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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Neighborhood Tutoring Program

Jubilee Thursdays

February was the start of the math program at Jubilee Housing. FLOC has had a relationship with Jubilee Housing and its youth services programming for many years. This started with Jubilee referring students, then progressed to hosting a program onsite. This is the second year that FLOC has been able to take a math tutoring program to Jubilee during the spring semester.

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Last week during program, one of the tutors, Jason, asked his student, Richard, if he would like to play trashketball after he took a practice timed test. In response, Richard pulled out his backpack… which just happened to have a basketball hoop inside of it. Throughout the night the kids and tutors would take turns playing basketball. A couple of the students are on math fact units and are studying to take a fluency test. In order to make studying more fun and just little competitive, the tutors decided they would play H.O.R.S.E. Before they could shoot, students had to answer a question first. The game got a little competitive between students and tutors, but of course, the students won!

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Incorporating games and activities into tutoring like this allows the students to stay more engaged and makes learning more interactive.

(Nicole Morgenstern is an NTP site coordinator. This spring, she’s supervising the Thursday tutoring program at Jubilee Housing.)

Neighborhood Tutoring Program, News

Welcome to Savoy!

This school year at FLOC has been the start of a new partnership with Savoy Elementary in Anacostia. While this is a smaller program it allows us to work in a school to help kids who may not otherwise be able to make it to the FLOC office. With FLOC being during Savoy’s after school program, the kids are already out of class by the time we get there and there are always a couple kids waiting excited. There are very few things better in tutoring than seeing kids excited for tutoring.

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One student in particular is not the biggest fan of reading but her tutor decided that one way to get her more interested in reading was to have her create her own story. Each week they spend time working on the story making sure she has proper grammar and that the story is making sense. This has allowed her to grow her own sense of creative thinking and help the tutor discover more about what she is interested in. Seeing all of the different ways to get these kids to learn without them necessarily feeling like they are in standard classroom  has been a lot of fun.  Not only are these kids enjoying the one on one contact but the tutors are having a lot of fun getting to know the kids and learning what works and doesn’t work.

There are four months left in the school year and it will be interesting to see how much these students improve in this time and how that directly affect their grades and progress in school.

(Nicole Morgenstern is an NTP site coordinator, working with FLOC’s tutoring programs on Tuesdays and Thursdays and on Wednesday afternoons at Savoy Elementary.)

GW Interns/Tutors, Neighborhood Tutoring Program, News, Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Tom and Jess: Tutors & Team Leaders

For nearly 20 years, FLOC has had an invaluable partnership with George Washington University’s DC Reads program, a program of the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service. Through this partnership, GW students (both volunteers and federal work study employees) are placed as tutors in nonprofits like FLOC. This year,  more than 30 GW DC Reads tutors are placed at FLOC.

Tom Guettler and Jess Williams are serving this year as team leaders for FLOC through the DC Reads program, and they both tutor reading at FLOC during the week.

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How did you first become involved with For Love of Children?

Tom: I first heard about FLOC through Community Building Community, which is a pre-orientation program for freshman at GW. FLOC sounded like a great way to get involved in the DC community, and some of the guides had great things to say about DC reads as a whole!

Jess: I was looking for a way to get involved in community service when I came to GW, and some friends told me about DC Reads! From there, I chose to work with FLOC, because I was shocked that a city as educated as Washington, DC still has such a high illiteracy rate among children.

What does being a DC Reads Team Leader entail? What do you enjoy about it?

Tom: Generally speaking, we help promote FLOC and generate student interest. Jess and I are also here to be a resource for the GW students who work at FLOC. We help students with their federal work-study arrangements, rescheduling trainings, and facilitate contacting the FLOC office.

Jess: I really enjoy being a resource for students, and having people come to me for help! As coordinators, we also host events within the GW FLOC community. We’ll have movie nights where we share food and watch an educational film, and recently we had a reflection event. Students brought food, and we spent the afternoon discussing out tutoring experiences and sharing stories.

Speaking of reflection, do you have a favorite FLOC memory?

Tom: Last winter, my schedule changed and I wasn’t going to be able to tutor the same student anymore. After I had told both my student and site-coordinator, I ended up changing classes, and was able to return on the same day the following semester. My student was expecting to have a new tutor, and he was excited when I showed up! The coordinator had not told him I was returning, and it meant a lot to know that he cared about having me as a tutor, specifically.

Jess: My story is similar! Last year, I was explaining to my student that I had to go home for summer break. She became a little upset, and repeatedly said she would miss me, asking why I had to leave. I hadn’t realized how close we had become in such a short amount of time, but it meant a lot that she cared whether or not I was there.

Imagine you have sixty seconds to convince someone to tutor with FLOC. What do you say?

