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After-School All-Stars DC: Helping students become more active, healthy and empowered


Ward 8 is consistently burdened with the highest crime rates and lowest median incomes out of all wards within Washington DC, and while these instances are somewhat commonplace, the impact continues to be devastating. No group has been impacted more than the youth of the surrounding neighborhoods. Recent violence included a fatal shooting of a high school freshman, and a large fight immediately outside a DC public school called Somerset Prep DC. Somerset is one of seven school sites that After-School All-Stars Washington DC (ASAS DC) serves. While these events were occurring in Mid-May, our students at Somerset Prep DC, Leckie Education Campus, Charles Hart Middle School and John Hayden Johnson Middle School were provided a safe environment within their schools, and an opportunity to enrich themselves through education.

After-School All-Stars provides comprehensive after-school programming to middle school students in neglected regions of the country. The DC chapter provides opportunities for students to participate in dynamic courses at no cost to them, and that were not previously available at their schools (e.g. drone engineering, robotics, healthy cooking, yoga, and music production to name a few). It also provides a safe space for our students during the most dangerous time of day, between 3-6 PM when young people within the community are most vulnerable to nefarious activities.


But despite our in-school programming, tangible divides and bitter rivalries continue to permeate between the four schools we serve in Ward 8. This Spring our staff took it upon themselves to create events outside of our traditional programming, with an express focus on bridging the divide between the students at these schools. ASAS DC held a “carnival” Ward 8 field day event in response to the growing tension, where over 100 students and 25 parents were in attendance. Students participated in games, enjoyed performances from their peers, and were provided a chance to foster meaningful friendships with each other.

Beyond spending time together, we also tie in our own values and purpose into events/initiatives. Two weeks after the field day event, students from the four Ward 8 schools gathered at Oxon Run Park, in the heart of South East DC. They participated in a clean-up project to pick up trash and improve the appearance of the park itself. ASAS DC students also completed several community-building activities that required collaboration, and expelling negative preconceptions about their peers from other schools. Most importantly, each student was given an opportunity to share their thoughts with the larger group on how they would solve these issues facing their neighborhood. Profound and meaningful sentiments were shared, with the consistent theme being that they should work together and embrace one another in the face of division and violence.


ASAS DC is proud to serve the students of this diverse and vibrant community, and as we grow and build relationships throughout DC our hope is to bring these opportunities to every middle school student within the District.

Back-to-School Spotlight: Adopt a Classroom, Change 18 Lives

This month the Catalogue is highlighting various school supply drives around our region. More than 30 nonprofits in our network are in need of supplies for the upcoming 2016-17 school year. Below is a blog post from our friends at The Child and Family Network Centers (CFNC) in Alexandria, Virginia, with details about their Adopt-A-Classroom initiative.

“Look what I got!” exclaimed The Child and Family Network Centers’ (CFNC) preschooler Yorleny, as she opened her new backpack stuffed with school supplies, a book and a toy.


You can help a child or even a whole classroom of children experience this same joy.

CFNC, a nonprofit provider of early education for children of the working poor, is offering eight corporate partners the opportunity to Adopt – A – Classroom for the 2016-2017 school year.

Classroom sponsorships will help fund the supplies needed for each of CFNC’s classrooms to provide high-quality education and meet the needs of vulnerable children. Your sponsorship will change the lives of 18 preschoolers this year! Because of sponsorships, CFNC is able to provide key materials and tools for 8 classrooms that enable the teachers to maximize their efforts in teaching 138 students what they need to learn in order to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

cfnc2By the age of 5, a child’s brain is already 90% formed. Yet, many children living in poverty are less likely to attend preschool and often live in households where early learning activities are few and far between. CFNC’s free bilingual early education program gives these children the opportunity to learn and grow early on and gives them the foundation of English language and literacy skills so they can enter school ready to succeed. By the time these children leave CFNC, many of them are reading and writing in English, understanding the language, and have gained the developmental, social and emotional skills they need to enter kindergarten alongside their peers. Thanks to the education that they receive and because of their amazing donors and sponsors, CFNC has the means and ability to change these children’s lives.

