Development, News

FLOC Invites you to Concert for a Cause!

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Looking to enjoy music and family fun this summer while supporting For Love of Children (FLOC) and other nonprofits? Check out Concert4aCause for a charitable summer time event!

What is it?

For Love of Children (FLOC) is honored to be one of 12 nonprofits selected as a beneficiary from Acumen Solutions’ inaugural Concert4aCause (C4C) where music enthusiasts can enjoy a concert filled with talented musicians, family friendly activities, and great food and beverages. The headliners for C4C will be winner of The Voice season 3 Cassadee Pope, country group High Valley, popular party band Gonzo’s Nose, and renowned children’s band Rocknoceros. It is going to be a great event for great causes!

How can you help?

  • Click the links and find out more about the event and the nonprofits that you will be supporting.
  • Sign up! Join the fun and bring the family. Tickets are on sale now here
  • Spread the word about it to friends, colleagues, and family and make this a successful event that benefits a lot of great causes!

We hope to see you there this summer!

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(Laura Evans is the Development Associate at FLOC.)

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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.)

Development, Events, News

Beyond the Classroom Fundraising Luncheon: Celebrating FLOC’s 50th Anniversary

On May 13th, FLOC celebrated a milestone of 50 years of service to students in the Washington, DC community. At this year’s Beyond the Classroom luncheon, FLOC shared with board members, volunteers, new and old supporters, and community partners our vision for growth in the next 3 years; a look at the work we have accomplished and what is left to be done; and a call to help raise the vitally important funds to realize this work.

Please take a minute to read Executive Director Tim Payne and FLOC student alumnae Brittany Okafor’s remarks. Also, check out the video we debuted at the luncheon showcasing our work the past 50 years and why FLOC is an organization worth celebrating.

If you missed this year’s luncheon, please join FLOC at Come Dream With Us: The Future of FLOC on Wednesday, May 20 from 6-8pm at the WNDC. Details and RSVP at this link.

(Kate Fleischer is FLOC’s Development Assistant.)

Neighborhood Tutoring Program

Welcome to Saturday reading / Bienvenidos al programa sabatino de lectura

Note:  This blog post features one of our Spanish-speaking parents at FLOC, so we have posted the translated version underneath so he can share in the story telling. / Atención: Esta entrada se trata de uno de los padres hispanohablantes de estudiantes en FLOC por tanto hemos incluido una versión en español más adelante para que él pueda ser parte de esta historia.

One of my favorite aspects of running both of our Saturday tutoring programs is the community atmosphere we have developed with both the volunteers and the families who participate in our programs. This past weekend, for example, the Saturday reading volunteers and staff shared with each other our aspirations for what house we would have been in if we had been characters in the Harry Potter series (shout out to the Hufflepuff house!) Because of our relationship, there are certain volunteers and families that have adopted roles in our programs without even being asked to help. This blog post is my opportunity to highlight a parent who has contributed to the efficiency of our Saturday Reading program since last year and has continued to be a familiar face to both our volunteers and other families.

Stefany and Juan_Sat PMEduardo has been involved with FLOC since his daughter, Stefany, was first enrolled in our Saturday reading program in October 2013. Although he and Stefany’s mother are separated, he takes advantage of the weekends he spends with Stefany and is very proud of bringing her to FLOC every Saturday.

Because of his circumstances growing up in El Salvador, he did not have an opportunity to study. Therefore, when he and Stefany’s mother realized that she needed more academic support, they applied to FLOC so that she could get help with her reading skills. Once she was enrolled, he took on the responsibility of bringing her to FLOC every Saturday – even though he lives in Virginia and she lives in DC. After a few weeks of bringing Stefany to program, he noticed that our staff struggled with welcoming everyone who walked in the door because we were always running around showing new students and tutors the procedures for program each week. So one day, he stood by the door, greeted everyone who walked in, and pointed to them where they needed to go depending on whether they were tutors or a family. Program ran very smoothly that day, and he has continued to help us ever since!

