The Fishing School

The Fishing School

Meeting Needs

TFS’ programmatic model addresses clear societal needs and is based on experience and sound research about the status of education and personal achievement among underserved communities. Through our findings, we realized three paramount areas of need among children and parents:

  1. Reading and math performance scores in DC are amongst the lowest in the nation. Research indicates that those who cannot read at grade level by third grade reduce their chances of graduating high school.
  2. Antisocial school day behavior increases the chances that a student will not succeed through middle school and therefore will not graduate high school.
  3. Children do better in school and are more likely to graduate if they have strong support of a key parental role model.

Recent research has shown that unless significant academic interventions are undertaken, middle school students who attend less than 80% of school days—or fail English or math—are 75% more likely to drop out of high school.  These dropouts have a 40% year-round joblessness rate and a median annual income of approximately $12,000.  Fortunately for TFS’ participants, our unwavering focus on academic achievement provides the intensive academic intervention needed to combat these trends by providing opportunities for youth to thrive in today’s society economically, academically, and socially.

Research shows that 26% of DC’s children were alone and unsupervised between 3 pm to 6 pm in 2014. These are the peak hours in which youth commit crimes; become victims of crimes; and experiment with drugs, alcohol, and sex. The risk of exposure to such activities is even higher for children from lower-income families; only 4.5 million of these youths had access to quality afterschool programming, though 9.7 million would participate if programs were available. TFS specifically partners with DC schools in low-income communities. Children from low-income families are further at risk, as the academic achievement gap between students from lower- and higher income families has grown by 30% in the last 30 years. Research indicates that participation in high-quality OST programs can help to eliminate that gap. Low income students lose, on average, two months of reading progress over the summer, and, once formed, these achievement gaps can be nearly impossible to bridge.

On average, TFS students receive 12.5 hours of weekly intervention between 3:15 pm to 6 pm, the hours in which youth are vulnerable for risky behaviors. Research shows that when children are engaged in afterschool programs they do better academically and are less likely to engage in risky behavior.

For more information about The Fishing School and to get involved, please visit, or call (202) 399-3618.

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