At SPARK, students gain experience with basic programming and use their knowledge to create mobile solutions to community problems. (Courtesy of
At SPARK, students gain experience with basic programming and use their knowledge to create mobile solutions to community problems. (Courtesy of

SPARK, a free summer program that teaches tech and entrepreneurial skills to young people in D.C., is enrolling middle and high school participants.

The program meets 10 a.m.-3 p.m. from July 16- Aug. 9 at 200 I Street SE (Mondays/Wednesdays) and 2301-D Georgia Avenue NW (Tuesdays/Thursdays).

All applications, along with residency and school verification, must be submitted online by11:59 p.m., Friday, June 29. For more information, go to

Summer Meals

Throughout the summer, free breakfast and lunch will be served Monday through Friday in all eight city wards at 46 DCPS buildings. and is open to all D.C. residents 18 and younger.

There is no registration, no identification, and no parental guidance required to participate.

Stevens School

Mayor Muriel Bowser recently celebrated the start of renovations to transform the historic Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School in Ward 2 into a D.C. Public Schools Early Childhood Education Center.

The center will offer pre-K3 and -K4 classes and a child care center for infants and toddlers.

An adjacent parcel — the soon-to-be Stevens Place — will feature a new 190,000-square-foot commercial office building with underground parking.

“With this project, we’re delivering on our commitment to expand access to early child care,” Bowser said. “Together, we are giving new life to an important historic landmark, moving forward a long-stalled project, and creating a much-needed resource for our community.”

Stevens School, one of the District’s first public schools built for the education of African-American children, was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2001.

The building will reopen for the 2020-2021 school year.

Class Cleanup Project

The Thurgood Marshall Academy Class of 2018 recently helped clean up the National Mall as part of their community service activity.

They worked with park rangers, who also talked to them about the importance of keeping D.C.’s monuments clean.

Student Volunteers

Members of Connections, Thurgood Marshall Academy’s club for LGBT students and allies, recently volunteered at Casa Ruby, a homeless shelter and social services organization for the area’s LGBT population.

In addition to touring the facility, the students met with staff and clients and learned about HIV/STD prevention in the LGBT+ community.

Task Force Review

The D.C. State Board of Education earlier this month, unanimously adopted recommendations of its High School Graduation Requirements Task Force. The board approved a resolution which was forwarded to the recommendations to OSSE to review.

Meanwhile, task force members have reached a consensus on the following recommendations for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s consideration:

• Provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate they have mastered course content for world language and mathematics in lieu of taking the course.

• Reduce the number of required community service hours from 100 to 50.

• Create a personalized learning plan for each public school student in the District, and revisit this plan in elementary, middle, and high school to ensure the student is on track to graduate.

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