This morning I received an email from Tim Payne, the Executive Director of For Love of Children (FLOC), which I wrote about last September (OK, it was a mass email but I still received it in my inbox). FLOC "provides educational services beyond the classroom to help students succeed from first grade through college and career. FLOC brings together students, volunteers, families, and community partners in proven programs that teach, empower, and transform." (check out their site for more!)
Since September, I've volunteered with FLOC Tuesday nights from 6-8 tutoring a middle school student in reading and writing. While the journey has not always been a smooth one as my student and I learned one another's boundaries and I remembered what it was like to be in middle school again, overall, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience and, like most volunteering, I feel like I've come away learning more than I've given. I would recommend this organization to anyone in DC who is passionate about education and giving back to the DC community.
Following Tim's encouragement to share FLOC's story with 5 people, and in honor of Do More 24, I'd like to share 5 reasons you should donate your time or money to FLOC.
- You've got the time. This past year was a little crazy for me as I welcomed my husband to the US from Guinea, worked on my Master of Arts in International Education and worked full-time. All that to say that even if you're busy - you've surely got a couple hours to hang with a cute kid who wants to do better in school (or a few minutes to donate some money!). Volunteering with FLOC takes just a couple hours a week and it's flexible! While I sometimes wanted to be doing something else before going to tutoring on Tuesdays, I always felt better afterwards and glad that I had come. Do you work crazy long hours but are here on the weekends? FLOC has programs on Saturday. Are you away most weekends (like me) but have a weeknight free? FLOC has after school and evening tutoring sessions. Maybe you can just commit every now and again - FLOC has you covered there, too, with substitute tutoring.
- You've got the means. Today, FLOC is asking for a minimum donation of $10 (read: one lunch out or a couple of fancy coffees). See below for what your money can do!
- You've got the heart. It's hard to argue with helping children get back to their grade level in reading, writing and math. Check out FLOC's website to learn more about what they do!
- You've got the desire. In casually talking with friends and co-workers, so many have expressed an interest in joining a volunteer organization in the area but they haven't found one that works for them. Maybe FLOC is for you!
- You've got what it takes. I know you and I know you're great! If you're reading this we probably went to school, worked or served in the Peace Corps together, which means I think you're wonderful and you have a great heart! I know you've got what it takes (mentally, physically, maybe financially?) to give back to an organization that is doing so much for the DC community.
Please don't hesitate to be in touch if you have questions (or leave your comments below!). I'd love to share more about my experience with FLOC with you and hope you'll think today about contributing to their organization.
From Tim Payne's email:
In DC, poverty persists - over 75% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. The opportunity gap widens, barely 40% of secondary students are proficient in reading or math and average SAT scores put DC seniors in the lowest 20th percentile of their college-bound peers. For Love of Children (FLOC) is focused on closing this gap, 1 student at a time, and since 2006, 100% of FLOC's high school seniors have graduated on time and all been accepted into a postsecondary institution. FLOC's unique range of programming and curricula adapts to each student, providing consistent individualized support to over 600 students from the day they come through our doors to the day they earn their postsecondary degree.
Minimum donation is $10
$12: Fees for processing one volunteer at FLOC
$24: SAT prep study book for a FLOC Scholar
$48: Reading materials for one year for a student in FLOC's Neighborhood Tutoring Program