Education programming is at the heart of DCPNI’s work to break the cycle of inter-generational poverty in Kenilworth-Parkside. Together with high quality, results-driven partners, we are working to transform educational outcomes for children from cradle to college and career.
DCPNI partners with four schools in the Kenilworth-Parkside community to improve the educational experience and support the academic excellence for all children. Our partner schools include a unique collaboration of a public district, public charter and private institution.
- Educare of Washington, D.C. – Educare Washington, D.C., is an early childhood education school and community center built to serve the children and families of Ward 7. We engage and empower parents in their children’s learning and provide high-quality education through small class sizes and cutting-edge teaching methods.
- Neval Thomas Elementary School – At Neval Thomas Elementary School, the mission is to help students excel academically while becoming well-rounded, global citizens. DCPNI supports the school’s approach that focuses on fully integrating and coordinating resources to improve academic and social outcomes for all students in the footprint. DCPNI’s currently funded partners include: City Year, Literacy Lab and The Fishing Club.
- Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy – Parkside Middle and High School – The Parkside campus of Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public-Policy—a combined middle and high school—opened in the Kenilworth-Parkside community in Ward 7 in 2005. The Chavez Schools’ mission is to prepare scholars to succeed in competitive colleges and to empower them to use public policy to create a more just, free and equal world. The Chavez schools leverage the incredible wealth of public policy resources located in the nation’s capital to engage students as empowered citizens, able to affect the world around them. Public Policy instruction requires scholars to interact with their community and assume responsibility for solving current complex issues through performance tasks, advocacy projects and public policy courses. Parkside High School received Tier 1 distinction for SY 2014-2015.Currently funded DCPNI middle and high school partners include: New Visions Youth Services and Higher Achievement.
The DCPNI Early Learning approach has two major initiatives: our continuum programming, comprised of direct services to parents and children, and providing technical support and resources to community providers. The goals of our early learning programming are to ensure that children receive access to high-quality early education opportunities from birth, that families are equipped with knowledge, tools and resources to be their children’s first and best teachers, and that the community provides nurturing environments to support children’s development across multiple domains. All of the work completed in the early learning space works towards the goal of children functioning at age-appropriate levels and ensures kindergarten readiness. Components include:
Capacity Building for Home-based and Center-based Early Childcare, during which DCPNI works closely with Lia’s Rainbow and UPO at Paradise, both loval center-based early childcare providers, to ensure that staff at the centers receive training and programmatic support to create high-quality early childcare. This is a criticial step in increasing the number of high quality early learning slots available to children and parents living in the Kenilworth-Parkside community.
Precious Promises, a program that helps expectant parents and parents of children ages 0 to 2 in the Kenilworth-Parkside community develop an understanding of the developmental stages of their children, their capacities and needs. With this knowledge and strengthened parenting skills, parents can avoid pitfalls that can have lasting effects (e.g. not getting adequate prenatal care); understand their children’s changing physical, emotional, health, social and intellectual needs and identify key resources. The critical first step in DCPNI’s cradle-through-college pipeline of best-practice programs, Precious Promises also links parents to a supportive community of caring professionals and their peers.
Take & Play provides a developmentally appropriate curriculum of activities for parents of 3-to 5-year-olds and play activities for children, combining practical workshops for parents, practice skills and kits for teaching children through play at home. The curriculum is designed to help parents increase confidence in their parenting skills and children improve developmental functioning across multiple domains of early development. In 2015, DCPNI partnered with the Smithsonian Institution to add materials from the education departments of seven museums to Take and Play’s curriculum, kits and monthly workshops. Museum educators guide play activities inspired by their museum’s collection. Play kits are distributed for each child in attendance for the families to utilize at home, practicing the skills and activities learned in the workshops. To extend learning, families are invited to join DCPNI on a field trip to the Smithsonian Museum featured in the monthly curriculum.
Early Learning programming also includes the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library through which children ages 0 to 5 receive a new age-appropriate book mailed to their home each month. By the time they enter kindergarten, children have their own library of books and are more prepared to enter school and become readers. The program is open to all children living in the Kenilworth-Parkside community. DCPNI currently has 81 children receiving books and 43 who have graduated from the program.
Out of School Time Programming
Out of the 2,000 children in the Kenilworth-Parkside community, 957 attend school outside of the neighborhood. To improve opportunities for young people in the Kenilworth-Parkside community, particularly those who attend school outside of the footprint, DCPNI offers a comprehensive Out of School Time (OST) youth development program that operates after school, in the evenings and during the summer. The program offers academic enrichment, character development, mentors, performing and visual arts, health/fitness and college and career readiness supports to students ages 5 to 19 (K-12th grade).
DCPNI’s OST partners includes: S.M.A.R.T., YAAYMe Mentoring, Chase Your Dreams Academy, Healthy Living Inc., FRESHH, Inc. and Dance Visions.
To get in touch with our Education and Learning staff, click here.