October Volunteer “FLOC Talk”

1_22_1If you are interested in Caitlin’s suggestion to observe program check out our calendar to sign up for one of our upcoming Beyond the Classroom Tours: https://www.floc.org/events/2016-10


This post was written by Samantha Bailey the Bilingual Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator at For Love of Children.


FLOC Starts Program!


This post was written by Laura Evans the Development Associate at For Love of Children.

August “FLOC Talk”

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During For Love of Children’s Summer Academy, there was a lot of progress and a lot of fun. The Neighborhood Tutoring Program (NTP) gave 62 students the tools to avoid the summer learning slide by partnering them up with their very own volunteer tutors at our Adams Morgan location. It can be difficult to really explain just how important, enjoyable, and even challenging the experience can be.  To give you more insight we interviewed a tutoring duo: Our Board Member Paul and his daughter Samantha spent their summer with FLOC 1st grader Adrian and FLOC 2nd grader Jenna. Their experiences were a little different, but both stories are perfect illustrations of what FLOC is all about.


How were your first days tutoring with your student?

Paul For me the first day was really challenging, really tough. So it definitely took a while to figure out my student. [Adrian] was really high energy; it was very very hard getting him focused. If you were around some of those days you would see a kid running down the hall and me chasing him and looking for him. It was definitely a very challenging experience until we got to know each other and I was able to figure out tools and techniques to keep him focused. The last two sessions or so we had, I feel like, extended productive sessions.

Samantha From the start, Jenna made it clear she was eager to learn math. I remember on the first day I asked her, “So, are you excited to learn some math?” fully expecting a typical “no”. I was prepared to give an explanation of why math is actually interesting and important to learn, but I didn’t need to because she immediately responded with, “Ya! My favorite subject is math!” She astounded me by already knowing topics 2 grade levels above her!

How do you feel your student has progressed?

Paul I believe that he has learned a lot this summer. We worked on Unit 1  (a section of the curriculum comprised of lessons surrounding the identification and ordering of numbers) the whole time but there were several concepts there that he hadn’t learned yet in school, like place values and rounding, so he was really learning new concepts. They just took the test yesterday and scored 18 out of 21 so he definitely was grasping some of the materials and you could see with two or three weeks of reinforcement that it was slowly sort of coming to him. His mom said that he actually enjoys coming to the program and she was actually quite surprised at how well he scored.

Samantha Jenna came in already knowing math topics from Unit 4 (consisting of lessons focused on regrouping and subtraction), even though she was in 2nd grade. The placement test put her at Unit 2.3, so we flew by lessons. The biggest thing we accomplished was strategies for testing and for doing math with a time constraint, and having confidence in her work. Other than that, she knew every topic we covered.

What is your favorite memory with your student?

Paul Adrian loves magic. We incorporated that into tutoring.  If we got through a half hour of work then we’d practice a magic trick then at the end of the class he would be able to try it on some kids and tutors, and my daughter. I think that made it both fun and gave him the idea that he can focus and then have some fun afterwards.DSCN1723

I also introduced a card game, 21, to all the kids I worked with. It’s a counting math game that all of them seem to like and they all asked for the instructions so they could go home and play. I like the idea that the game I learned to add and subtract with as a kid, I might have been able to pass that on to a couple of kids and maybe they are playing that over the summer and improving their math skills.

Samantha We had a lot of great memories. One that comes to mind was right after she did not pass her test because she only answered 32 problems in 3 minutes. She told me she had been really nervous and I taught her some new techniques for quickness. She wanted me to give her a sheet of 100 problems to see how many she really could do in 3 minutes, and she got 61 problems! I’m honestly not sure who was more surprised, but we couldn’t stop laughing for a long time at how fast she had the ability to be.

What did you like best about program?

Paul One of the great features of this experience was that I got to work as a substitute tutor for four other kids throughout the summer so I really got to work with different people, different ages, and different units. Most of those were high school students.

Comparing [FLOC] to my experiences in school where everyone is sitting in a desk, [at FLOC] you’re running around, you’re talking ball, you’re really trying to make the learning into a game and recognizing that these kids have already had a long day either in school or camp. The learning needs to be in a fun environment and an environment where you are moving around, you can stand, you can walk, and throw things around. I really liked sometimes walking around and seeing people playing bowling and basketball.

Samantha I really like how this program is designed to benefit everyone involved. The parents get 2 free hours and the satisfaction of knowing their child is in good hands; the student gets to learn and retain knowledge for future schooling, as well as associate math with a positive and fun environment; and the tutor gets to use his/her experience to teach someone in a way that is specifically tailored to the one student they instruct.

What was the hardest or most challenging part of program?

