22 Feb 13
Apologies for the delay, friends! Check out some fun and local weekend ideas at …
Educational Theatre Company (AHC Hunter’s Park:, 2021 N. Nelson Street, Arlington, VA)
This year, ETC launched a new intergenerational model where seniors and college students participated in theatre exercises together to create a strong ensemble. Come check out the results this weekend! More information here.
Joy of Motion Dance Center (Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE)
On Friday at 10:30 PM, enjoy DCypher Dance’s hip hop fusion: contemporary hip hop theatre to the latest, hottest new school moves. Only one performance tonight — so be sure to nab tickets.
Dance Place (3225 8th Street NE)
On Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 4:00 PM, Israeli choreographer Idan Cohen presents an ecstatic piece set to the sound of W.A. Mozart’s Solo Piano Sonatas. Learn more this way.
Anacostia Watershed Society?(Huerich Park, 2916 Nicholson Street, Hyattsville, MD) — Cancelled
AWS is working to restore a section of streambank along the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River on Saturday at 10:00 AM. Volunteer sign up right this way.
06 Feb 13
In speech, DC mayor pledges investment in affordable housing, other city programs (Washington Post): “A ‘prosperity dividend’ from the District’s continued economic growth should be used to make investments in key city government programs, Mayor Vincent C. Gray said in his annual State of the District address Tuesday.” In the third year of his term, Gray has his first opportunity to “pursue significant new spending — starting with a $100 million commitment to affordable housing.” Additionally, the mayor’s upcoming budget proposal “will include a $15 million ‘investment fund’ for city nonprofits. The fund would make competitive grants to groups involved in arts, job training, the environment, health and other areas.”
A Million Strong: Helping Them Through (New York Times: Education): “As often as not, they float in and out of college like nomads, juggling deployments, families and jobs. If they are in service, they take classes at night or on weekends, studying between combat patrols and 12-hour duty schedules [...] Some have physical injuries or mental health issues that can strain their ability to study.” Thus the questions arise: are veterans given the information that they need to make the best enrollment decisions, and then provided with the resources to complete the degree requirements? To answer them, federal agencies are “creating new metrics that reflect military and veteran students’ tendencies to attend multiple colleges and to take more than four to six years to graduate.”
Three Key Takeaways from Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report (Nonprofit Quarterly): “Social media is here to stay, and even as others catch up, Facebook remains miles ahead of the pack [...] If you want to go where the growth is, go mobile. Mobile technology really took root in 2012 with a whopping 120 percent increase in mobile app usage.” And of those surveyed, more than 50% shared their positive and negative reactions about brands over social media — implying that organizations that are not on Facebook or Twitter “could be missing out on helping your stakeholders understand or resolve issues or concerns.”
23 Jan 13
In Maryland, forecast calls for more hires (Gazette): “About 22 percent of companies in Maryland plan to hire more employees in the first quarter this year, up from 17 percent in 2012′s first quarter, according to a recent survey by employment services company Manpower Group.” Nationwide, that number is five percentage points lower and the best prospects, reportedly, are in professional and business services. One reason? Many “employers that have been piling up profitable quarters say factors such as the fiscal cliff and a lack of qualified employees put a damper on their hiring plans last year.”
Chancellor Kaya Henderson names 15 DC schools on closure list (Washington Post): “More than one in 10 DC public schools will close as part of a plan Chancellor Kaya Henderson put forth Thursday, a retrenchment amid budget pressures, low enrollment and growing competition from public charter schools [...] Closing half-empty schools will allow her to use resources more efficiently, she said, redirecting dollars from administration and maintenance to teaching and learning.” Community feedback persuaded the Chancellor to keep open five schools originally slated for closure. You can read the detailed Consolidation and Reorganization Plan on the DCPS website.
Graduation Rate Hits Record High For High School Students: Government Report (Huffington Post): “More US high school students than ever are graduating on time, according to new information released by the research arm of the US Education Department. The percentage of students who graduated from high school within four years of starting ninth grade in the 2006-2007 school year hit a record high.” In that year, 4 million students began high school and, four years later, just over 78% have graduated — a 2% increase overall. But while more students are completing high school, “fewer than half of those in the class of 2012 were “college ready” as determined by the College Board last fall.”
17 Jan 13
by Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator
Last month, a group of 11th and 12th grade students from Cardozo High School put the final touches on a house near the corner of 13th and Colorado Ave NW. A final doorknob and a coat of paint marked the end of a two-year process of building a new home from the ground up — and a landmark achievement for students at the Academy of Construction and Design at Cardozo, supported by the DC Construction Trades Foundation.
