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.)

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Scholars Program, Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Jessica, a Postsecondary Coach

JessicaKaushalJessica Kaushal currently serves as a postsecondary coach in the Scholars program where she is matched with a twelfth grade scholar to provide support on his journey towards a postsecondary education. Jessica joined FLOC last year, after a big move and change in industry encouraged her to give back to the community in a more direct way.

Jessica is no stranger to FLOC, though; this past summer she served as a math tutor to an energetic fifth grader in the Neighborhood Tutoring Program. While she loved NTP, Jessica decided to return as a postsecondary coach because she’s excited about providing the support she lacked to a high-school senior. “[Applying to college] is a complicated process,” said Jessica. “Going from a large public high school to a small private university, where it seemed like everyone already knew how to write a long paper, was a huge jump.”

This year, Jessica works with a student named Nicholas, who is interested in pursuing a liberal arts education, just as she did. Nicholas emigrated from Taiwan at a very young age, but after growing up in the city, he’s excited at the prospect of going to school elsewhere. He hopes to pick up some “non-euro-centric” history in college, and perhaps pursue his interest in behavior economics.

When asked why she originally chose to volunteer with FLOC, Jessica said that she appreciates the long-term relationship FLOC has with many of its students. Volunteering at FLOC has also given Jessica a more holistic perspective about the time and resources it takes to educate a child, which has influenced her mindset within the world of public policy.

We’re thrilled to have Jessica back for another exciting year at FLOC!

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

Neighborhood Tutoring Program

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: FLOC Holiday Party Time!

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The students at Tyler Elementary School were full of smiles when they realized that they wouldn’t actually be doing math tutoring for our final program of the fall semester, but having a holiday celebration instead. Students and volunteers alike spent their last session of 2014 making Thank You/Holiday cards for one another, decorating gift bags, going head to head in a few serious games of Uno and Mancala, eating tons on sugary snacks, and receiving gifts to show our appreciation for all of their hard work and dedication and as an incentive for our students to keep up a job well done. This is definitely my favorite time of year!

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(Queen Travers is the NTP Program Coordinator and site supervisor of the Wednesday afternoon math tutoring program at Tyler Elementary School.)

Neighborhood Tutoring Program, News

Meet Noel

noelNoel, 9, will now attend the fourth grade at Garrison Elementary. During the last school year, he was in the Tuesday Night Reading tutoring program as well as the Thursday Night Math tutoring program.

Noel’s favorite subject in school is math. He says it is his favorite because of how much FLOC has helped him with it. Outside of school and FLOC, Noel likes to play basketball with his friends and relax.

Coming in and doing math and learning to read with his tutor Katherine are Noel’s favorite activities at FLOC. Noel says that FLOC has helped him “do better in his reading and math classes at school.” Noel told me that he wants to do better in all of his classes this year.

Noel likes to joke around with his fellow students and the staff at FLOC.  He has a great sense of humor. When I interviewed him, he said he didn’t want his picture taken because he didn’t style his hair right that day.

Noel enjoys learning by playing games while tutoring. He says it helps him “have fun while learning.” Noel hopes to be a head chef one day. When I asked him what he wanted to cook, he replied “I’m not sure, but it will be something good.”

(Benjamin Harris is a tutor in the Thursday Night Math program at FLOC).

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

Meet Juel and Julian

Juel hugs his brother Julian.
Juel hugs his brother Julian.

Juel, 7, attends H.D. Cooke Elementary School. He is in first grade. At FLOC, Juel goes to the Tuesday Night Reading program and has been at FLOC since October 2013.

In his free time, Juel likes to play soccer with his friends and build Legos. Before tutoring, in the student room, he likes to play Jenga with his brother Julian. Juel’s favorite subjects in school are gym and math.

Juel is a very energetic child, and never fails to provide FLOC staff, tutors, and his fellow students with a laugh. When I asked him what he thinks his brother should be when he grows up he said “a rock star!” When Juel grows up, he wants to be Iron Man from Marvel’s Avengers.

This year in school, Juel hopes to do better in reading in school and reach grade level. Juel enjoys coming in every week with his brother. You can always see them playing together in the FLOC student room before tutoring starts.

Julian, 8, is in the second grade and also attends H.D. Cooke Elementary School. Like Juel, he has been at FLOC for one year and attends the Tuesday Night Reading program.

Julian plays Jenga before the start of the tutoring program.
Julian plays Jenga before the start of the tutoring program.

Julian’s favorite class in school is science because he likes to learn “how things work”. In his free time, Julian likes to go outside, play with his friends, play Uno, and relax. Julian and his brother Juel are big fans of the Marvel’s Avengers. Julian told me he doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up just yet.

Julian’s favorite part of coming to FLOC is “learning new things” and “having fun” with his tutor Rebecca. Julian says that FLOC has helped him advance a level in reading at his school.

(Benjamin Harris is a tutor in the Thursday Night Math program at FLOC).

News, Scholars Program, Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Caroline Fichtenberg

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Caroline moved to DC five years ago to start a new job. She grew up in Paris; her father is French and her mom is American. Caroline currently works at the Children’s Defense Fund, a national child advocacy organization. She places high value in education and helping children succeed in school.

FLOC seemed like a great program and a perfect fit for her. She joined our team last fall. Since then, she has been in the Scholars program every Wednesday as a Program Assistant where she assists Jessie, our 10th grade instructor, to facilitate fun workshops for the students to help them start thinking about their future academic and professional goals.

Caroline enjoys spending time at FLOC because of its fun environment “where I see the Scholars’ positive energy of possibility and achievement.” For Caroline, spending time with youth has been a refreshing and inspiring experience.

One of her favorite activities while working with the group of 10th graders is when they play Jeopardy, which helps them to “talk about issues and reinforce ideas that we’re working with. They work together and you see what they have learned and what they are thinking.”

For Caroline, the Jeopardy game “is a good way to see their curiosity to learn and share what they know. There is a balance of competition and support for the other team, which I think shows a lot of maturity.”

Caroline represents Princeton University, her alma mater, during FLOC College Night.
Caroline represents Princeton University, her alma mater, at FLOC College Night 2013.

During this school year, Caroline has shown a great commitment to help our students in different dimensions. She represented Princeton University, her alma mater, and participated in a speed networking activity with the post-secondary Scholars during the last College Night, held on December 18th. We are glad to have her on board with us and thankful for her willingness and passion to work with our students.

(Lisvette García is the Bilingual Recruitment and Outreach Associate at FLOC).