October 21, 2016
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Kids from Underserved DC Neighborhoods Step Up To President Obama's Challenge


Baseball, Creative Writing and Hip-Hop Ballet Take Center Stage 




Event to beautify the Trinidad Recreation Center and showcase summer learning activities




Wednesday, July 15

10 a.m: Community service project and demonstration of summer learning projects

11 a.m: Remarks and youth performance

Noon: Lunch for community participants




Trinidad Recreation Center

1310 Childress St., NE

Washington, D.C.



WASHINGTON, DC -- About 100 children from DC's embattled Trinidad neighborhood and other underserved city neighborhoods will participate in a major event celebrating community service and summer learning activities. The young people are answering President Obama's United We Serve call to participate in national service.


The kids, ages 7 to 17, will pitch in to beautify the Trinidad Recreation Center by picking up trash, planting flowers and mulching. The Trinidad neighborhood made national news last summer due to controversial police checkpoints to curb excessive violence, including two dozen homicides -- one of which involved a 13-year-old boy.


In addition to the community service project, the young people will demonstrate some of the engaging summer learning programs in which they are participating through various DC nonprofits -- highlighting the need for such programs at a time when many cities are cutting them due to tight budgets.


This part of the program will include: a hip-hop ballet performance by Northeast Performing Arts Group; DJing byWords Beats & Life; baseball and a discussion of the values of legend Jackie Robinson by Fields of Dreams; soccer with DC ScoresHigher Achievement, a nonprofit that provides academic enrichment programs to prepare middle school children from underserved neighborhoods for top high schools, will hold a mini-version of its Olympics of the Mind.


This Celebration of Service and Summer Learning is being sponsored by the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation and the National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University. The event will feature Grammy-nominated, Jive Recording artist, Raheem DeVaughn and a new artist on his 368 Music Group label, PhilAdé. Other speakers include:

  • Ron Fairchild, executive director of the National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins

  • Millicent Williams, president and CEO of the DC Trust

  • Scott Richardson, K-12 program coordinator, Learn and Serve America, Corporation for National and Community Service

  • Harry Thomas, Jr., DC Councilmember, Ward 5

Research shows that most students fall more than two months behind in math over the summer, and low-income children fall behind two months in reading while middle-income kids make slight gains. Johns Hopkins University researchers recently found that 65 percent of the achievement gap in reading between poor and more advantaged children is due to unequal summer learning experiences during elementary school years. Summer learning programs can play a major role in closing the achievement gap.


Scholastic Inc. is providing 100 books for young people at the event.




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