cfnc3“From the first time we walked into a classroom to volunteer at CFNC we knew it was a very special place. It was a wonderful, positive experience working with the children and they were so appreciative and engaging. Since that time we have been fortunate enough to work with them through reading and volunteer programs, providing school supplies and assisting with their annual coat, hat and mitten drives. We believe that CFNC makes a significant difference in getting these children ready for kindergarten and focusing on providing whole family engagement,” said Linda Abravanel, Wells Fargo employee and volunteer at CFNC.

cfnc4Adopt-a-Classroom sponsors will get the opportunity to meet the children and the teachers in their sponsored classroom and participate in four classroom engagement opportunities throughout the year with the kids. Quarterly reports and photos from CFNC keep you up-to-date on the progress of each child. In addition, each sponsor receives 26 unique marketing opportunities.

For more information on CFNC’s Adopt-a-Classroom program go to or email Jessica Hallstrom at or call her at 703-836-0214.

2016 Back-to-School Local Giving Guide

Draft School Supply Drive header

For many students, shopping for school supplies is an exciting time. Selecting a brand new backpack, the perfect notebook, and the right outfit for the first day of school are all things most of us remember fondly from our academic years. While an exciting time for students, back-to-school shopping can be a different experience for parents: between clothing, school supplies, and activities…costs add up quickly! According to the National Retail Federation’s annual Back-to-School Spending Survey, families with children in grades K-12 plan to spend an average $673.57 on apparel and accessories, electronics, shoes and school supplies. With numbers like these, it’s no surprise that back-to-school shopping can be a source of major financial stress, especially for those families already struggling to cover basic needs such as food and housing.

While many may not be able to afford school supplies, these tools are still critically important when it comes to setting up a child for success. Providing a student with the proper supplies to learn not only boosts their confidence in the classroom, but also provides a sense of belonging, and can have a positive impact on reducing absenteeism.

Planning to do some back-to-school shopping? Or just want to make a difference in the life of a local student? The Catalogue for Philanthropy has created a comprehensive list of nonprofits in need of supplies to help prepare local students for success. Some of these organizations have specific needs for Fall 2016, others have ongoing needs throughout the school year, and most have wishlists on, making it easy for you to give with a single click.

Happy shopping!

Fall 2016 School Supply Collection

Horton's Kids

  • Horton’s Kids (Washington, DC) is committed to ensuring that every child in the program starts school prepared and ready to learn. They need 150 durable backpacks, including 30 backpacks for children in grades K-4, and 120 backpacks or messenger-style bags for children in grades 5 – 12, as well as school supplies. All supplies are needed by July 29th.Click for more details.
  • Britepaths (formerly Our Daily Bread) (Fairfax) is helping children in Fairfax County through the Collect for Kids Back to School Program, which is part of a County-wide effort to ensure that children in the community whose families are struggling receive the supplies they need to succeed. Britepaths is working to help more than 2,500 students in Central Fairfax — primarily at JEB Stuart HS, Fairfax HS and the elementary and middle schools that feed into them — have everything they need to succeed this fall. Donors can give in the following ways:
      • Donate Cash: DONATE through August 31! $30 will help 2 students. Any amount will make a big difference.
      • Donate Backpacks: July 1-Aug. 5:Larger sizes especially needed.Drop Off or Order on-line through Amazon or Dollar Days.
      • Donate Calculators: July 1- Aug. 5: TI30xa Solar School Edition, TI-83 or TI-84, new or gently used. Drop Off for Order on-line through Amazon.

