Thursday night math program at FLOC has some of our most energetic and outspoken students. From the time they arrive in the student room to snack time to dismissal, our students are excited to learn and play with their tutors. I have had the pleasure of serving as site coordinator upstairs with our middle school and high school students. It has been a great experience watching them advance in the curriculum and bond with their tutors. Last week I asked a few of our students what their favorite part of program is. I was both surprised and amused by their answers…
“I love snack time and playing math games with my tutor. I also like when she [my tutor] lets me show her my new cheerleading moves.” -Nicole, 5th grade
“I like talking to my tutor and Felise and Ms. Queen… even when they tell me to get to work.” -Paola, 8th grade
“I like trashketball. I like football. I like when my tutor or sub is young enough to play.” -Gerald, 6th grade
“I like playing Uno and Connect Four with my tutor. We get to play more when I pass a test, so I guess I like that too.” -Henry, 7th grade
“I like the gifts we get from FLOC for Christmas, and I like talking to my tutor.” -Sanaa, 6th grade
(Felise Ortiz is a Neighborhood Tutoring Program site coordinator for 3 programs, including Thursday Night Math.)
Alex, 7 years old, is a first grader at Garrison Elementary School and a first year NTP student at FLOC. He is very excited to be at FLOC to learn new things, specifically math, although sometimes he wishes he can just goof around with the other kids in the program.
Alex was asked what is one thing he loved about FLOC, and his answer was his tutor Jeff. Alex thinks his tutor is so cool and smart, and he is thankful for the help that he has provided for him.
During his free time, Alex enjoys playing outside and reading a lot of different books.
(Jacqueline Castaneda is the Bilingual Recruitment and Outreach Associate.)
“What’s a New Year’s resolution? Anyone know?” I asked our animated 6th grade Scholars.
“But it’s a fake goal! My mom says they always get broken,” another Scholar offered.
A debate about what a New Year’s resolution is quickly ensued, and we decided a New Year’s resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit, and is generally meant to last for the whole year. One Scholar shared it’s important to think about what you want 2015 to be so you’ll have a better chance of achieving it. Building upon this, our Scholars brainstormed academic, athletic and/or extra-curricular, and personal goals for 2015. Through dialoging and journaling, Scholars decided what is most important for them to work on this year and shared with their peers.
Each Scholar received a paper “brick” to artistically portray their New Year’s resolutions. Next, we collaboratively created a “6th Grade Scholars Wall of Resolve.” Our community of Scholars proudly taped their resolutions on the Wall of Resolve, squealing with delight as they read each other’s goals. One Scholar resolved to learn more in Robotics Club while another vowed to help out more at home and “shine bright like a diamond” in 2015. Each Scholar’s unique brick was pieced together with the others to make a giant puzzle of goals and dreams. Happy New Year from our Scholars community!
(Kayla Blau is the Scholars Program Instructor for the 6th and 9th grades.)
The 12th Grade Scholars are halfway through their final year in high school. Our Scholars are full of excitement as they begin to think about the final moments they get to spend with their high school friends. Many of them have already started thinking about prom and senior trip. All of them are thinking about the next chapter in their live – higher education.
We have had the fortunate news of hearing back from some schools students applied to in the fall. Our Scholars have received letters of acceptance from the following institutions: The University of the District of Columbia, Montgomery College, Old Dominion University, Quinnipiac University, Albright University, York College, Trinity Washington University, Mary Baldwin College, Temple University, and St. Joseph’s University.
The Scholars have not stopped submitting their application since the beginning of the year and have started on applying to scholarships. Our Scholars and FLOC are looking forward to receiving more letter of acceptance this spring.
(Joseph Peralta is the Postsecondary Success Coordinator with the FLOC Scholars Program.)
On December 17th, FLOC students and parents gathered at George Washington University’s Funger Hall for our annual College Night. After snacks, drinks, and conversation, everyone headed to a college fair. It was a joy to see our middle and high school students interact with our alumni and postsecondary students, who took time out of their winter break to represent their college or university. These empowering connections are the best of what FLOC has to offer. Students and parents alike left the event with more pamphlets than they could carry!
After the fair, students, alumni, and parents went to various workshops designed to prepare each of them for their next step on the path toward postsecondary and career success. These interactive sessions were based on this year’s theme: “Get Ready! Mapping Your Journey to Success.” These participant-driven conversations were facilitated by FLOC staff, helping to tie substantive information to the enthusiasm sparked by the college fair. Everyone went home with college brochures and workshop handouts to match their excitement and energy about getting ready for college… and also some special treats! We wrapped up the night with a raffle, giving away movie theater gift cards and more, and everyone left with candy for good measure.
Thanks to all who came and spent the first part of their holiday season with us at FLOC!
(Jasmine Cornell is the Scholars Program Instructor for 8th and 10th grades and served on the planning committee for this year’s College Night.)
Students, tutors, and parents were all invited to celebrate the holidays during our last day of program before break. Our friends at the Meltzer Group have thrown a holiday party for FLOC students at least since 1997, and this year the tradition continued. Employees from this insurance company came to FLOC to celebrate with our students in the Saturday morning math and afternoon reading tutoring programs on December 13th.
The Meltzer Group team set up three different rooms with all kinds of activities for the kids to do with their tutors or parents. The kids made ornaments, snowman soup, and keychains. The student’s favorite room was definitely filled with food! Everyone enjoyed eating lots of pizza, while watching the students decorate cupcakes with globs of frosting and candy. In addition to all the chatting and laughing, students heard live holiday music from a saxophonist. He played many different songs and encouraged students and staff to sing along.
Before the students left FLOC for break, they received a present ranging from books, dolls, and gift cards to celebrate all their hard work during the fall semester. Many of the students also took home some pizza and extra cupcakes to share with their families!
(Tamarae Hildebrandt is an NTP Site Coordinator. She works in the Wednesday afternoon program at Tyler Elementary and the Saturday morning and afternoon programs at FLOC.)
Mark Fabros serves as a tutor with the FLOC Neighborhood Tutoring Program. In this role, he tutors high school student Bryant on Saturday mornings in Math.
This is Mark’s second school year tutoring with FLOC. He heard about FLOC through his girlfriend, who knew he wanted to volunteer in math tutoring. Mark has always enjoyed and been good at math, so he felt it was important to help improve students’ math skills. Mark feels that a big problem this country is currently facing is income inequality, which is driven by inequality of educational outcomes.
Mark enjoys seeing his students persevere through concepts they struggle with and ultimately make progress. “It’s even rewarding to see how they learn from their mistakes when they don’t pass the test the first time around.”
Bryant, Mark’s student this year, is the oldest student Mark has worked with since joining FLOC, and so they relate to each other easily. Bryant is really smart, works hard, and is always anxious to learn something new. They are currently working on multiplication with larger numbers, and Bryant is doing well, so he and Mark are very excited to be moving onto long division soon.
(Vanessa Hanible is the Recruitment and Outreach Associate.)