The DC Construction Trades Foundation is a Catalogue nonprofit that works in partnership with DC Public Schools to support the Academy of Construction and Design at Cardozo Senior High and to extend the Academy’s educational outreach programs to other District middle and high schools. The ribbon cutting ceremony that took place at 5734 13th Street NW on December 6th celebrated the work of the Academy’s students, as well as a dedicated group of instructors, staff, school and industry partners, and sponsors who guided the house construction from the groundbreaking in October 2010.
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19 Dec 12
How to Help Families Affected by Newtown School Shooting (Newtown Patch): “In the wake of the unimaginable tragedy at Sandy Hook School Friday people from all over the world — in Connecticut, California, Canada and much farther away in Australia and India — sent an outpouring of support and want to know how they can help.” Newtown Patch has compiled a list of ways to support individual families, the community, and local resources; instate residents can call 211 “for information about how individuals or businesses can support the victims and their families.” The article also invited readers to post “I want to help” in the comment section if they wished to receive updates on what they could do. Currently, over 1350 comments have appeared. The Chronicle of Philanthropy also reports that “more than $1-million has poured into a fund to help Newtown.”
New Maryland system measures school progress (Washington Post: Education): “The Howard and Frederick county school systems scored slightly higher than Montgomery County under a new Maryland accountability system that [...] takes into account each school’s benchmarks on overall student performance, student growth, closing the achievement gap and preparing students for college and careers.” This new state data, which was released this past Monday, “comes from the School Progress Index, which is permitted under new federal rules that allow states to create their own ways to measure progress in public schools.” Maryland and Virginia, along with 34 other states and the District, have received waivers from the 2002 No Child Left Behind provisions.
‘Hugely complex’ work for philanthropy in the next decade (Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers): “The rise of a wide variety of strategies for mobilizing private resources to address common societal problems is now, and will increasingly in the future, blur the lines between what we call philanthropy and commerce,” writes Susan Raymond, Executive Vice President of Changing Our World, Inc. “That makes for exciting times. It also makes for challenges. Not the least of these challenges for the formal philanthropic sector — for foundations and corporate giving — is how to partner with these new resource strategies.” What new strategy, do you think, is having the greatest impact on philanthropy today?
13 Dec 12
by Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator
Some students grow up dreaming to write; others use writing as a way to express their dreams, desires, and inner most thoughts. The young authors of Young Playwrights’ Theater perhaps do both, and now have a new platform from which to share their words with the world. This winter, Young Playwrights’ Theater published its first book, Write to Dream — a collection of plays written by YPT students, as well as information on YPT’s arts education program and curriculum.
The plays written by YPT students represent an artistic achievement worthy of publication in and of themselves, but the additional information on curriculum and assessment adds an additional level of justification and value to YPT’s work. Plays range in topic from satires on capitalism (written by a fifth grader!) to magnetic superheroes, inter-racial romance and gang violence.
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11 Dec 12
From “Under new principal, Savoy Elementary shows what art can teach” in this weekend’s Washington Post:
“[Yo-Yo] Ma and Damian Woetzel, a former principal with the New York City Ballet, spent more than an hour in a classroom with students, dancing, playing music and rehearsing pieces that they later performed on stage for the whole school.
It was one small part of Principal Patrick Pope’s broader effort to use the arts to transform Savoy, where poverty is pervasive and fewer than one-fifth of students are proficient in math and reading.
As Pope sees it, song, dance, theater and visual arts aren’t tacked-on extras — they’re essential parts of creating a school where students and teachers thrive. Students agree.”
Students in grades three through five now have “twice as much art and music time” as they did previously. But Rachel Goslins, executive director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, explains, “We are having a national conversation about how to fix our schools, and the arts were not in that conversation.”
Needless to say, the prevailing question is: how can we expand that conversation?
Learn more about CFP’s Performing, Literary, and Visual Arts nonprofits, many of which work directly with our schools, right here.
05 Dec 12
Commentary: DC Council Should Support Grandparent Caregiver Program (WAMU): “The proposal before the DC Council is a small, but important, change to the Grandparent Caregiver Program, a program that provides financial support to low-income grandparents who are raising their grandchildren,” says Judith Sandalow, the executive director of the Children’s Law Center. At present, the subsidy starts starts only after the child has lived with their grandparents for six months; the proposal would permit the city to waive that requirement and “children who are being removed from their parents and are at risk of entering foster care could immediately go to live with their grandparents.”
