The Brightwood Community Association held its monthly meeting on February 13th at the St. John United Baptist Church. This was a special meeting because a host of youth-serving organizations were invited to share their offerings with the community.
After hearing reports from Councilmember Todd’s Office and the Mayor’s Office, the youth service portion of the meeting began with Ms. Mary Schaffner, the Executive Direction of DC International School.
DC International School (DCI)
Ms. Mary Schaffner came by the meeting to deliver a brief update on the construction process at the newly opened school. As most of you know, DCI is a D.C. Public Charter School which serves students in grades six through twelve. It serves as high school and middle schools for five language-focused feeder elementary schools: Washington Yu Ying, Munde Verde, DC Bilingual, Latin American Montessori Bilingual PCS and Elsie Whitlow Stokes PCS. The school opened its beautifully renovated building this year on the grounds of the Walter Reed campus, near the intersection of Aspen Street NW and 14th Street NW.
Ms. Schaffner reported that the gymnasium and the STEM and Arts wing are still under construction. Once that area is complete, the school will provide tours of the facility to the public.
If you’re considering having your child attend DCI, the lottery application deadline for PK3-8 is March 1, 2018. Visit MySchoolDC.org for more information.
In addition, DCI will host its first Language Summer Camp this year, which is open to 5th through 8th graders from the entire community. The camp will run two sessions, from July 9th through July 20th, and offering programs in French, Spanish and Chinese. The cost of one session is $350. Visit their website to learn more.
DC Community Carrot
Mr. Kelvin Ford, Operations Manager for the organization DC Community Carrot, came well prepared to share information about the vision for his organization and what they are doing to assist at-risk young people in the community. The mission of the group is to break the cycle of poverty by helping entrepreneurial Opportunity Youth create businesses of their own that will last a lifetime. The group provides mentors, expertise, support, and access to capital needed for entrepreneurs to succeed.
DC Community Carrot (CC), which began in 2017, was born out of a frustration with crime in the Petworth neighborhood. However, instead of seeking more police patrols and cameras, the residents demanded more chances for engagement and opportunity for the youth in their area. Several community members worked together for months and the idea was put into motion. Thirteen of the fourteen members pilot cohort received a business license upon graduating from the program in the fall.
Young people who are interested in starting their own businesses are encouraged to apply on their web site, DCCommunityCarrot.org.
Dance Loft on 14
Ms. Etta Hulcher, the studio manager for DanceLoft on 14, was present to share information about their new youth dance program for ages 0 and up. DCNorthstar.com covered this program in a previous article with can be found here.
Three of the founders of the STEAM Education group CyberNinjaz, were there to wow the audience with the enthusiasm and drive. STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics and this program truly embodies the breath of that by offering programs in game design, video modeling, computer programming and more to youth and young adults.
Currently, they offer one-on-one tutor and run a summer camp based out of Potomac, MD. Recently, they have formed a non-profit organization and they are seeking partner organizations with the city establish and after-school program or some other type of out-of-school-time venture to bring their creative services to youth in our neighborhood. If you think that your organization would be a good match, please reach out to them today.
D.C. Parks and Recreation – Fort Stevens
Finally, representatives from the Fort Stevens Senior & Recreation Center were on site to drum up interest in several unique offerings:
- Tee-Ball, for ages 4 to 8, begins soon. This activity operates on Mondays and Wednesdays.
- Softball for girls is available
- Teen Youth Group is held on Thursdays from 6 to 7 pm.
- For girls 12 and under, there is a Cooking and Crafts class that meets on Wednesdays at 5 pm.
As you can see, this was a very busy Brightwood Community Association meeting. I encourage you and your family to take advantage of some of the programs described above.