Family Resource Center Library Named for Education Advocate

By Office of Communications
March 05, 2024

Fairfax County Public Schools’ Family Resource Center (FRC) has formally named its library the Dr. Larry Bussey Family and Community Library, honoring the legacy and commitment of Bussey to education and equipping families to effectively advocate for the educational rights and needs of their children. 

The FRC helps parents, caregivers, and teachers support the success of all students. One of the ways they accomplish this is through a lending library, which contains more than 10,000 books, DVDs, and CDs on topics related to parenting and educating children.

A ‘Champion of Inclusivity’

Dr. Larry BusseyDr. Bussey was a founding member of the FCPS Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee (MSAOC). Formed in 1992, MSAOC was an ad hoc committee that made recommendations including re-examining the curriculum, changing administrative structures, and improving parent outreach. Bussey was a committee member for 30 years, working under six superintendents. 

Bussey’s first career was as an art teacher in the New York Public School System. “His dedication to nurturing young minds through artistry laid the foundation for his enduring commitment to ensuring equal educational opportunities for all,” said his daughter Gabrielle Tapscott. 

His work impacted youth nationally as he spent more than 30 years working for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Bussey was an enforcement officer; identifying, preventing, and resolving acts of discrimination against students. He also supported OCR’s Civil Rights Data Collection by gathering, analyzing, and reporting on a variety of school- and district-level data used by the Department of Education, policymakers, researchers, journalists, parents, and educators. 

After retiring, Bussey continued his advocacy for equity and diversity in education. Fairfax County Public Schools was “deeply significant to him and his family,” Tapscott said. Bussey lent his expertise and support to initiatives “championing inclusivity.” In addition to MSAOC, he collaborated with the Fairfax Alliance of Black School Educators and Fairfax NAACP.

Bussey’s children describe him as a “multifaceted individual, with a profound passion for the arts. His legacy extended to his family, where he fostered a love for creativity in subsequent generations, leaving behind a rich tapestry of artwork proudly displayed in the homes of his children and grandchildren.”

Nearly 20 of Bussey’s family members attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly renamed library including his wife, three children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. 

Tapscott said her father’s “contributions resonate far beyond the realms of education and art, leaving an indelible mark on the pursuit of equity and inclusion in our society. His legacy serves as an enduring beacon, inspiring others to continue the noble work of building a more just and equitable world for all.”

The Dr. Larry Bussey Family and Community Library

Bussey died on July 22, 2022. In 2023, the school board passed a resolution to name the FRC library the Dr. Bussey Family and Community Library, a tribute to his dedication to educating and assisting families in advocating for their children and their education. 

“The biggest part of our job is empowering families to be able to advocate for their children,” said Mary Beth Harrison-Cunningham, manager of the FRC. Families can contact the FRC to request resources or a confidential consultation

“We just want to listen to their concerns and help them better collaborate with their school, advocate for their child, and/or provide resources for them,” Harrison-Cunningham said. The Bussey Library is part of the FCPS library system. Families can ask for materials to be delivered to their student’s school where they can be picked up and returned. 

In addition to families, the library also serves FCPS staff. School social workers, psychologists, counselors, and teachers — as well as any FCPS employee — can visit or check out materials through the FCPS library system. In addition to books for caregivers, they have books for children to help them understand things like anxiety around going to the doctor for the first time, understanding why they have ADHD, navigating friendships, deployment, divorce, and more. The books can help parents connect and engage with their children on tricky topics. 

The FRC creates guides with resources for military-connected families, LGBTQIA+, adapted recreation, respite care, and summer camps. 

Digital resources on the FRC website are “rich in information that we have available within FCPS and the community,” Harrison-Cunningham said. The online resources provide links to organizations that support families as well as webinars and video links

The Bussey Library and FRC are located in the Dunn Loring Administrative Center. It is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can search the library online. Please contact the FRC if you have any questions or would like materials sent to your child's school or your FCPS office. Sign up for the Family Resource Newsletter to receive regular updates on their events and services.