Neighborhood Tutoring Program, Scholars Program, Student Spotlight

Meet Ashley

Ashley is a lively, ambitious seventh grader, returning to FLOC for her second year in the Scholars program and her fifth year of tutoring. When she first came to FLOC, Ashley was quiet and reluctant to answer questions in school. Today, she says that her FLOC tutors and workshops have given her more confidence and made her excited to participate in class. “It’s great to raise my hand and know I have the right answer,” she said, grinning.

Ashley Ramirez

When asked what she’s most excited about doing in the 7th grade Scholars workshop this year, Ashley said that she’s looking forward to making new friends and learning skills that will help her succeed in school. The excitement in her voice was evident as she continued to explain that she wants to become a veterinarian for small animals one day. “My family helped nurse a baby bird back to health this summer, and I loved caring for it. Don’t you think it would be really fun to get paid to care for animals all day?”

Ashley’s other career aspiration is to become a teacher, because she would like to help other kids learn to read and gain confidence in school, just like FLOC has done for her. Ashley has many other hobbies, including playing volleyball for her school, but coming to FLOC remains one of her favorite activities. “FLOC is just the best,” she exclaimed, as her mother arrived to pick her up. “Can you write that down too?”

We’re looking forward to having Ashley back for another great year at FLOC!

(Samantha Bailey is the Bilingual Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator.)

Advertisements
Outdoor Education Center

Welcome, new summer OEC counselors!

Every June, we at FLOC’s Outdoor Education Center welcome our new summer staff of counselors.  It’s an exciting and challenging time for all of us as they are run through an intensive training schedule 2 and a half weeks long that prepares them for co-facilitating our FLOC kids camps.

During this time, they end up covering everything from “hard skills” such as safety and techniques on our High Ropes course, canoeing on the Shenandoah River, or backpacking on the Blue Ridge to the ever important “soft skills” like facilitating groups of students through the Low Ropes course challenges, helping groups to think about and learn from their experiences, and building confidence and rapport with our campers through a positive culture of interactions.

Natalie pic 1

This year we are welcoming Natalie Pickett as one of our new summer staff counselors.  Natalie comes all the way from Birmingham, AL.  She attended Louisiana State University and just graduated with a degree in Child and Family Studies and a minor in Business.  She brings 3 years of experience working with 6th through 8th graders in an afterschool program during her time in college.

Being from the south, this summer Natalie is excited to explore and learn about a new place and appreciate the cultural, social, and environmental differences.  She is especially looking forward to bonding with our camp youth and watching many of them experience something new.   “This,” she says, “is the reason I took this job.”  In addition to her gifts and passion for music, guitar, and singing, she is also very interested in social issues, particularly that of social justice.  In the future, she’ll be pursuing a career in non-profit management where she looks forward to working with at-risk youth, underserved populations, and the homeless.

A big welcome to Natalie and all of our new summer staff.

(Josh Evans is the Program Assistant for FLOC’s Outdoor Education Center in WV) 

Events, Neighborhood Tutoring Program, News, Scholars Program

Recognition Event Recap

On Friday May 29th, FLOC held its annual recognition event at the Woman’s National Democratic Club to celebrate all the amazing work our students, families, volunteers, and staff accomplished throughout the year. 11th grade Scholars Ghelatia and Johanna emceed, and FLOC staff gave out special awards to students and volunteers in four different categories: Visionary, Unity, Champion, and Empower.

10463039_10152862121706806_5222525444364736984_n

The Visionary Award celebrates students and volunteers who have a specific goal, a vision for the future, and have identified paths toward that objective.

NTP Student: Giselle
Scholars Student: Demarro
Volunteer: Gerald Mason

The Unity Award celebrates the people at FLOC who demonstrate exceptional relationship building or mentoring skills.

NTP Student: Valerie
Scholars Student: Jenny
Volunteer: Judith Blagrove
Student and Tutor Pair: Delchristoff and Jason Aiken.

10441229_10152862120231806_1935655132728649686_n

The Champion Award recognizes students and volunteers who are dedicated and committed to their program.

NTP Student: Wesley
Scholars Student: Joel
Volunteers: Bridgette and EJ Palmer

11329785_10152862120866806_8241727016059780663_n

The Empower awards are given to people who embody all of FLOC’s values. They go above and beyond in whatever their role is.

Partner: Acumen Solutions
Staff: Kimberly Davis
Family: The Ortiz Family
NTP Student and Scholars Student: A’Tyra
NTP Student and Scholars Student: Maura
Volunteer: Elese Sizemore

FLOC also recognized our 8th graders in Scholars and tutoring for an exciting time in their lives. They are all halfway toward completing their postsecondary degrees! To celebrate FLOC put together some High School Survival Kits. The kits included a FLOC notebook, a FLOC water bottle, a folder they could take on college tours, pens, pencils, and candy.