The Child & Family Network Center

  • The Child & Family Network Centers (CFNC) (Alexandria) invites you to invest in brighter futures for Alexandria children by collecting school supplies for one of their 8 classrooms. Click for details and a link to the supplies needed.
    • Note: CFNC is also looking for corporations interested in their “Adopt-a-Classroom” initiative. Adopt-a-Classroom helps provide books, school supplies, food, and basic healthcare to one classroom. You assist in funding teacher and school staff salaries and empower students and their families to be the best they can be.
      CFNC has eight classrooms and therefor only eight opportunities for corporations to sponsor a classroom – they will send you quarterly updates and photos of the class and children you have sponsored. Visit this site for more information.
  • Good Shepherd Housing & Family Services Children’s Resource Program (Alexandria) helps ensure that children in their housing programs do not miss out on critical after-school and extracurricular enrichment activities simply because their families are low income. This long standing program provides our children with school supplies, holiday gifts, access to summer camps, music lessons, and winter coats. GSH even sends children to local STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs to encourage their education in science and math. Support their annual school supply drive, or shop their wishlist here.
  • Hope House DC (Washington, DC)For children whose fathers are incarcerated, displacement often has grave consequences. Contact may be lost, family structure weakened, and reintegration of released fathers made difficult indeed. Enter Hope House, whose dream is to reconnect fathers and kids.On August 28th, Hope House will host a back to school party. Each Hope House Kid who attends receives a backpack stuffed with school supplies. Items needed include: composition books, dictionaries, highlighters, binders, calculators…and more. See details here.
  • New Community for Children (Washington, DC) transforms the lives of children and youth by supporting academic achievement, developing life skills, fostering creativity and cultural awareness, nurturing spiritual connections and growth, and empowering children to succeed. It is currently in need of a number of educational items such as digital cameras, printer ink, school furniture, and more.

Reading Partners

  • Reading Partners (Washington, DC) is in need of help filling their reading centers with diverse books through September 30th, 2016. Many students bring up issues of race when working with their tutors. From discussing their identities to understanding those of the characters they are reading about, it is clear that diversity in texts is of the utmost importance to support our students. From this point on, Reading Partners is asking supporters to help collect books specifically featuring girls of color, with the philosophy that resources should be available in order to have intentional conversations about race. By providing books in reading centers that can help tutors affirm positive thinking and behavior when it comes to race, literacy can be used to inspire confidence in students who need it most. Donors can view book requests here.

San Miguel School

  • San Miguel School (Washington, DC) is a middle school, dedicated to transforming lives for academically underserved and economically disadvantaged boys in the Washington, DC, metro area. Immediate needs for the 2016-17 school year include: art supplies (modeling clay, canvases, etc.), magnetic algebra tiles, audio books/cds, markers, etc. See the full list and Amazon wishlist here.

Ongoing Supply Collections: Art and Music Supplies

art enables

  • Sitar Arts Center (Washington, DC)Donations of new or gently used arts materials and instruments help to make programs affordable for children from low-income households. Sitar appreciates donations of musical instruments, art supplies, dance shoes and clothing, photography equipment and supplies, sewing machines and sewing supplies, knitting supplies, prom dresses needed for West Side Story musical! Details here.


Ongoing Supply Collections: Sporting Equipment

City Kids Wilderness Project

  • City Kids Wilderness Project (Washington, DC) was founded on the belief that providing enriching life experiences for under-resourced DC children can enhance their lives, the lives of their families and the greater community. CityKids is always in need of the following new or nearly new items: Tents (2-4 person backpacking tents), sleeping bags (backpacking weight), balls: soccer, football, kickball, etc., rain gear: pants, jackets, and ponchos, digital cameras, and more. They also have a City Kids REI Gift Registry!
  • DC SCORES (Washington, DC) believes that every child deserves a “team,” and gets the rich, full childhood that he or she deserves. DC SCORES’ innovative model combines poetry and spoken word (developing an individual voice and sharing personal stories is key to knowing who you are), soccer (kids need more exercise than they get, and the skills and teamwork are fun), and service-learning (because our communities are the big teams to which we all belong).DC SCORES will accept gently used soccer gear, appropriately sized for kids 8-13 years old. Donation details here.

Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena

  • Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena (Washington, DC) – Most of the equipment skaters use have been donated by other skaters in the area. FFDIA is always in need of gently used, mid/intermediate level figure, hockey and speed skating equipment in good condition. No hockey jerseys, please.To donate equipment drop it off at Fort Dupont Ice Arena at your convenience. To arrange a pickup of large quantities of equipment, email


Ongoing Supply Collections

Bright Beginnings

  • Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center (Falls Church, VA) provides a comprehensive, high-quality, early-childhood program designed to give all young children, regardless of their family’s economic resources, a strong foundation on which to build the rest of their lives. FCMLCC is currently looking for donors to help “set their children’s inner artist free” with the raw materials on their Wish List.

