Monthly Archives: November 2013

Scholars in the Workplace – will you host a Scholar this year?

Each year, FLOC’s high school Scholars participate in the Scholars in the Workplace program.  This project aims to provide our students with critical career exposure to help them identify possible areas of interest, meet successful professionals in a variety of career fields and give them the chance to experience different workplace environments.  We’re currently working to round up a list of potential host sites for our students, and we hope you can help us.

Being a host site can include many different things, including taking the student(s) on an office tour or to a meeting with you, having them work on a sample project with you, having a conversation about your educational and career path with them, helping them with their resume and/or reviewing your resume with them.  Students can come for half a day or a full day, depending on your schedule.

Sadiah, Meredith and Dominic at Maga Design.

Sadiah, Meredith and Dominic at Maga Design.

If you or anyone you know (please feel free to share this info broadly if you think you know others who might be interested!  It’s basically the easiest volunteer opportunity ever— you don’t even have to leave your office!) the next step is to fill out our initial interest survey so we can identify whether we have students who are interested in your field.  This is an ongoing program, so we pair students with host sites throughout the school year and summer.  So while we may not get back to you immediately, we will be in touch as soon as we have a student who would be a good fit for your workplace.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our College Access Coordinator Kim Davis (kdavis@floc.org) anytime.

Luis and Marc-BBC2

Marc and Luis at BBC America studios.

Twelfth-grade Scholars and Their Coaches Prepare for College Application Process

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As our 12th grade Scholars are finishing their last winter semester in high school, a team of dedicated coaches set out to make the college process less stressful for our students. During our Wednesday Night programming, Scholars are paired with a coach to walk through the challenging process of college applications and
scholarships.

We wish the best to our 12th-graders and their coaches and we will check with them again in the spring to see how they are navigating this transitional year together.

(Dominique Winfrey is the Post-Secondary Success Assistant at FLOC).

Meet Kate: The New AmeriCorps VISTA Member at the OEC

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The Outdoor Education Center (OEC) welcomes our brand new AmeriCorps VISTA, Kate Nelson. Kate grew up on the South Side of Chicago and ventured here this past summer to work as a counselor/naturalist with our West Virginia and DC students. Kate received her bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Western Illinois University in the spring of 2012 where she also worked at Horn Field Campus Challenge Course.

In the past, Kate worked at McDonough County Special Recreation Association as a Young Adult Summer Camp counselor where she was able to utilize her degree in therapeutic recreation. Kate’s favorite outdoor activities are sea kayaking, hiking, and playing Frisbee, and she hopes to spend tons of time on the rivers here in West Virginia.

Her favorite food is Honeycrisp apples and she describes herself as a positive, passionate, and adventurous person! Kate’s goal as an OEC VISTA is to “engage children in a fun and exciting setting while teaching lessons on health, the community and all sorts of great opportunities this world has to offer.”

(Sarah Nowicki is an AmeriCorps Vista at FLOC’s Outdoor Education Center).

Meet Jessica Call

Jessica - tutor Oct 2013-edited

For Jessica, being a tutor is nothing new, as she previously volunteered at the Boys & Girls Club of her hometown in Kentucky.  While there, Jessica read to the kids using materials that she borrowed from her mom, who was a reading teacher and always instilled in her the importance of education.

After learning about the District of Columbia’s low high school graduation rate, Jessica decided to look for programs in which she could give a hand to improve the situation.  That is how she came across FLOC.  “There are too many children in DC who don’t get the educational opportunities or support they deserve; FLOC has a good program for addressing this problem and I’d like to help contribute,” Jessica said.

Since Jessica started volunteering in the Saturday Afternoon Reading Program in early October, she has been helping Christina – a “very sweet and fun” girl who “works hard in the lessons and really likes to draw.”  Every Saturday, Jessica tutors Christina for two hours to help improve her reading skills.

When asked to share a memorable experience she has had thus far while tutoring, Jessica said she felt very proud “when Christina passed the first test and said that it was easy.”  For Jessica, having a curriculum to follow has been very helpful as it “gives more structure.”  Jessica added that she is “really impressed with FLOC and the help they provide to the kids and I am glad to be a part of it.”

Another attribute that makes tutoring at FLOC a unique experience for Jessica is seeing how engaged FLOC parents are.  After the tutoring session is done, Jessica occasionally talks with Christina’s parents about how the lesson went.  Jessica really values chatting with Christina’s parents as she considers that the parent involvement plays an important role in determining a student’s success.

At FLOC we are very happy to have Jessica with us this school year.  We thank all of the tutors that, like Jessica, invest their time and dedication to help us make a difference in the lives of our students.

(Lisvette García is the Bilingual Recruitment and Outreach Associate at FLOC).