Eduardo shared with me that he helps FLOC because he is very grateful for the opportunity Stefany has here and he is motivated to help us because of how much we help his daughter. When asked about his commitment to FLOC, he said that he honestly does it because “If I die tomorrow, I want her to remember our walks to FLOC. I want her to remember that I used to bring her to this place that taught her so much. I want to be part of her memory of FLOC.”

Stefany also seems to appreciate having her dad around program because, as she says, “If there wasn’t a door helper, nobody else would help!” So if you are ever coming to FLOC on a Saturday after 12:30pm, please be sure to say “thank you” to Eduardo because he will be very excited to welcome you to our Saturday community!

(Aurin Agramonte is the NTP Bilingual Program Coordinator and the site supervisor for both Saturday tutoring programs at FLOC’s Adams Morgan office.) —-

Lo que me encanta más de ser supervisora de los dos programas sabatinos de tutoría  es la comunidad que hemos creado con los voluntarios y las familias que participan en esos programas. Por ejemplo, los voluntarios y nuestro personal pasamos el sábado pasado compartiendo nuestras aspiraciones de cuál casa de Harry Potter nosotros nos identificábamos más (saludos a los que se identifican con la casa Hufflepuff!). Por esa razón, hay algunos voluntarios y padres que han tomado responsabilidades en nuestros programas sin que yo se lo pida. Esta entrada es una dedicación a uno de los padres que ha contribuido a la eficacia de nuestro programa de lectura desde el año pasado y que sigue siendo alguien de confianza para los voluntarios y familias. Stefany and Juan_Sat PM

Eduardo ha participado con FLOC desde que su hija, Stefany, fue matriculada en el programa de lectura en octubre del 2013. Aunque Eduardo y la mamá de Stefany están separados, él se aprovecha del tiempo que pasa con Stefany durante los fines de semanas y está muy orgulloso de traerla a FLOC cada sábado.

Él reconoce la importancia del servicio que le proveemos a Stefany porque él no tuvo la oportunidad de estudiar mucho cuando estuvo más joven. Por tanto, cuando él y la mamá de Stefany se enteraron de que Stefany necesitaba más apoyo escolar, ellos aplicaron para nuestro programa de lectura. Desde el momento que la aceptamos, Eduardo se hizo responsable de traerla al programa cada sábado – aunque él vive en Virginia y ella vive en DC. Después de algunas semanas, Eduardo se dio cuenta de que nosotros necesitábamos ayuda con la entrada porque siempre estábamos ocupadas con ayudar a los tutores y a los estudiantes nuevos del programa – ensenándoles adonde firmar, cuales materiales usar, etc. La próxima semana, él se estacionó cerca de la entrada, les dio las bienvenidas a todas las personas que entraban al edificio, y les indicó donde deben ir dependiendo si eran tutores o estudiantes nuevos. ¡Desde ese día en adelante, Eduardo nos sigue ayudando!

Eduardo me dijo que la razón por la cual él ayuda a FLOC es porque él está muy agradecido por la oportunidad que Stefany tiene aquí y él se motiva a ayudarnos porque nosotros ayudamos a Stefany mucho. Cuando le pregunté específicamente sobre su compromiso con FLOC, dijo que él nos ayuda porque “si me muero mañana, quiero que ella se recuerde nuestros paseos por DC. Quiero que ella se recuerde que fui yo que la traje a FLOC. Quiero ser parte de sus recuerdos de FLOC.”

Stefany también valoriza el puesto de su padre en nuestro programa, porque ella dice que “¡si él no ayuda con la entrada, nadie los ayudara!” Entonces si usted visita a FLOC un sábado después de las 12:30pm, ¡por favor salude a Eduardo porque él estará muy encantado en conocerle!

(Aurin Agramonte es la Coordinadora Bilingüe del Programa de Tutoría y es la supervisora de los dos programas sabatinos de tutoría en oficina de FLOC en Adams Morgan)

Development

Donating Through The Combined Federal Campaign

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The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is the largest and most successful workplace fundraising campaign in the world. Over the past fifty years, the CFC has raised $7 billion to help neighbors in need around the corner, across the nation and throughout the world. The Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area (CFCNCA) is the local campaign for federal employees in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Last year, the CFCNCA raised $51 million for charities in our community.

