Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Volunteer as a Tutor at a Neighborhood School

Thanks to everyone for helping coordinate our response to crime in Logan Circle. It's been very reassuring to know that our neighbors are looking out for and reporting suspicious behavior and that the police department has been communicating its results with us through this site.

I'd like to invite fellow residents to also work on some of the long term problems that cause crime, by volunteering as a tutor for an hour a week at the Maya Angelou Public Charter School (http://www.seeforever.org/MAPCS/) in our neighborhood.

The school has used a number of innovative techniques to help build futures for disadvantaged and at-risk youth in our city. They have been extraordinarily successful and were featured on The Newshour with Jim Lehrer on PBS a couple of years ago (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/education/july-dec03/charter_12-29-03.html).

Since then, they've opened additional campuses in other neighborhoods in DC. The tutoring program is an integral part of the school's success - each evening from 6:15pm to 7:15pm each student receives individual assistance with their homework from a volunteer from the community. There are currently ~200 volunteers participating and the school is currently making a big push to add 100 more tutors to make sure each student has their own tutor each day of the week. I've been tutoring for 2 years now and can say that it is an incredibly rewarding way to help fight some of the root causes of the social problems that plague our city.

It's also very easy to contribute - you pick a day of the week and show up each week on that day for an hour. They match you up with the same student each time so that you get to know the student and are able to contribute to the long term progress they make through the semester.

The school (9th & T) is close to the Shaw Metro station so it's easy to get there on your way home from work, and it's a 10 minute walk home to Logan Circle afterwards. If you are interested, the semester is starting up next week and they are holding orientation sessions for prospective new tutors.

Contact Kelly P. Schrepfer, their Evening Program Manager ( tutors@seeforever.org / 202-939-9080 x201). If you don't have time to volunteer you can always donate to their parent foundation - http://www.seeforever.org - or attend their annual fundraiser at the school which Maya Angelou, herself, attends and is catered by the school's student-run catering company.

Feel free to email me directly if you have any questions about this.


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