As part of Afterschool Awareness month, DCAYA has featured the work of our community-based partners throughout the month of October. To wrap up our series, we look at the work of Reading Partners with DC’s elementary schools, a successful partnership due to the combined effort of the community-based organization working with teachers, parents, administrators and students.
The first grade student had just traced the letter ‘C’ on the whiteboard. Together, we were coming up with words that start with C: cookies, can, cat. We brainstormed a few more, and then he drew a picture of a cat on the back of his letter card.
“C! Cat! C-c-c. COOL!” he exclaimed, giggling.
By the time his mom appeared at the door to pick him up from our weekly tutoring session, he had chosen a new book to keep at home, and she beamed at the sight of him eagerly flipping through the pages. As she gathered her son’s jacket, bag and lunchbox, our tutor shared how great a job her son had done reading and identifying rhyming words.
Just a few months ago, afternoon tutoring sessions like this one were just a vision for Bancroft Elementary, a bilingual school in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of DC. Under the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education has designated Bancroft as a Focus School, meaning it is a school in need of targeted support to address large achievement gaps between students.