Generation Hope

  • Generation Hope (Washington, DC) is the only community-based nonprofit organization solely focused on college completion for teen parents in the D.C. area. Help these students follow the path to success with the following items: laptops for Scholars (can be used), stamps for mailings, gift cards to Target, Staples, etc. and more.

Inner City-Inner Child

  • The Reading Connection (Arlington, VA) creates and sustains literacy-rich environments and motivation for reading among low-income children and their families. TRC is in need of new books for children in the Read Aloud program. At every Read-Aloud, children choose one or two books to take with them, and TRC is always working to keep the Give-Away Boxes stocked with books that match the interests of the children served. Click to see the titles of books on childrens’ wishlists, or to find how to donate new books to the program.
  • Washington Jesuit Academy (Washington, DC) is a college-prep middle school for boys in 5th through 8th grades in Washington, DC. With a 12-hour school day, 11-month school year and aggressive academic curriculum, WJA prepares students for the opportunities and challenges of college-prep high schools and sets them on an early path toward college. WJA accepts certain, gently-used supplies and goods, as well as pro bono service and talent. Visit their Amazon Wish List or contact us for gift ideas.

Washington School for Girls

  • Washington School for Girls (Washington, DC) is an all-scholarship independent Catholic School serving students in grades 3-8, primarily from DC’s Wards 7 and 8. By offering a comprehensive academic program in a supportive environment, students become confident, competent, and courageous young women. WSG accepts donations of supplies, equipment, and services when appropriate, and also has an ongoing wishlist for books.
  • YouthBuild Public Charter School (Washington, DC) is a public charter school that was established in 2005 as an outgrowth of an effective program begun in 1995 by the Latin American Youth Center. It is one of the few alternative schools in the District that serves youth ages 16 -24 who have dropped or aged out of traditional high schools. Gifts of tangible personal property including professional dress clothing for students, computer equipment, books etc. are needed and welcomed donations.

Mental Health Month: A Look Inside Arlington Free Clinic

afcMay is Mental Health Awareness Month, and today we’re getting a glimpse into the important work of Arlington Free Clinic, and its Behavioral Health program. Arlington Free Clinic provides free high-quality medical care to low-income, uninsured Arlington County adults. In the following piece, AFC’s Behavioral Health Program Manager, Jyl Pomeroy RN, discusses some of the health struggles that immigrants face as a result of their experiences before, during, and after arriving in the United States, and how AFC’s Behavioral Health Program offers its support.


One of AFC Behavioral Health Program’s volunteer psychiatrists, Dr. Lynne Gaby.

Many Arlington Free Clinic (AFC) patients are immigrants who have fled countries where poverty, war, and gang violence are part of everyday life. They’ve been the victims of trauma, rape, physical/emotional abuse, violence, or have witnessed the ravages of war on their family, friends or neighbors. Many of our women patients from Central or South America have had to endure leaving their young children behind in their home countries, as they came to the US in hopes of earning money to help their families survive back home.

Many of our patients arrive in the US, often after a difficult journey, in poor health. With limited access to social services previously in their home countries, they come to us with deeply embedded and multi-layered concerns. It can be hard for them to imagine that addressing trauma and learning strategies to manage long-term stress is an important part of achieving overall good health.

The Behavioral Health program at AFC provides linguistically and culturally competent supportive care for patients who are suffering from the symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD and other conditions that interfere with their ability to care for themselves/their families, hold a job, or contribute to their community. Six volunteer psychiatrists and seven volunteer counselors provide medication management and supportive psychotherapy to patients in personal or family crisis; to those who are experiencing the lingering effects of trauma; to those who have never before told anyone about abuse suffered at the hands of someone who was supposed to protect them; and to those who have had their lives threatened, and as a result, continue to live in fear every day. Yoga, group support, exercise education and community resources supplement the care provided by AFC’s psychiatrists and counselors to help patients develop strategies to manage stress, cultivate wellbeing and prevent the development of lifelong health problems.

