Our mission is to prepare elementary and middle school youth for success in high school and life by improving their academic performance and life skills; and engaging them and their parents in intensive, multi-year, and research-based out-of-school time and parental engagement programs and activities.
Achievement Gaps Can Impact a Child’s Future
The academic achievement gap is the difference in academic performance between white students and students of color. In elementary school, it is typically measured by differences in test scores.
The impact of the academic achievement gap cannot be overstated. Students who don’t perform in elementary school struggle in middle school and are even further challenged by high school. Students who cannot read at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers.
Students in Our Community Need Our Help
We serve students from communities across Washington, DC, and the surrounding area who often face barriers to success. Unstable housing, underemployment, food insecurity, and a lack of access to transportation can make learning difficult. We provide a safe space for students enduring these challenges.
More than 95% of the students in our program identify as Black/African American. In 2018-19, African American students scored much lower on DC’s standardized tests than white students.
- 79% of white students scored proficient in math vs. 21% of African-American students
- 85% of white students scored proficient in reading vs. 28% of African-American students
This results in achievement gaps of 58% and 57% in math and reading, respectively.
How We Make a Difference
Since 1990, our afterschool enrichment programs have served more than 7,600 youth and their families. Our programs are based on extensive research and we leverage a strong connection to our local communities. We provide students with fun, interactive learning opportunities.
Our Approach To Afterschool Education
Our name was inspired by the old adage, “If you give a man a fish, you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will feed himself for a lifetime.” We don’t just provide academic instruction. We provide social skills development, technology access, and student clubs, and we encourage students to think about higher education opportunities.
We also offer parent engagement activities throughout the year, giving parents an opportunity to further impact students’ growth and performance. This program design helps set our students up for continued success in life.