Paul I had the realization that you need to put your best game forward because the kids can read you quickly: whether you have authority, whether you know what you are talking about, and whether you are prepared. Definitely that it is a more challenging thing; you don’t just go in there being excellent at it. Programmatically, I found the lessons to be a little bit difficult to prepare, after 8 or 7 weeks I don’t think I mastered filling out the lesson plan correctly. The last three weeks I took my student upstairs to get him out of all of the distractions with other kids and that seemed to make a huge difference, getting him into a quieter environment.

Samantha Jenna was wonderful and did not make anything challenging. For me, the hardest part of the program was trying to fill out the lesson plans.

What is your biggest takeaway from Summer Academy?

Paul The few times where I had the ability to observe my surroundings there, I just saw lots of examples of really good tutoring. I saw people explaining things like the trick of the 9 times tables with your fingers. That was really impressive, to see the tutors and how many of them were just really good at what they do. I thought the staff was there when I needed them and able to produce a worksheet really quickly. I thought that the staff was really effective at jumping in there and helping and that type of thing.  I thought the whole thing together works really well with the volunteers and staff amidst the chaos of lots of people.

Samantha My biggest takeaway is the knowledge that although a lot of DC students are going to FLOC, many more need to be helped. It amazes me how much more effective one-on-one tutoring for 2 hours with breaks can be compared to an impersonal and disruptive classroom for 7 hours a day. Jenna has taught me that if something is taught the right way, a student can develop a passion for it that will make learning way more enjoyable and easier. If a student has a bad experience with a subject (especially early on), it can be almost impossible for him/her to have the motivation to try and do well later on. It is extremely important to make sure children have a good foundation and perspective in math and reading from an early age, because if they don’t, learning anything past that point will be much more difficult. FLOC does a great job with trying to ensure students stay on track and have a positive experience with whatever they learn over the summer.


We at FLOC would like to say thank you to Paul and Samantha, and all of our Summer Academy tutors, for all the work they did this summer with our FLOC students. It’s because of tutors like them and students like Jenna and Adrian that our Neighborhood Tutoring Program is so highly recognized as making a difference for DC students.  Please help us create more experiences like these. Invest in FLOC and make a tax-deductible contribution that will enable us to serve as many students as possible.

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Concert for a Cause Creates an Atmosphere of Family Fun!

For Love of Children was grateful to be included in the first Concert For a Cause by Acumen Solutions, last Sunday, that featured some great musicians, lots of delicious food, and an amazing group of people behind the scenes. The event was a hit for children and families and it featured some incredible non-profits doing great work in the community!

Herndon, Virginia has quite the welcoming feel with friendly faces and family businesses filling the town’s center. Families rolled in ready to beat the heat and enjoy the outdoor amenities. The event space was lined with food trucks, information booths, and fun freebies to take home. In all of the hustle and bustle of activities, attendees still made time to stop by the non-profit tents and find out about resources in their community. Still, the most popular spot by far, other than the main stage, was the balloon animal hat station! Even though it was meant for kids, there were definitely a few grown folk with ladybugs and puppies encircling their heads because everyone was getting in the spirit of summer fun.

Around the back of the beautiful brick Herndon Town Clerk Center there was an expanse of green space with families sprawled out on blankets and under umbrellas watching the performers on the stage extending from the back of the building. The speakers pumped the lively music out for the attendees and the musicians sang their hearts out as the crowd looked on enchanted, although some of the children couldn’t contain their excitement and danced with abandon!

As the evening wound down and the final act, Cassadee Pope, took the stage the non-profits and the food trucks began to pack up for the day. The children began to settle down, full and satisfied, and the event organizers were able to congratulate themselves on a job well done. All of the participants, attendees, and staff who came ended their day satisfied by wonderful music, delightful food, and knowing that they made a world a better place just by enjoying the day in the company of family, friends, and some great causes.

(Laura Evans is the Development Associate at FLOC.)

Partners “FLOC” to Serve DC Students

For Love of Children has been the fortunate recipient of two volunteer service days by our corporate partners at CEB and Deloitte. Both groups joined FLOC staff at our office to get prepped for our Summer Academy, which started on June 20th. There was a lot of cleaning and organizing, and each and every volunteer put in a lot of hard work with a smile.

Volunteer Service Days are vitally important to organizations like FLOC that rely on donations to get the supplies we need and on having enough hands to assist our small staff in keeping our facilities organized, cleaned, and maintained. Even though our space at FLOC is great, sometimes we get overcrowded with old and overly used items because we have hundreds of kids using every room and office (even the Executive Director’s) over the course of each year, and that can takes its toll on our facilities and the quality of our educational materials. It is important that every student that walks into FLOC’s doors walks into a welcoming environment, that every parent can walk in and see our past work and our achievements, and that every tutor can come in and find quality materials to teach their student right where they are supposed to be.


