News, Scholars Program

Scholars Participate in Writing On Your Feet Workshop

Ann Randolph, writer, performer, and educator, came to FLOC on Thursday, February 6th to teach a creative workshop for 12 of our high school Scholars.  She facilitated large group and paired activities where students were able to use improvisation to explore emotions and conflict, as well to overcome their inner critic and transform ideas into performance.  The workshop provided an opportunity for our Scholars to discover and embrace all of who they are.  Every student who participated in this workshop left FLOC with a smile on their face!

(Jessie Garrett is a Scholars Program Instructor at FLOC).

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Development, News

FLOC Remembers Dabney Miller

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Dabney N. Miller passed away at his home on February 5, 2014 at the age of 81. He was part of the core group who helped lay the foundation for FLOC. Mr. Miller taught science in public high schools for 15 years. Living within close proximity to Washington, DC, he became aware of the many challenges facing urban youth.

In 1972, with the support of FLOC and the Church of the Saviour, Mr. Miller became the founding director of the FLOC Wilderness School, the precursor to the Outdoor Education Center, outside Strasburg, Virginia. Mr. Miller’s passion for nature and his commitment to empowering youth were paramount to the success of the FLOC Wilderness School.

He stayed active with FLOC by serving on the board that relocated the Wilderness School and constructed the FLOC Outdoor Education Center that is located in Harpers Ferry, WV today. Mr. Miller continued to give his time through onsite support.

The Dabney Miller Center at the OEC is where hundreds of students from DC and West Virginia gather each year to learn about the environment, their peers, and themselves.  Former founding Executive Director and FLOC Board Member, Fred Taylor, says that Mr. Miller should be remembered as one of FLOC’s early pioneers who helped shape the organization into what it is today. Mr. Miller will be remembered as an innovator in outdoor education for the students who have and will continue to benefit from his vision.

A memorial service celebrating Mr. Miller’s life was held on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at Harmony Grove Baptist Church, Topping, Virginia.

(Kate Fleischer is the Development Assistant at FLOC).

News

The News According to Nenis

Ask an adult what they want to be when they grow up. Odds are, they’ll stumble through an answer. Ask Nenis, a sixth grader in the Tuesday Night Reading program, and you’ll hear here confidently say “Journalist.” This newfound passion and interest for journalism is a result of her tutor’s ability to connect her work as a journalist with FLOC’s reading curriculum. Janet, her tutor, works in journalism and has found several creative and engaging ways to share her expertise with Nenis, all while helping her practice vital reading skills.

After she reads a non-fiction text, Nenis will carefully synthesize what she’s read into a script. Then, she presents the news in her best newscaster voice.  She’s charming and informative. Her scripts are witty, and she’s hard at work finding her signature sign-off. This certainly isn’t the last you’ll be hearing from Nenis. For now, we’ll leave you with this report, recently recorded at the FLOC offices.

(Cody Laminack is the NTP Program Manager at FLOC).

Neighborhood Tutoring Program, News, Tutor Perspectives

Malik and Me: Adventures in Reading and Writing with FLOC

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When I moved to Washington, DC in June 2012, I wanted to volunteer with an organization in the area where I could work one-on-one with someone to have a sense of consistency and to have a more tangible grasp on how my time was making a difference.  When I found FLOC, through the recommendation of a friend-of-a-friend, it was icing on the cake that I found an organization where I would not only serve my community, but also strengthen my skills in curriculum development and lesson planning.

The first day I met Malik, I knew FLOC had made a great match.  We completed the getting-to-know-you worksheets in his guidebook and learned about the countries and places we wanted to visit and our favorite subjects in school.  I learned that Malik had visited my hometown, Virginia Beach, and that he likes to go fishing with his grandfather.  I shared some stories from my time in Mali, where I served for close to four years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and Malik told me about the West African drumming he does in school.  Who knew that I would find so much in common with a 6th grade boy?

Four months later, I still look forward to every Tuesday evening when Malik and I meet at FLOC headquarters for two hours in Adams Morgan.  We use a curriculum guide to get his reading and writing up to his grade level and a vocabulary workbook to improve Malik’s store of words.  We’ll read aloud, or silently, from one of his favorite books, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and we usually wrap up our sessions with a rousing game of Connect Four or Monopoly.  I love learning more about Malik and seeing him flourish as a student.  I think he likes having two hours of undivided attention and seeing his reading and writing improve so much.

It’s already early February and Malik and I only have a couple more months together before summer break.  As I look ahead, I hope that we can maintain the momentum we’ve had thus far and continue to enjoy our time together as much as it seems we both have.  I continue to learn from Malik about what it means to be a sensitive, curious and joyful person and I hope I can share some of my qualities with Malik, too.  When I moved to Washington, DC I wanted to be able to see how my time was making an impact.  It’s such a treat to work with Malik and see the results of our hard work right in front of me with a smile on his face – and mine!

(Jennifer Bangoura is a tutor in the Tuesday Night Reading program).