Events, News

Fall Fun at Butler’s Orchard

Pop quiz: What’s the best thing about fall?

  1. A long awaited break from the swampy DC summer temperatures
  2. Crunchy leaves on the sidewalks
  3. Trick or treating!
  4. The annual FLOC Field Trip to Butler’s Orchard

hay ride
The obvious answer is the FLOC Field Trip to Butler’s Orchard! This past Friday FLOC families jumped on a bus and headed out to Germantown, Maryland, for an evening full of all our favorite fall activities. Welcomed by our generous friends at the Meltzer Group, we immediately hopped into tractors for a spooky evening hay ride around the orchard. Butler’s Orchard goes all out with their decorations for this time of year, complete with ghosts in the trees, abandoned wagons, and witches brewing potions in the woods! Some of our more seasoned Butler’s Orchard veterans were savvy enough to pocket some snacks and share with fellow hayriders during our harrowing adventure.

As the sun was setting and the fall chill set in, families gathered around huge bonfires to warm up and roast marshmallows for s’mores. Terrell (our 8th and 9th grade Scholars Program Fellow) roasted his very first marshmallow, and he was a total pro.

pumpkin patch

Families enjoyed a relaxed evening around cozy bonfires, catching up with friends, and enjoying delicious snacks and extra hayrides. When it was finally time to head home, we were surprised with a trick or treat line of candy bags to fill our bellies for the ride home. All in all, a successful fall field trip.

Huge thanks to our friends at the Meltzer Group for hosting us! Happy Halloween everyone!

(Madelyn Giblin is the Neighborhood Tutoring Program’s Bilingual Program Coordinator.)

Neighborhood Tutoring Program, News, Staff Perspectives

Students and Families Enjoy a Friendly Evening at Butler’s Orchard

Students and their families enjoy the hayride at Butler's Orchard.  Picture taken by Mike Stagnitta, Director of Marketing at The Meltzer Group.
Students and their families enjoy the hayride at Butler’s Orchard.
(Photo by: Mike Stagnitta, Director of Marketing at The Meltzer Group)

Last month, we all took a trip to Butler’s Orchard, courtesy of The Meltzer Group. The trip was a lot of fun! Before we departed FLOC on our way to the pumpkin patch, the families were excited to spend time getting to know each other as they waited for the bus. They enjoyed having the opportunity to chat about their lives and their children outside of the formal events we have at FLOC. The students, on the other hand, used the time to play games like Monopoly, Connect 4, Life, and their version of an office environment.

The fact that they became so comfortable and friendly with one another before the trip helped when assigning folks to different groups. My main goal in forming groups of families was to ensure that every child and parent was accounted for before and during our trip. However, I did not realize that because they had spent so much time together before the trip, the groups helped families get to know each other on a more personal level.

(Photo by: Mike Stagnitta, Director of Marketing at The Meltzer Group)
(Photo by: Mike Stagnitta, Director of Marketing at The Meltzer Group)

Once we arrived, we were greeted by the very friendly staff of The Meltzer Group and Butler’s Orchard. They welcomed us with delicious hot dogs, apples, baked goods, beverages, and smiles! We also had an opportunity to make s’mores and warm up by the two fire pits that were closest to us. After eating, we took a fun hayride trip around the orchard, which ended up being creepier than we had anticipated.

The families and I were extremely grateful to have the opportunity to attend this event, and we look forward to attending it next year!

(Aurin Agramonte is the NTP Bilingual Program Coordinator at  FLOC). 

Development, Events, News

Please Join Us at FLOC’s 7th Annual Children’s Book Festival!

Save the date for the 7th Annual FLOC Book Festival taking place on Saturday, November 16th from 4-6 p.m. at Pepco Edison Place Gallery. FLOC’s Book Festival is a time for children and their families to celebrate reading and books! This year’s featured author is Marc Tyler Nobleman, writer of Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman. There will also be reading activities for children and parents around the theme of superheroes.  

At the conclusion of the event, students and their families will be able to take home 15 free books to start or add to their personal libraries. According to a 2007 study by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 4th graders who reported having 25 or more books at home had higher scores on reading tests than children who didn’t have that many. We hope you’ll join us for this unique event that we are sure will leave you inspired by our incredible students. You can read about last year’s book festival here.


This year, FLOC has partnered up with some of our corporate partners to host company book drives. We’d like to thank SIGAL Construction, Sedgwick LLP, The Meltzer Group, and Raffa for collecting books for FLOC students to take home. We’d also like to thank The JBG Companies for being our event sponsor. For more information about the event and sponsors, visit our website here.


For the first time, during this year’s event, we’re offering a special opportunity for FLOC partners, friends, and supporters to participate in a meet-and-greet and discussion session with a few members of the board, along with Tim Payne, FLOC’s Executive Director, and Robyn Lingo, Director of Programs. We’d love the chance to meet with you in a casual setting where Tim and Robyn will talk more about FLOC programs and current happenings. Attendees of this portion of the event will have the opportunity to hear the featured author read to the students, and then will break off for the meet-and-greet while FLOC students are enjoying of literacy-themed activities. If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP to Ellie Haga at or 202-349-3500. We look forward to seeing you and sharing more about what your support is enabling us to do at FLOC!

(Kate Fleischer is the Development Assistant at FLOC).