Students and Families Enjoy a Friendly Evening at Butler’s Orchard

Students and their families enjoy the hayride at Butler's Orchard.  Picture taken by Mike Stagnitta, Director of Marketing at The Meltzer Group.

Students and their families enjoy the hayride at Butler’s Orchard.
(Photo by: Mike Stagnitta, Director of Marketing at The Meltzer Group)

Last month, we all took a trip to Butler’s Orchard, courtesy of The Meltzer Group. The trip was a lot of fun! Before we departed FLOC on our way to the pumpkin patch, the families were excited to spend time getting to know each other as they waited for the bus. They enjoyed having the opportunity to chat about their lives and their children outside of the formal events we have at FLOC. The students, on the other hand, used the time to play games like Monopoly, Connect 4, Life, and their version of an office environment.

The fact that they became so comfortable and friendly with one another before the trip helped when assigning folks to different groups. My main goal in forming groups of families was to ensure that every child and parent was accounted for before and during our trip. However, I did not realize that because they had spent so much time together before the trip, the groups helped families get to know each other on a more personal level.

(Photo by: Mike Stagnitta, Director of Marketing at The Meltzer Group)

(Photo by: Mike Stagnitta, Director of Marketing at The Meltzer Group)

Once we arrived, we were greeted by the very friendly staff of The Meltzer Group and Butler’s Orchard. They welcomed us with delicious hot dogs, apples, baked goods, beverages, and smiles! We also had an opportunity to make s’mores and warm up by the two fire pits that were closest to us. After eating, we took a fun hayride trip around the orchard, which ended up being creepier than we had anticipated.

The families and I were extremely grateful to have the opportunity to attend this event, and we look forward to attending it next year!

(Aurin Agramonte is the NTP Bilingual Program Coordinator at  FLOC). 

Do Not Let the Boat Sink!

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Seventh-grade Scholars work together on a fun activity where they had to design an aluminum foil boat that will hold the most amount of pennies.

For Love of Children (FLOC) 7th grade Scholars curriculum focuses on teamwork, goal setting and preparing for the future. This past week our students worked on a team-building icebreaker. Given only a 6” by 6” piece of aluminum foil, the seventh-graders showed off their careful planning and goal setting skills by competing to construct a boat that would hold the largest amount of cents without sinking. While the winners triumphed with a whopping 45 pennies, all of the Scholars worked hard to strategically craft their boats with creativity and enthusiasm.

(Celestina Lee is a Scholars Program Instructor at FLOC).

Leaders In Action Students Learn about Physical Wellness

LIA students participate of the agility section of the physical fitness test.

Leaders In Action (LIA) students participate on the agility section of a physical fitness test.

The Leaders In Action (LIA) students from West Virginia recently completed their first lesson from the curriculum on the seven dimensions of health. While involved in this unit, focused on physical wellness, the students participated in many interactive and educational activities to reinforce the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Students craft a heart pump with straws, water, and a jar

Students work together to create a heart pump with straws, water, and a jar.

Students learned about the risks of cardiovascular disease by crafting a heart pump with straws, water, and a jar. Students were also able to witness the effects that poor health has on the heart by developing clogged arteries using water, straws, and Crisco oil. During a meeting in October, we focused on testing our taste buds, learning about carbohydrates and proteins, trying healthy food options, experimenting with portion sizes, and examining a human body energy simulation. To get the students moving, during every meeting we played an active game such as ultimate frisbee and tag.

This fall we had two guest speakers: Dr. Mark Cucuzella and Dr. Josh Miller. Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, a local family doctor, marathon runner and owner of a minimalist footwear store, provided our students with a running clinic and lesson on simple nutrition prior to the Freedom’s Run. Our second guest speaker, a local physical therapist, Dr. Josh Miller, administered one of the three rounds of physical fitness tests based on five activities. Students’ results were documented and will be used to compare their improvement in January and May.

Another addition to LIA this year has been our monthly weekend programs. Students visited the Outdoor Education Center (OEC) in October to focus on the basics of gardening. While learning about our new 4-season greenhouse and grow lab, students planted vegetables and made their own biodegradable starter pots.

Students play "Pin the Bone".

Students play “Pin the Bone on the Body” while learning about human anatomy.

To celebrate the fall season, students celebrated with a “Leaders In Action Fall Party” based on anatomy. Students learned about the human body by playing “Simon Says- Muscle Edition” and “Pin the Bone on the Body.” Students also learned about organs and other body parts by blindly guessing which food represented the correct body part.  Our next unit will be social wellness. As the year progresses, students will continue to participate in activities to learn more about the seven dimensions of health.

(Sarah Nowicki is an AmeriCorps Vista at FLOC’s Outdoor Education Center).