To learn more about Arlington Free Clinic — including their wish list, and how you can get involved as a volunteer — visit their page here. And don’t forget to connect with them on Facebook and Twitter!

Help VA Students Go Back to School!

NO TAXES….on back to school supplies this weekend (8/1 – 8/3) in Virginia! Help students in need get ready for school by adding an extra item to your cart — whether online or in-store — or find an opportunity to help sort & pack up donated supplies so backpacks are full and ready for the first day of school!
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Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena Makes Skating Accessible to All

At the Catalogue for Philanthropy we’re always so excited when one of our charities’ programs is in the media, especially when that media is the front page of the Washington Post! Today, Post writer Jacqueline Kantor covered the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, a program which is housed in the Fort Dupont Ice Arena (the Catalogue is proud to have the Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena as one of our Human Services charities).

Described as a “little-known secret” in Southeast D.C., the 36-year-old Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club (also known as the Fort Dupont Cannons) is the oldest club in a National Hockey League program that was designed to promote the sport in urban neighborhoods. Each week, children ages 8-18 hit the ice to not only practice the sport of hockey, but also to gain new experiences through travel, and learn important lessons such as the value of hard work and gratitude. While participation comes at no financial cost to players and their families, coaches do expect students to share their report cards with coaches and attend practice regularly. All of this seems to pay off, as the program boasts an impressive 95 percent high school graduation rate. To read the full article about the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club in the Washington Post, click here.

Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena

In 1996 the goal was simple: prevent the National Park Service’s scheduled closing of the only public indoor ice arena in DC. Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena succeeded, not only in saving the rink, but also in creating a vibrant community resource in Ward 7. Today, the Fort Dupont Ice Arena — an America’s Promise “Safe Place” for young people with structured activities during non-school hours — offers number of programs for young people to stay fit and learn valuable lessons about life.

One of those programs, Kids On Ice, is a community ice skating program for children ages 5 to 18 years old, offering free lessons with all equipment provided. Kids on Ice programs include basic skating skills, speed and figure skating, ice hockey (see above), and more. Since all of these programs are at no cost to participants, Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena relies on the community to help through volunteer work, material and financial contributions.

Volunteer opportunities: Are you a medium-advanced level skater willing to lend a hand for a few hours each week? Channel your inner Dorothy Hamill or Apollo Ohno as an instructor for a Kids on Ice class! All Kids on Ice classes are taught by volunteer instructors. Each of the five programs — Basic Skills, Advanced Figure Skating, Synchronized Skating, Ice Hockey, and Speed Skating — are managed by a qualified instructor who instructs volunteers how to teach each specific class.

In addition to helping on the rink, volunteers are also needed off the rink to help with general office assistance during the week, and concessions and skate shop assistance on Saturdays. Click the “volunteer” link on the Catalogue page for details.

To donate: You can also support the Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena by donating equipment, offering scholarship support, or directly supporting the Kids on Ice Program through a donation to Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena. For $50, you can provide helmets and gloves for new ice skaters; $250: 8 weeks of Learn to Skate; $500: two skating lessons for a school group of 30 children.

Thinking Beyond Barbie: Empowering Girls in Greater Washington

Michelle Obama.

Sheryl Sandberg.

Oprah Winfrey.

Mrs. Potato Head?

This unlikely combination of women has more in common than meets the eye: Each plays a role (whether consciously or not) in inspiring confidence in young girls to pursue their career ambitions, no matter how big. There are dozens of other female leaders who do so much each day to empower young women, yet according to a recent study, one pop culture icon is not likely to make the cut: Barbie.

A recent study coming out of Oregon State University suggests that little girls playing with Barbie “believe there are more careers for boys than for themselves” — a contrast from girls playing with Mrs. Potato Head, who see an equal range of career opportunities for girls and boys.

Of course, more research on this topic is needed in order fully to understand the impact of dolls on girls’ aspirations, but one key takeaway is that we must inspire confidence in girls so they don’t hesitate to think “big” and think beyond the stereotypes that hold them back. We can do this not only through the toys we buy for our children, but also through the stories we tell, and the activities in which we participate.

