Development, Events, News

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.

CEB

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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.

Deloitte

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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.)

 

 

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Outdoor Education Center

Throwback Thursday: November’s Wee Warrior Dash in West Virginia

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It was a cold (but not too windy) Saturday morning in November. About 200 kids and adults gathered at the Sam Michaels Park in Jefferson County for the Wee Warrior Dash. Some of the staff here at FLOC’s Outdoor Education Center voluntarily help to organize and put on the free event for kids, and we invited any of our after school program kids to join us for the fun. This year, Iann and David, two of our Leaders in Action students, adventurously came out for the morning excitement.

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Not only did they receive t-shirts and goodie bags, but the real enticement of the mile long youth race are the obstacles, lots of them. David, Iann, and the other 120+ wee warriors climbed, jumped, crawled, hurdled, and zig-zagged through a dozen different fun physical features. I interviewed David well after the race and asked him how it was and he said, “It was challenging but not too challenging. I enjoyed the obstacles the most.”

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David has been in our program for a couple years now, but this year he has been faithfully coming to the optional Running Club portion every chance he gets. He’s been working hard and has even started doing more on his own outside of the club. Checking back in with David a couple months after the race I asked him if he was still running at home some. “Yes, about once or twice a week for about 15 minutes in my backyard,” he says. “It has a hill and trees that you have to weave around kind of like obstacles.”

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“Would you do it again?” I ask. Without hesitation David answers, “Yes.” That’s the real goal for such an event like the Wee Warrior Dash or our running club. It’s challenging and fun, and we aim to inspire more kids to learn to enjoy physically exerting themselves for the sake of their health, enjoyment, and confidence knowing that they can overcome all sorts of challenging obstacles if they just try their best. We are certainly proud of Iann and David for giving it their best that day.

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

Neighborhood Tutoring Program, Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Mark

MarkFabrosMark 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.)

Neighborhood Tutoring Program, Staff

Meet Our New NTP Staff!

Last month, the Neighborhood Tutoring Program welcomed three new AmeriCorps members to the team. They will serve as the site coordinators for our programs for the school year. Here is a little bit more about each of them and what brought them to FLOC.

FeliseFelise Ortiz
(Tuesday reading at WNDC, Thursday math at FLOC)

Felise comes to us from New Jersey, where she graduated from Rutgers with degrees in Political Science and Gender Studies, with a minor in Spanish. After graduation, she looked into AmeriCorps programs because she wanted service experience to help her find her passion and direction for pursuing higher education. During her time studying Political Science, she developed an interest in educational justice, which brought her to FLOC (via Notre Dame Mission Volunteers AmeriCorps). She is excited to learn about non-profits and how they run. However, she is most looking forward to seeing the growth of the students over the course of the school year. Outside of FLOC, she is getting used to life in Washington, DC and wants to learn about all the different neighborhoods that DC has. She also wouldn’t mind a Barack Obama sighting.

TamaraeTamarae Hildebrandt

(Wednesday math at Tyler Elementary, Saturday math and reading at FLOC)

Tamarae is originally from Faribault, MN (about an hour south of Minneapolis-St. Paul) and graduated from Carleton College with degrees in German and Linguistics. This is her second year doing AmeriCorps; she spent last year working with the Minnesota Reading Corps. She is hoping to pursue an advanced degree in Linguistics next year so she has enjoyed having these gap years to learn more about different organizations. For her second year, she wanted to explore a new city and to take on more of a manager role with volunteers and students, which is what brought her to FLOC (also via Notre Dame Mission Volunteers AmeriCorps). She is most excited to meet all of the students and volunteers and see how all the different personalities come together. Outside of FLOC, she is looking forward to taking advantage of all the Smithsonian museums, specifically the Air and Space Museum.

Brandon2Brandon Scates

(Tuesday reading at FLOC, Thursday reading at Tubman Elementary, Saturday reading at SE Tennis and Learning Center)

Brandon joins us from Chicago, Illinois, where he graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in African American Studies. He focused his studies on Civil Rights organizations and leaders as well as Black Panther Party Survival programs. He is in second year with AmeriCorps, having spent last year with City Year at Kelly Miller Middle School in Northeast DC. During his first year of service he realized that he has a passion for helping develop and mentor youth, so he decided to spend another year learning more about organizational development and coordinating programs for an education non-profit. This brought him to FLOC (via Public Allies). He is looking forward to learning more about the ins and outs of non-profit work; he hopes to one day run his own. He is eager to meet the students and volunteers and is excited to develop relationships with the members of his programs. Outside of FLOC, you can find him spending his time at Busboys and Poets or the MLK Library in Chinatown.

(Lauren Phipps is the NTP Curriculum Coordinator and site supervisor for our program on Tuesday nights at the WNDC.)

Scholars Program, Staff

Meet Our New Scholars Staff!

Every year, FLOC welcomes staff members from a variety of different programs, in a variety of different positions, for a year of service.  Today, we’re excited to introduce the new staff members in our Scholars Program.

kaylaKayla Blau is the Program Instructor for 6th and 9th Grade Scholars and is from Seattle, Washington.  She attended Seattle University and comes to FLOC through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.  Kayla is excited about getting to know FLOC Scholars and helping them organize around issues they care about.


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Jasmine Cornell is the Program Instructor for the 8th and 10th Grade Scholars and is from Los Angeles, California.  She attended Spelman College and comes to FLOC through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps.  Jasmine is excited to get to know her Scholars.

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Kurt Guenther is the Program Instructor for 7th and 11th Grade Scholars and is from Phoenix, Arizona.  He attended Gonzaga University and also comes to FLOC through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.  Kurt is excited to see the growth of his Scholars throughout the school year.

ianIan McPherson is the Program Instructor for 12th Grade Scholars and is from
Whiteville, North Carolina.  He attended Campbell University and Saint Louis University and comes to FLOC through Discipleship Year.  Ian is excited to celebrate postsecondary acceptance letters.