The "Reach Incorporated" program aims to develop confident elementary school readers via tutoring by high school students. (Courtesy of DCPS)
The "Reach Incorporated" program aims to develop confident elementary school readers via tutoring by high school students. (Courtesy of DCPS)

Visitors after classes at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Southeast are likely to see Ballou Senior High School students tutoring their younger peers in reading through a program called “Reach Incorporated.”

The program aims to develop confident readers in elementary school and capable leaders in high school by training teens to tutor younger students.

Shawma, an 11th-grader at Ballou, who’s been involved with Reach for almost two years, said the program helps her just as much as she’s helping MLK students.

“I like seeing the kids progress so much in their reading,” she said. “I also like that we read books and practice the lessons for them. It’s like we learn, too, as we’re tutoring.”

Scholars Semifinalist

School Without Walls High School student Samantha O’Sullivan has been named one of 630 semifinalists in the 2018 U.S. Department of Education “Presidential Scholars” program.

The program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors.

Each year, up to 161 students are named Presidential Scholars, which is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

Wellness Grants

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education recently awarded more than $500,000 in funds to six organizations through the Healthy Tots Wellness Grant, in support of healthy eating, physical activity, and wellness programming in the DC child care community.

This marks the first time OSSE has awarded funding that will allow recipients to implement health and wellness programming at the targeted facilities.

“We know that children thrive in learning environments that foster healthy habits, such as proper nutrition and physical activity, and we know that early exposure to nutritious foods, physical activity, and wellness programming can have a lasting impact on children,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang. “These Healthy Tots Wellness Grants will help programs that serve our youngest learners create a culture of health and wellness that children can carry with them throughout their lives.”

Student Representatives Sought

The DC State Board of Education is looking for motivated students to serve next year as student representatives on the board and as members of its Student Advisory Committee.

Applications are now being accepted from students who are passionate about serving their community. Interested students can apply online at

Applications are due by Thursday, May 31.

Student Advocate Workshops

The DC State Board of Education’s Office of the Student Advocate recently hosted “Know Your Rights,” a workshop series in Ward 6 in conjunction with Council member Charles Allen, State Board Ward 6 Representative Joe Weedon and the Capitol Hill Public School Parents Organization.

In addition to the special education series, the office recently hosted its first “Citywide Bullying Prevention” workshop with the D.C. Office of Human Rights’ bullying prevention program.

The success of both events has been partly attributed to the interagency relationships and community partnerships the office has worked to establish.

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