: Evaluation and final reflection
5:30 p.m.

Is the program residential?

No, the program runs from about 1:00pm to 5:30pm each program session in the Spring. During the summer, the day's schedule may vary +/- 30 min and pick-up and drop off locations may vary each day. Students will receive the full schedule with specific times & drop off/pick up location.

Why is the cost different for City of Alexandria residents?

For Spring Break, the program will be free. The program is funded through a grant from the City of Alexandria. Funds can only be applied to students who live in the City of Alexandria.

Questions? Email the Program Manager at