D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Rights Advocacy

A group of five students from Thurgood Marshall Academy in Southeast recently attended the Washington D.C. Youth Civil Rights Summit, where they engaged in presentations ranging from women’s rights to voting rights.

The three-day summit was created by the American Civil Liberties Union Club at the School Without Walls Senior High School in Northwest.

“It was an amazing opportunity working in groups, meeting new people and learning about our rights,” said TMA junior Destiny Young.

Lessons in Photojournalism

Thurgood Marshall Academy has partnered with the Pulitzer Center’s educational outreach team to bring journalists into the classroom.

Students in Mrs. Luttrell’s Global Studies class worked with journalists who are part of the “Everyday Africa” project, where they learned about the power of photography to break down misconceptions and used their phones to capture images throughout the school.

RISEgiving Feast

Rocketship DC PCS – Rise Academy hosted its first annual “RISEgiving” Feast late last year, during which students welcomed their Rocketeer families for food, music and a time to reflect on what they were thankful for.

Families, teachers, staff and members of the Woodland Terrace community contributed to the spread that fed more than 300 people.

The school’s “Major Moves” student-mentoring program, which consists of young boys from kindergarten to third grade, also participated in a community service project.

The students, led by staff member Dale Southerland and second-grade teacher Mohamed Koroma, traveled to DC Central Kitchen to help serve the food.

Remembering Peggy Cooper Cafritz

Ward 5 State Board of Education representative Mark Jones recently introduced a ceremonial resolution recognizing Peggy Cooper Cafritz who died in February.

Cafritz, a longtime Ward 3 resident, philanthropist and community leader, was an influential figure on public education in the District of Columbia.

In 1974, she co-founded the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, a public high school serving District students with a unique dual curriculum combining college preparatory academics with specialized arts instruction.

A tireless civil rights activist, Cafritz served from 2001 to 2007 as SBOE president.

College Squad at Ballou STAY

Ninth- and 10th-grade English teacher Lakisha Williams serves on the “College Squad,” an after-school program at the Ballou STAY Opportunity Academy, where she helps students develop ideas and formulate strong entrance essays for their college applications.

The program also helps students edit and submit their essays as part of the broader application.

College Squad is funded through the District’s $2.6 million Excellence through Equity program, and Williams says it helps close the achievement gap because college counseling and prep sometimes aren’t a high priority at alternative schools such Ballou STAY. But it’s available for Ballou STAY students who want the support to go on to college.

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Dorothy Rowley – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I knew I had to become a writer when at age nine I scribbled a note to my younger brother’s teacher saying I thought she was being too hard on him in class. Well, the teacher immediately contacted my mother, and with tears in her eyes, profusely apologized. Of course, my embarrassed mother dealt with me – but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion for words and writing. Nowadays, as a “semi-retiree,” I continue to work for the Washington Informer as a staff writer. Aside from that, I keep busy creating quirky videos for YouTube, participating in an actor’s guild and being part of my church’s praise dance team and adult choir. I’m a regular fixture at the gym, and I like to take long road trips that have included fun-filled treks to Miami, Florida and Jackson, Mississippi. I’m poised to take to the road again in early 2017, headed for New Orleans, Louisiana. This proud grandmother of two – who absolutely adores interior decorating – did her undergraduate studies at Virginia Union University and graduate work at Virginia State University.

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