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In The News …

Can job training help solve the jobs crisis? (Washington Post Blogs): “In the southern US, 51 percent of current job openings are middle-skill, but only 43 percent of the region’s workers are trained to that level, according to a recent study by the National Skills Coalition [...] In a major speech next week, ‘s expected to propose support for job training as part of his renewed push for job growth, focusing especially on the 6.2 million Americans who’ve been out of work for more than six months.” In other words, the current jobs crisis is two-fold: too few entry-level jobs and too few workers for middle-skill opportunities. For some innovative solutions right in DC, check out Catalogue non-profits Byte Back (where adults can access Advanced Certification training and mentorship in technological fields) and New Course Restaurant and Catering (where the kitchen staff all receive comprehensive on-the-job training in commercial food preparation and customer service). Or learn about one our newest non-profits, the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation. Continue reading

Pictures for the Day

As we continue our recap of cool spring/summer events, catch a glimpse into … The Theatre Lab’s Dramathon fundraiser for the “Send a Kid to Theatre Camp” campaign this past May. The Dramathon participants that raised the most for the campaign (between April 4 and May 6, 2011) had the chance to perform alongside some of DC’s most recognized professional actors in an evening of original ten-minute plays by local playwrights.

So how does this story end? The Theatre Lab exceeded its campaign goal by 19%, bringing in $58,676 for their youth scholarship fund, which enables low-income local youth to participate in The Theatre Lab’s drama programs at little or no cost. The Dramathon was to thank for over one-quarter of those funds. Check out the stars below — and learn here how you can support programs at the Theatre Lab all year round! Continue reading


Whoa. That was some weekend. For those still without power — “more than 30,000 customers in the District [...] 150,000 in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties and 100,000 in Anne Arundel County” as of last night — we are hoping that it returns quickly and lastingly.

You can find out about the Red Cross’ relief operation here; the storm also “caused the cancellation of more than 50 blood drives, adding up to a loss of approximately 1,500 blood donations. If you would like to sign up to donate, you can call 1-800-RED CROSS. Washington Post Local also has a list of emergency contact numbers, including Prince George’s County’s non-emergency hotline, which should stay active until the afternoon. You also should check out the Post’s list of (safe) clean-up tips here.

Most DC Public Schools will be open tomorrow, as will the Montgomery County schools with electricity. Just as a reminder, now is a great time to support one (or more) of our non-profits as they ensure that all area students have what they need for a strong and healthy start to the school year. Check out the Wish List right here. And if you happen to do some shopping at DC metro area Staples in the coming week, you can take part in the Staples for Students: Do Something for Kids in Need national school supply drive, which will benefit Catalogue non-profit Neediest Kids.

Have a good and safe week, Washington!

Around Town: August 27-28

Before jumping into our upcoming events, do check out yesterday’s “Back to School Wish List.” We have a simple list of our non-profits that provide back-to-school supplies and assistance to students in need — and you can help purchase backpacks, books, or even glasses so that a student can see the blackboard. It makes a major difference!

So who has an event Around Town in the next few days?

DC Youth Orchestra Program (1700 East Capitol Street NE)

Youth Orchestra Auditions are coming up: Saturday, starting at 9:00 AM! Students interested in joining the program at this level should contact DC Youth Orchestra at 202.698.0123 or to make an appointment. Learn more here — and good luck!

Sarah’s Circle (2551 17th Street NW)

Stop by the Open House on Saturday from 1:30 to 4:00 PM and sample some of the most popular activities that Sarah’s Circle offers, including yoga, meditation, and exercise specifically for seniors. Light refreshments and entertainment will be provided, plus attendees will have the opportunity to tour the Sarah’s Circle facility and Wellness Center, view apartments, and learn more about how to get involved as a volunteer or as a participant.

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (545 7th Street SE)

Stop by CHAW on Saturday at 5:00 PM for a free Happy Hour to Benefit the Empty Bowls Project, which benefits homelessness and hunger relief organizations. Come prepared to get a little messy (aprons are available) and learn how to make hand-made bowls using coils, press molds, and slabs. Recommended for children over 8.

Also: Starting on September 1, groups of any size can volunteer to do a Mini-Walk (you choose the time and the route!) to benefit the Dwelling Place. Just a short walk (or long, if you’d like) and 15 minutes of education on homelessness and you will make a difference to dozens of homeless families. Learn more: 240.631.1988.

Back to School Wish List

And … we’re back! School started up for DCPS students this past Tuesday; students in Montgomery County will return on Monday and Fairfax County schools open their doors in early September. While the start of September certainly can be invigorating, getting ready for that first day of school can be a real challenge for low-income students and their families.