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CEB arrived at FLOC early on May 13th bright eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to help us out with some serious sprucing up the FLOC facilities. CEB’s incredible volunteers made some big, and very much needed, changes to our office. Not only did they donate furniture for several of our spaces, but since the furniture came in parts they even put it together for us. And the fun didn’t stop there! They broke out the hammer and put our accomplishments spanning FLOC’s 51 years of existence on our wall so that everyone who walks in can see the history of our mission. They even painted and rearranged our Executive Director’s office. For everyone’s sake, we didn’t keep any “before” pictures on that one!

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The CEB volunteers were even kind (and brave) enough to help us with our overcrowded program spaces and they threw away old furniture and other items that had been well-loved over the years by students. Creating space that can now be used by NTP students and their tutors and by the Scholars staff and students. It was hard work, and there was a lot of handwashing, but they powered through and made our space look fun and clean again.


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Deloitte came in on June 10th for their 6th consecutive Impact Day with FLOC, and they brought a full team of 18 people to help out. For all of their projects they had to put their organizational and creative skills to use. One group sorted out ALL of our closets and made us space where we didn’t know we had any. Now our staff can easily find what they are looking for and they can store more items that may have been crowding their offices before. Although FLOC does not condone hoarding, the Deloitte volunteers did find a few interesting items, such as a stapler from the 1960’s and a megaphone still in its box!

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Another group went through hundreds of donated books and our books that we already have in our library to determine which books were out of commission and which books would be perfect for our students to peruse. This was so helpful to our staff and tutors who want to provide the best reading material that they can for students, but don’t have the time to sift through the donations.

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Finally, we had a group working on a Career Board for our students. Part of FLOC’s mission is to get students focused on their futures. To help fulfill this need, Deloitte created a fantastic interactive career board that answered some of the bigger questions that students have about what it means to have a job and what they need to do to be prepared for a future career. Now every time a student walks down the hallway they can look at some great information and a wealth of experience from professionals who have already gone through the process of finding a career. Not to mention the board looks really cool!

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FLOC sincerely thanks all of these amazing volunteers from our partners at CEB and Deloitte who took time out of their own schedules to get us ready for our Summer Academy!

(Laura Evans is the Development Associate at FLOC.)



FLOC Invites you to Concert for a Cause!


Looking to enjoy music and family fun this summer while supporting For Love of Children (FLOC) and other nonprofits? Check out Concert4aCause for a charitable summer time event!

What is it?

For Love of Children (FLOC) is honored to be one of 12 nonprofits selected as a beneficiary from Acumen Solutions’ inaugural Concert4aCause (C4C) where music enthusiasts can enjoy a concert filled with talented musicians, family friendly activities, and great food and beverages. The headliners for C4C will be winner of The Voice season 3 Cassadee Pope, country group High Valley, popular party band Gonzo’s Nose, and renowned children’s band Rocknoceros. It is going to be a great event for great causes!

How can you help?

  • Click the links and find out more about the event and the nonprofits that you will be supporting.
  • Sign up! Join the fun and bring the family. Tickets are on sale now here
  • Spread the word about it to friends, colleagues, and family and make this a successful event that benefits a lot of great causes!

We hope to see you there this summer!


(Laura Evans is the Development Associate at FLOC.)

My Experience at FLOC (Libby’s Report)

Libby is a FLOC 8th grader and future journalist. She’s reporting to us today from the Saturday Afternoon Reading program. Here’s Libby:

Libby and Sarah Post Test 1Hello, my name is Libby, and I’m in the eighth grade. Today, I will be telling about my experience in FLOC and how it helps me learn.

This year, I have learned a lot in FLOC. I have improved in my vocabulary and in my reading in school. My teachers were really excited when I improved in my reading. I think FLOC is a great place for someone who needs help with reading or math. I also improved on my writing because my tutor Sarah and I do journaling. Journaling is when you have to pick a subject and write about it and then your tutor checks for any mistakes and how you can improve. I think improvements will help me because I want to become a journalist or a lawyer, but for each one you need reading and writing. FLOC is the best place to improve on reading or math.

My favorite memory of FLOC is when I met Sarah. Sarah was really nice to me when I met her and that was my favorite memory because it was the first time meeting someone from the government (Sarah works for government when she’s not volunteering). Sarah is really a understanding person. She’s nice, caring, radical, makes delicious cookies and is THE BEST TUTOR EVER!!! If Sarah is in FLOC next year I hope I’ll be with her again.

Libby and Sarah College Week

In conclusion, I think anyone who reads this should take my advice because FLOC is a great way to catch up to your education.