Throughout the campaign season, FLOC is invited to several charity fairs throughout the metropolitan area hosted by different government agencies. These fairs attract hundreds of government employees where we can share our stories with others. It’s a great opportunity to not only gain new supporters but to connect with others in the community.

2014-10-07 19.30.16-2Many of our volunteers work for the federal government and contribute to FLOC through the campaign. John Connolly, a seasoned federal employee and Tuesday night NTP tutor, says “contributing to FLOC through payroll deduction is an easy and automatic way (like paying taxes or health premiums) to support FLOC financially, in addition to the joy of supporting DC youth as a tutor.  I view these as complementary ways to contribute to supporting FLOC’s critical mission of providing one-on-one tutoring and support to underprivileged DC students needing a little extra personal help in attaining grade level in school or in applying to college.”

FLOC is extremely grateful to John and the many others who choose us as their charity of choice for the Combined Federal Campaign. The campaign runs from September 1 to December 15. To donate, you can simply visit the donation page on the CFC website. FLOC’s CFC member number is 72093.

(Kate Fleischer is the Development Assistant.)

Outdoor Education Center, Scholars Program

Trust Falls, Chicken Nuggets, and Building Community: A Day at the OEC with Middle School Scholars

On October 13th, 2014, FLOC’s Outdoor Education Center (OEC) welcomed 23 MS OEC 3Middle School Scholars and four staff members to the scenic oasis in West Virginia. Students were greeted by four enthusiastic OEC staff members who led them through engaging low-ropes course activities and games.

As Scholars slowly grew accustomed to bugs native to West Virginia woods, they also learned more about each other and how to solve problems as a team. Students enjoyed the “Trust Fall” activity, which prepared students to listen and
trust each other, two important skills for the infamous high-ropes course in the afternoon. All of that trust building left Scholars famished, and they thoroughly
enjoyed a delicious lunch of chicken nuggets, macaroni, salad, and fruit.

MS OEC trip 1After lunch, the students were delighted to make their way towards the high-ropes course. Some students had attended summer camp at the OEC in the past, and excitedly shared memories from zip-lining last summer with the new students. Once we arrived at the high ropes course, Scholars helped each other with their helmets and harnesses
as they received safety instructions.
Students could choose from three levels of difficulty on the high ropes course, and everyone encouraged one another to participate despite initial uncertainty.

One student, Paola, stated she was too scared to do the high ropes course during summer camp, but with her friend’s encouragement, decided to give it a try this time. Paola gracefully made it across the first portion of the ropes course, and flew down the zip line with an enormous smile as her peers cheered her on.

MS OEC 2  MS OEC 5
All of the Scholars did a great job overcoming their fears, supporting one another, and building community. Judging from the amount of snoring on the ride home, our Scholars had an action-packed and enjoyable escape from the city!

(Kayla Blau is the Scholars Program Instructor for 6th and 9th grade)

Events, News, Scholars Program

FLOC Graduating Seniors Unlock Their Future

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On June 13thFLOC held its annual Fred Taylor Scholarship Dinner at St. Francis Monastery to honor and celebrate our graduating seniors from both high school and postsecondary. Students, families, postsecondary coaches, board members and FLOC alumni filled the room to recognize our students’ hard work and highlight their achievements.

Award-winning and journalist, Leon Harris and Fred Taylor, FLOC founding director.
Award-winning journalist, Leon Harris and Fred Taylor, FLOC founding director.

After dinner, Leon Harris, award-winning journalist and ABC News anchor, inspired our students to find their passion by exploring new interests and being prepared when an opportunity arises. He encouraged students to soak up all that college has to offer and never let anyone tell them what they cannot do. Believe in yourself and you will succeed!

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FLOC high school graduating seniors celebrate the start of their new postsecondary journey.

To close the evening, the audience provided “keys to success” for our graduates as they transition to college and beyond. Students were advised to meet new people, study abroad, budget, stay in touch, find a mentor and build a community similar to home. We are so proud of our seniors and wish them the best of luck! Go on and do great things and know that FLOC is always there for you.

FTSD(Kimberly Davis is the Scholars College Access Coordinator at FLOC).