The night ended with time for chatting, eating food, playing games, and taking pictures at the FLOC photo booth. FLOC is excited to see what our students, families, and volunteers will accomplish in the future!

10426354_10152862123266806_4371224136071070925_n

(Tamarae Hildebrandt is an NTP Site Coordinator.)

Events, Neighborhood Tutoring Program, News

FLOC Students Attend BeyGOOD Pep Rally

On Friday, August 22, Beyoncé’s philanthropic initiative #BeyGOOD and the Brooklyn-based backpack company STATE Bags partnered with DC Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA) to provide elementary school children from under-resourced communities a back-to-school pep rally. The event took place at Turner Elementary School where 250 children from across the city joined together for a high-energy “Pep Rally for Good” culminating in the students receiving custom-made backpacks and school supplies. The event was part of the #BEYGOODxSTATE “Give Back Pack Program” happening in five other cities along the East Coast.

FLOC’s Neighborhood Tutoring Program sent 15 families to the “Pep Rally for Good” where they enjoyed music, food, and the opportunity to get the essential school supplies their children needed to start off a new school year free of charge!

beygood davis

This photo highlights one of our FLOC families that attended the event. Davis is a rising 4th grade student who has participated in the Saturday Math program for the past couple of years. Last year alone, he was able to master Carrying in Addition and worked steadily on learning Regrouping in Subtraction. His younger brother, a rising Kindergarten student, also received a book-bag and supplies. We wish them both the best of luck this school year, and we are sure they will put the supplies they received to good use!

(Aurin Agramonte is the Neighborhood Tutoring Program’s Bilingual Program Coordinator, and Kate Fleischer is the Development Associate.)

Development, News

The Spirit of the Season at FLOC

IMG_2236-1212

I love this time of year for many reasons – one of which is definitely NOT the frigid temperatures! I love it because of the time I get to spend with my loved ones, relaxing and recharging after what is most often a busy year that’s gone by too fast.  I also love it because I find this time of year to be one of the most generous times: a time when people capture the true spirit of the season – realizing it is truly better to give than to receive.

There are few things better than picking out the perfect gift for someone, volunteering your time at a local nonprofit, or opening your checkbook to help support those groups in need. I see this same generosity and spirit in FLOC’s generous gift drive when donors purchase gifts so that every single one of our students has a gift this holiday.  I also see it in the generous FLOC donors who continue to donate year after year. To them, and to all of you who do the same this time of year and beyond, thank you!

At For Love of Children we’re also ready for some rest and relaxation! Our staff is busy wrapping up program before the holidays and reflecting on the successes of the year, while looking towards the year to come.  A lot has happened in the world around us in the past year on local, national, and international levels. But, no matter what has happened around us, all of us at FLOC are reminded that our work is critical to the children and families of this city.

For Love of Children was founded in 1965 by a community of volunteers who heeded a call to action. They joined one another, united in a sense of hope and motivated by a common mission.  Throughout FLOC’s 48-year history, we have been guided by the core values of our founders: to help children thrive and to offer them the educational opportunities they deserve. We still come together as a community united by hope, dedicated to the belief that individuals, working together, can bring about lasting and meaningful change.

Although I don’t interact with our students on a daily basis, the stories I hear inspire me to keep coming to work each day.  Stories like that of Aliyah, a current 8th grader, who provides an example of what can be achieved through hard work and focus. Everyone who worked with her saw her determination and drive to really “buckle down” and work.  She moved through the curriculum at an impressive rate, passing 13 lessons over the course of 6 weeks – her tutor had to work hard just to keep up with her! When the dust settled, she had made almost two years improvement in her fluency skills, and nearly three years of improvement in her general calculation abilities. Aliyah is focused on what she needs to do in order to find academic success, and FLOC is ensuring that she gets there!

Aliyah is just one of the nearly 600 students we work with each year. However, we can’t do this work alone. So, during this special season of giving, we’re asking you to join us in continuing to help students like Aliyah, and all of the students we work with at FLOC, realize their own potential all year long. If you’re interested in making a donation and joining us in our work, click here. You can also mail us a check or call Ellie Haga at 202-349-3500 to make a donation over the phone.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my thankfulness for the amazing staff and volunteers that also help to make our work possible. So, on behalf of all of the students, families, and staff at For Love of Children, we send warm wishes for the happiest of holidays and a safe and healthy New Year.

(Ellie Haga is the Operations Manager at FLOC).