Ward 8 parents, teachers challenge DC school closure plan (Washington Post: Schools Insider): “A standing-room only crowd of parents, teachers and activists gathered Tuesday evening at Savoy Elementary School in Southeast Washington to critique and challenge Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s plan to close 20 under-enrolled schools.” Principal concerns included the quality of transitions for students from one school to another and the reinvestment goals for the money saved from closures. “The community meeting was the first of four scheduled over the next week;” the meeting for Wards 1-4 and 6 is coming up tomorrow.
The Risks of Limiting Charitable Deductions (Nonprofit Quarterly): “In his Urban Institute blog, The Government We Deserve, the Tax Policy Center’s Gene Steuerle looks to the past to auger the future of charitable deductions [and] reiterates the argument that limiting charitable deductions will dampen giving, which threatens nonprofit coffers and ultimately hurts those who benefit from programs and services provided by the sector [...] The Wall Street Journal reports that “there is no specific plan to eliminate deductions for charitable giving” in the ongoing haggling over the fiscal cliff. There are, however, proposals to cap overall deductions.” What do you think about a possible cap, and does the amount or the mere existence of it matter more? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
28 Nov 12
Maryland behind 11 states, tied with five others on graduation rates (Gazette): “The US Department of Education released statistics Monday ranking states by high school graduation rates, reflecting new data reported consistently nationwide [...] The new, uniform methods are the result of 2008 federal regulation. Beginning with data from 2011-2012, graduation rates will be used to hold states accountable for school performance.” With an 83% graduate rate, Maryland ties for the twelfth spot on the list (along with five other school systems); Virginia comes in just behind at 82%, while DC’s rate is 59% based on 2010/2011 school year data. The complete list is available here.
‘Giving Tuesday’: The Start Of A Holiday Tradition? (WAMU): “First, there was the post-Thanksgiving sales spectacle Black Friday and then the online version, Cyber Monday. Now, charitable groups want to start a new holiday tradition — it’s called Giving Tuesday. It may seem a little surprising that no one came up with the idea before of designating a specific day to help launch the holiday charitable giving season.” What do think of the new tradition? Did you give on Tuesday, or do you plan to give closer to the end of the year? Time of year aside, remember to check out Washington City Paper’s 2012 Donation Guide for ideas!
On ‘Giving Tuesday,’ big donors shed light on why, when and how they give (Washington Post): “Why, when, how and to whom do wealthy people give? It’s a core question for charitable organizations confronted with an uncertain economic climate [...] A new video series produced by the nonprofit consulting firm Bridgespan Group offers some answers.” On Tuesday, Bridgespan launched the video series “Conversations with Remarkable Givers,” which features interviews with some of the country’s most prominent philanthropists. “The site, GiveSmart.org, features the roughly 400 video clips — a database that is expected to expand to roughly 1,200 over the next several months.”
15 Nov 12
By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator
20 DC schools targeted for closure (Washington Post) “One in six traditional DC public schools is targeted for closure under a plan put forth Tuesday by Chancellor Kaya Henderson, the latest sign of a system facing budget pressures and increased competition from fast-growing charter schools. The 20 schools marked for closure are spread across six city wards but are concentrated in Northeast Washington and east of the Anacostia River. The chancellor said her plan would shift resources from maintaining under-enrolled schools to focus on improving academic programs,” Find a list of all proposed public school changes here.
Partnership Leads to New Beginning for Homeless Veterans (Huffington Post: DC Impact) “Across the country, men and women who served in the armed forces are becoming homeless at a rate that is higher than the civilian population. Sadly, this is consistent with a history of overrepresentation of veterans in the homeless population. This year, Veteran’s Day marks a new beginning for many homeless veterans in the District who are benefiting from an innovative housing program and critical community partnerships. Our organizations — Pathways to Housing DC and Miriam’s Kitchen — are working together to identify chronically homeless veterans with mental illness and/or disabling medical conditions in the District who are eligible to move into their own apartments as part of a pilot project sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Housing and Urban Development.”
Region leaders hoping for federal spending cuts compromise (Washington Examiner) “The region’s leaders say they’ve prepped their 2013 budgets for what will be hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue if federal spending cuts start in January. But they are also holding out hope those cuts — and the devastation they say it would bring to the region — never come. ‘It’s like Hurricane Sandy — there’s only so much you can do with powers beyond your control,’ said Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. at a Greater Washington Board of Trade panel discussion Thursday.” How is your organization preparing for possible cuts and sequestration?