Ready to help a student in your neighborhood with their back-to-school shopping? Check out just a few of our non-profits who are working to ensure that all kids are ready for class — with books, backpacks, and warm coats. Simply click “DONATE” on the organization’s page to help fund a Wish List item:

Greenbrier Learning Center (Arlington, VA)

$100: 1 year of school supplies for a child

serves low-income, immigrant children, 66% of whom qualify for special services as English language learners or because of learning or behavioral concerns

Neediest Kids (McLean, VA)

$100: backpacks & school supplies for 5 students; $500: eye exams & glasses for 5 students

donates thousands of dollars in clothing, services, and direct payments to meet the urgent requirements of over 12,000 of the region’s neediest, at-risk school-children

Continue reading

In The News …

Hope everyone is doing all right in the earthquake aftermath!

Teens Find a Safe Haven: Alternative House provides homeless students shelter (Great Falls Connection): “ Jones is part of a growing number of teens in Fairfax County who are considered homeless or ‘unaccompanied’ — without parents, guardians or reliable shelter — but remain in the school system. In 2009, according to Alternative House, there were 104 homeless or unaccompanied students; in March 2011, Alternative House counted 225 such students. ” Since 1972, Alternative House has evolved into a dynamic system of services designed to keep young people off the streets by offering safe and accessible places where they can get help. (You can help out here!) Continue reading

Pictures for the Day

Today, catch a glimpse into … Liberty’s Promise, which combines professional development and civic education to sustain and support young immigrants in need — while encouraging them to be active and conscientious American citizens. You can read about just a few of Liberty’s Promise’s young participants right here.

This past June, Liberty’s Promise hosted their Annual Flag Day Fundraiser at Venable LLP, which was drew over 150 guests and successfully raised funds to support their critical work low-income, immigrant youth. Youth from the High Point High School after-school program spoke about their experiences with Liberty’s Promise; and The John Greely award was presented to Prince George’s County Council Member Eric Olson for his ongoing support of Liberty’s Promise’s Prince George’s County programs. Check it out:

Congratulations to all — and best wishes for the coming year!








Feature of the Month: Event Search

Hope that you had a good weekend! As we’re completing edits on the 2011-2012 print Catalogue, we thought that we’d highlight some cool features of the online Catalogue.

This month, check out the Category & Location search function over in Happenings: All Events.

Let’s say that you’re looking for a performing arts event right in your neighborhood. Select Culture from the left-hand drop-down, then either select your state (say, MD) or enter your zip code, and click the triangular search button. What do we have?

Well, on September 24, Class Acts Arts and Young Audiences of Maryland will present a free Artist Showcase & Family Festival with over 35 teaching artists in Germantown; and on October 1, the National Philharmonic will present Corigliano’s Red Violin Concerto/Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at Strathmore.

Looking to get involved? Click on Volunteer Opportunities and search the same way. (Northern Virginia Conservation Trust needs help on September 3 for invasive plant removal in Dora Kelly Park in Alexandria … wear long pants and gloves!)

Around Town: August 19-21

Welcome to the weekend! Consider spending a day at one of our non-profits, such as …

The Reading Connection (1200 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA)

On Friday from 10:00-11:30 AM, employees of The Boeing Company’s northern VA offices and the staff and partners of The Reading Connection will be stuffing 420 backpacks for children to take back to school. Backpacks and all materials have been donated by Boeing employees.

Capitol Hil Arts Workshop (545 7th Street SE)

Join Jake and Danarae Stevens for a free tango practica on Friday from 6:30-9:00 PM at CHAW. Tango dancers of all levels have an opportunity to practice, collaborate, and learn in a collective space. Free and open to all! Continue reading

Pictures for the Day

Today, catch a glimpse into … The Black Student Fund, which provides vital support services and financial assistance to DC area African-American students as they navigate the application process, graduate from high school, and move on to college. Many students are the very first in their families to progress to higher education.

This past spring, the Annual Senior Reception and Alumni Induction Ceremony was held at the US Navy Memorial and celebrated the graduation of BSF’s senior class members, all of whom will be attending college in just a few weeks. Their amazing matriculation list includes Yale, Stanford, Morehouse, Howard, American, and Colby. These photos show seniors wearing their BSF “stoles,” which they receive upon induction into the Alumni Association. The graduates appear with Executive Director Jeanie Collins Carr and Board Chair Joel S. Kanter.

And as a new school year begins, you can support the next BSF class on their journey towards graduation and higher education.