For several Catalogue for Philanthropy charities, such as Girls on the Run (DC and Montgomery County) and The Washington School for Girls, inspiring confidence in girls is a central part of their mission. Find out below how you can show your support, and stay tuned to the Catalogue for Philanthropy blog this month as we celebrate Women’s History Month by highlighting other important women’s issues that are a key focus for some of our charities.

Girls on the Run

The Catalogue for Philanthropy is proud to have two local Girls on the Run Councils in our network of charities. Using the sport of running as basis for inspiration and motivation, GOTR program participants meet twice per week in small teams where they learn life skills while celebrating the joy of movement. At each season’s conclusion, participants complete a 5k running event, giving them a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals.

Girls on the Run — DC: GOTR-DC has a variety of volunteer opportunities available, from one-time volunteer opportunities to coaching for a 10-week season. GOTR-DC is currently looking for volunteers for the GW Classic 10 Miler on April 13th, and is also taking names for those interested in coaching for the Fall 2014 season.

Interested in supporting with a donation? For $185, you can cover a full scholarship for 1 runner; $750: running shoes for an entire team; $3,000: a full scholarship for a full team next season (great idea for a corporate fundraiser!)

Girls on the Run of Montgomery County is also looking for coaches and one-time volunteers. Check out the volunteer page for more detail on specific needs.

Interested in supporting with a donation? $100 will cover a full scholarship for 1 season; $500: running shoes for one team of 15 girls; $1000: race fees for 75 parents to run alongside their daughters. Also, don’t forget about SoleMates, which lets you run a marathon or a triathlon while raising money for MoCo’s Girls on the Run Council.

The Washington School for Girls

The Washington School for Girls is an all-girl, grades 4-8, Catholic school located in Anacostia. Its mission is to offer a solid and holistic education to young girls, and it is committed to believing in their gifts, talents and potential. WSG offers a range of volunteer opportunities: from one-time visits – where volunteers participate in a career fair, leadership series presentation or fundraising event – to weekly tutoring, hosting student clubs during Extended Day and office support.

Interested in supporting with a donation? $100 covers 10 books for the Reading Circle; $500: 1 laptop for a WMSG teacher; $1000: transportation for 3 field trips for 1 class.

We hope you’ll support these wonderful organizations and their missions to empower girls in our region!

Mentoring Monday

Today is Mentoring Monday around the District! There are thousands of youth across our region who are in need of a caring adult, a positive role-model, a friend to offer guidance about and spark interest in school, new activities and their future…in other words, a mentor. This consistent, positive relationship has a profound effect on mentees; in fact, youth who meet regularly with a mentor:

  • have better school attendance, a better chance of going on to higher education, and better attitudes toward school,
  • are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, or engage in criminal behavior,
  • are more self-confident and have more positive social relationships,
  • are more likely to get involved with community/extra curricular activities and broader their horizons.

Though the need is great, we are lucky to have so many wonderful mentoring organizations as part of our network. So if you missed the Mentoring Monday phonebank this morning, consider becoming a mentor and checking out some of our charities below.

Capital Partners for Education makes a college degree possible for low-income youth in the Washington, DC area. Since 1993, CPE has connected motivated students from low-income families with the opportunities, resources, and guidance they need to graduate from high school and college and pursue professional careers. CPE provides students with a unique combination of one-on-one mentoring, individualized staff support, college and career readiness programming, and scholarships. By complementing the rigorous education with additional wrap-around services, CPE levels the playing field between our students and their upper-income peers, thereby breaking the multigenerational cycle of poverty one family at a time. Over the past 20 years, the organization has supported more than 500 students and has produced a 75% program completion rate, a 99% college enrollment rate and a 70% college completion rate for its graduates — more than three times the rate nationally and five times the rate in DC. Contact: Chris Lockwood, Recruitment and Selection Associate, 202-682-6020 ext. 221,

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)For children living in foster care in Prince George’s County, MD and Fairfax County, VA, their Court Appointed Special Advocate may well be the only source of comfort and safety they have while they wait for a permanent and stable home. CASA gives a voice to abused and neglected children in the foster care system by training and supervising volunteer advocates and promoting the timely placement of children in stable homes. Volunteers are assigned to one child and commit to advocating for one year. Volunteers spend 10-15 hours per month meeting with their child and advocating on his or her behalf. In Hyattsville, MD, contact: Ann Marie Binsner 301-209-0491, , or visit:
In Fairfax, contact Elisa Kosarin,, (703) 273-3526 or visit:

