A friend of Cassie's volunteers with For Love of Children (FLOC) and said it would a neat organization to join. After attending last night's orientation - I have to agree! Watch the video above - I bet you'll have to wipe away a tear or two. At the very least you'll get some goosebumps.
At orientation last night Elizabeth Metz, FLOC's Recruitment and Outreach Manager, shared some chilling DC school statistics. Here's how she presented them:
Out of 100 students in Washington, DC
43 will graduate from high school,
29 of those students will pursue a post-secondary degree,
and 9 of those students are accepted pursue a post-secondary degree.
Those numbers were, and are, shocking to me. Then I thought - are they really shocking? Maybe I'm just clueless when it comes to educational statistics. So I thought, what are the statistics from my own school district just a few hundred miles away in Virginia Beach, VA? VBCPS offers a plethora of statistics on their website. Here's what my school system's statistics look like:
Out of 100 students in Virginia Beach, VA
87 will graduate on time from high school,
85 of those students will pursue a post-secondary degree,
and I'm not sure how many are accepted - anyone have this stat?
Since I'm lacking on the last statistic for VBCPS of how many students not only plan on but actually pursue a post-secondary degree, I will be pessimistic and say only 70 actually do. 70? As in, 61 more than Washington, DC?? Unbelievable.
And while I know comparing Washington, DC public schools to Virginia Beach, VA public schools is comparing apples to oranges in terms of socio-economics, that's still a pretty incredible disparity. Not to be all dooms-day on this rainy Tuesday - there is a light! Elizabeth said that in their 6 year history, 100% of students who participate in FLOC's programs graduate from high school and something like 95% pursue a post-secondary degree. Wow!
This weekend I'll receive training in the Wilson Reading Curriculum (Any teachers out there? Thoughts?) to join the Neighborhood Tutoring Program, which works with students from grade 1-12 to improve fundamental reading, writing and math skills. It's just a couple hours once a week with one student at a FLOC learning center on my way home from work. I am excited to get started and let the learning begin! As with the Peace Corps, I have the sneaking suspicion I will be gaining a lot more than I am giving.
Do you have any DC volunteer organizations you recommend? Or perhaps models of organizations that you love somewhere else? I'd love to know which ones!