For Love of Children (FLOC) is grateful for the support of Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundation. Your support has allowed FLOC to provide comprehensive tutoring and college access and success programming for more than 600 low-income students in Washington, DC.
For Love of Children provides free educational services beyond the classroom to help low-income 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. Since its founding in 1965, FLOC has served more than 10,000 children and youth and has become one of the most respected nonprofits in the community. Today, 28 staff and over 325 volunteers serve nearly 600 students per year in local schools and FLOC’s facilities. Through years of experience, FLOC has found that when students are challenged academically and given high expectations, they can and do achieve at all levels. Our programs include the Neighborhood Tutoring Program for students in grades 1-12, the FLOC Scholars Program for students in grades 6-12, and the Outdoor Education Center (WV) that provides healthy character development in a powerful outdoor classroom.
Barely more than 60 percent of DC students graduate high school, and a staggering number of DC youth are unemployed and aren’t enrolled in postsecondary education. DC has the highest proportion of young adults in the country with college degrees, yet only 10 percent of students who graduate from DC Public Schools will receive postsecondary degrees. FLOC sparks community transformation one young person at a time by paving the way to postsecondary success for DC students. We ensure access to free, high-quality afterschool services from 1st grade through college and career, exposing our students to experiences and opportunities that help them establish a framework of success that will serve them for decades to come. Our overall goal is to ensure our students are becoming more proficient in reading and math, are prepared to graduate from high school on time, and ready to successfully complete a postsecondary degree.
FLOC’s EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH
The Neighborhood Tutoring Program (NTP) is an innovative one-on-one tutoring program that began in 1994 as a strategy to offer K-12 students more than just homework help. NTP identifies and fills academic gaps for these students by matching them one-on-one with trained tutors and using structured, research-proven curricula to ensure that students gain the fundamental reading and math skills they need to attain grade-level competency. NTP uses a nationally recognized reading curriculum and FLOC’s own math curriculum to help students achieve grade appropriate skills. We can demonstrate how early intervention (6-13 year olds) impacts college access and success, with the goals of improving school performance, minimizing the need for remediation, and increasing access to scholarships and financial aid.
The Scholars Program provides students with comprehensive college access and success programming beginning in middle school and continuing until a student graduates from an accredited two or four year institution or vocational program. We combine a rigorous college preparation curriculum with theme-based workshops that build students’ confidence, self-efficacy, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills through creative project-based learning. While other high school success and college-prep programs in DC have an average 65-75% success rate, 100% of students enrolled in the Scholars Program have graduated from high school each year since the program began seven years ago, and 59 are currently enrolled in postsecondary education.
The Outdoor Education Center (OEC) is a 350-acre facility near Harpers Ferry, WV that was given to FLOC in 1971. Since then, the Center has become recognized as a resource for parents, advocates, and community-based partners. Innovative environmental education lessons and practices, introductions to new environmental career paths, and our established strength-building programming all position FLOC to offer our students cutting-edge environmental and experiential educational opportunities to compliment the work we are doing in our DC-based programs. OEC conducts school-year workshops at two local middle schools, as well as intensive summer camps for DC and WV students.
RESULTS AND IMPACT
Our target demographic of students is low-income, DC residents who are below grade level in reading and math skills. More than 92% of students served in SY14-15 were low-income or extremely low income; 47% were African American, 49% Hispanic, and 3% multi-racial; and 83% will be first generation college students.
FLOC’s overall goal for our students is that they succeed academically and stay in school, maturing into responsible young people who graduate from high school, go on to postsecondary education, and live meaningful lives that contribute to their communities. FLOC has a strong track record of helping students improve academically. For example, NTP uses two forms of quantitative methodologies twice each school year to evaluate student progress: initial testing to determine grade-level, base-line performance, and year-end testing to verify success in reaching performance targets. NTP utilizes a nationally recognized grade equivalency instrument, the Woodcock-Johnson III, to evaluate student progress in word recognition, reading comprehension, and math computation. Grade equivalency tests include the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Cognitive Ability (math computation, letter-word identification, word attack and reading comprehension sections). These tests are nationally recognized and research-based with no connection to the curricula, so results are an objective assessment of progress.
The following school year highlights from 2014-2015 show that FLOC is making a critical difference in our students’ academic success.
- NTP served a total of 380 students in SY2014-15 and Summer Academy and recruited more than 349 volunteer tutors and testers.
- In math, 35 students (41%) made more than 1.5 years of grade level improvement. On average, students in the math curriculum improved 1 year after 22.8 hours of tutoring. Thirty-two (29%) students made at least two grade levels of improvement in calculation or fluency.
- Middle and high school students in the Wilson Curriculum made an average of 1.2 years improvement in their phonetic ability and 1 year in their reading comprehension after 25.6 hours of tutoring.
- Elementary school students in the Language! Curriculum made 1.1 years of improvement in phonics after an average of 24.8 hours of tutoring.
- The Scholars program launched a new program model for SAT prep that matched volunteer coaches with 3-5 students to provide small group SAT instruction. This new model produced an average gain of 100 points on their composite score.
- 87 students participated in FLOC’s first series of civic engagement and youth empowerment focused workshops to build students self-advocacy, active and engaged citizenship, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
- 100% on-time graduation of our 21 high school seniors in the class of 2015
- 100% of students in 6th-12th grade received at least once personalized advising session to help them improve on their academic goals and get ready for the next step in their educational journey.
There are a number of out-of-school time programs which have similar missions and goals as FLOC; working to prepare students with both the academic and social-emotional skills they need to succeed in high school and postsecondary. Like our Neighborhood Tutoring Program, organizations like Reading Partners, Everybody Wins and Horton’s Kids have a similar emphasis on ensuring that students reach grade level equivalency in the early grades, so that they can go onto middle and high school prepared to thrive and succeed academically. While organizations like Capital Partners for Education, Higher Achievement and the College Success Foundation start working with students in middle school to build early college awareness and the social-emotional skills and knowledge students will need to successfully enter and graduate from a postsecondary institution, similar to our Scholars Programs.
FLOC is unique among these quality out-of-school-time programs as being the only organization that provides consistent, comprehensive support for students from first grade through completion of a postsecondary degree. Starting with our Neighborhood Tutoring Program, we build a college-going culture and mindset with our students and parents as early as the first grade. By continuing to serve students throughout their educational journey, we are able to establish lasting relationships and a unique level of trust with our students and parents. We believe this comprehensive program model differentiates us from other similar organizations.