Tom: Do it! Tutoring with FLOC has changed the preconceived notions I had about non-profits–FLOC is well-organized, easy to work with, and makes a tangible impact. Tutoring is a wonderful way to give back to the community, and you grow as a person as well.

Jess: Tutoring with FLOC is an excellent way to get out of the “Foggy Bottom bubble,” that you so often hear about here. There is so much more to DC than our neighborhood, and I’m proud to say that I’m invested here. I feel as though I’ve become a citizen of DC, not just a student.

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

News, Staff, Staff Perspectives

FLOC Deputy Director Robyn Lingo Testifies Before DC City Council – 3/6/15

Testimony of Robyn Lingo
For Love of Children (FLOC)
To the City Council Committee on Education
OSSE & SBE Performance Oversight Hearing March 5, 2015

Chairman Grosso and members of the Committee on Education:

My name is Robyn Lingo and I am the Deputy Director at For Love of Children (FLOC). Thank you for the opportunity to testify today on behalf of For Love of Children.

Last year, our nation reached a profound milestone — 80 percent of our students now graduate high school. Within the District of Columbia, however, we struggle to graduate even 64 percent of our students. Our city boasts the highest proportion of young adults with college degrees, yet only 10 percent of our city’s own high school students will attain postsecondary degrees.

OSSE’s mission to remove barriers and ensure children receive a great education, coupled with SBE’s policy leadership, advocacy, and oversight will help our city move closer towards a city where every student has a viable path to a postsecondary degree. Similarly, DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s stated goal is to ensure that every child have equal access to learning resources.

As the Deputy Director of For Love of Children, I know we can bring this educational justice to our city. I know that out of school time programs play critical roles in ensuring every student’s successful path. A nationwide study by the Afterschool Alliance showed that DC has the highest after school participation rate in the U.S., yet we ranked 49th in the percentage of low-income children enrolled in an afterschool program.

Over the past 50 years, FLOC has served more than 10,000 children, turning disparity into opportunity. Currently, 100 percent of our seniors graduate high school and over 70% have graduated from postsecondary or are persisting towards a degree. FLOC sparks community transformation one young person at a time by ensuring access to quality afterschool services that lead to postsecondary success. FLOC programming focuses on youth empowerment by building critical thinking, leadership, and advocacy skills that dramatically increase readiness for postsecondary education. Through our signature Neighborhood Tutoring and Scholars Programs, we intervene early and expose students to educational opportunities and career experiences that lead to proven success.

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With more than 100 local and national partners, FLOC provides critical access to free afterschool services — from first grade through college and career — for youth throughout the city. Furthermore, by partnering with our students and families, we are organizing a community call for wider access to quality out of school time programming.

We understand the exceptionally powerful role partnership plays in academic success. We’re here today to recommend that OSSE & SBE increase their data sharing partnership with out of school time programs serving elementary and middle school youth. With this access to student-level data, FLOC and our peer organizations could improve the educational supports we provide our students and better prepare them for the next step in their educational journey.

We also recommend OSE & SBE more actively engage highly effective out of school time programs broadly in strategic discussions about raising postsecondary readiness rates for our community’s most vulnerable youth. As we know, students spend over 300 hours a year in out of school time programs. Our data-driven programs have measureable success guiding students toward postsecondary degrees.

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These are tangible, achievable steps we can take together to move closer to our vision: a city in which every child’s potential — regardless of zip code, skin color, or socioeconomic status — is unlocked with a postsecondary degree, opening the doors to success in life.

Thank you, again, for the opportunity to testify. I look forward to working with you this year.

(Robyn Lingo is FLOC’s Deputy Director.)

Neighborhood Tutoring Program, News

Math at Jubilee: NTP is growing!

Last week, a year’s worth of hard work and planning came to fruition. The Neighborhood Tutoring Program launched a new site: Thursday night Math at Jubilee Housing Services. This is NTP’s ninth tutoring program and fifth off-site program. The program is led by Felise Ortiz, an AmeriCorps member who was previously a site coordinator for the Thursday night Math program at FLOC. While this program started small, it could grow to as many as 15 pairs.

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The Thursday night Math program is consistently one of the most popular programs for students and tutors, often being the first to fill up. Having an additional Math program at the same time and within a block of the FLOC offices allows us to serve even more students. We anticipate that this will become another popular program.

Jubilee Housing Services has been a partner of FLOC for several years, working together towards the same goal of providing all DC students with quality out-of-school-time services. We are grateful for the hard work of the Jubilee staff, specifically Katherine Spinney (Director of Youth Services), which allowed us to expand our reach within the Adams Morgan community.

(Lauren Phipps is the NTP Curriculum Coordinator.)