Higher Achievement – Targeting academically motivated students at a critical juncture – 5th through 8th grade – and working with them in the “gap” hours after school and over the summer, Higher Achievement offers rigorous academic classes and stresses the discipline and dedication children need to succeed. A four-year, sustained academic intervention, it requires a serious commitment from its scholars and offers exciting bonuses in return: advanced intellectual discussions, university trips, and lectures on current topics. 100% of scholars improve by 20% or more on standardized tests, 100% of 2011 graduates advanced to college-preparatory high schools (90% to top choice schools like Gonzaga, Banneker, and Sidwell), and 93% ultimately head to college, compared to 50% citywide. Mentors teach a small group (3-4) of 5th or 6th graders in a core academic subject: Math, Literature, or an Elective Seminar (all curriculum and training provided), one night per week Mon, Tue, or Thurs, mid-September until early May. Serves DC and Alexandria, VA. Contact: Matt Thornton, Dir. Volunteer Management 202-375-7733

Mentoring Today — Youth at the secure residential treatment facility for young males (New Beginnings) have frequent arrests to their names. When they return home, poverty, violence, and staggering unemployment await them. So Mentoring Today targets 17-19 year-olds before, during, and after re-entry. Through a partnership with Students United, Mentoring Today pairs each youth with a Washington College of Law student who can act both as confidante and zealous advocate. Together, they plan post-release goals, from earning a GED, to beginning vocational training, to finding a job; guided by a staff attorney, mentors also ensure that each young man receives the public education, health, and support services to which he is entitled. Last year, only one-third of mentees re-offended; none committed violent crimes. Imagine the change. Serves DC. Call (202) 678-9001 or find more here:

Mentoring to Manhood, Inc. – Last year in Prince George’s County, only 55% of black males graduated from high school. A grassroots mentorship nonprofit, M2M offers personal and academic support to African-American middle and high school boys (grades 7-12) in the county whose average GPA is 1.8 and most of whom report low self-confidence. Through weekly group mentoring and tutoring, mentees develop collaboration and life skills, enjoy team sports and community service, and come together for a Leadership Retreat. Offices located in Upper Marlboro, MD Contact: Rob Howze, 240-461-8474;

Mentors Inc. – Founded by a DCPS educator and parent of a high school student to combat DC’s low high-school graduation rates, Mentors, Inc. places at-risk students in one-on-one relationships with trained adults to help them develop their potential, encourage them to stay in school, and see that they graduate with a plan for the next step in life. While only 58% of the city’s seniors graduate from high school, 93% of the most recent Mentors, Inc “proteges” did, and 84% are enrolled in college. Mentors are paired with students ages 14-18, grades 9-12. Offices located in Washington, D.C. Contact: Remeka Blakey at or 202-783-2310,

#GivingTuesday is here! How will you make an impact in your community today?

Since Thanksgiving, retailers have been promoting incredible steals and deals to help you complete your holiday shopping. What if you could turn the pennies you saved from those deals into pennies given to our Catalogue for Philanthropy charities?

The Catalogue’s #APennySaved campaign, in partnership with #GivingTuesday, combines the thrill of saving with the thrill of giving. We encourage you to turn your holiday savings into tangible good in the community through your support of our 350+ vetted charities.

After you give, don’t forget to tell us about it on social media! Use the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #APennySaved to tell us about how you’re supporting our community with the money you saved. Together we can make this a season of getting AND a season of giving.

Looking for ideas on ways to give? Think about how you saved, and use the wish lists below to guide your giving! Remember, this is only a small sample of our network of 350+ charities. Go to to learn more about them.

Saved $10 on a gift for your sibling? Use that $10 for:

Saved $25 on a gift for mom or dad? Use that $25 for:

And for the really savvy shoppers out there…Did you save $50 on a holiday gift?Use that $50 for:

Happy Giving!!