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Students Revel in Rowing Activities

Sam P.K. Collins | 11/13/2013, 3 p.m.
Eight students from Eliot-Hine Middle and Eastern High Schools recently showcased their newly acquired rowing skills and received honors before ...
Students who attend Eliot-Hine Middle School and Eastern High School row on the Anacostia River. (Courtesy photo)

“It’s all about exposure, “said Young, 32. “ It’s exposure to their city through this experience on the Anacostia River. [Rowing] is a sport they don’t typically see in DCPS. It [has the potential] to create opportunities for them beyond the District,” said Young who lives in Southeast.

The partnership between Serve Your City and DC Strokes, located in Southeast, came together in April after representatives from the local nonprofit reached out to the rowing club to help organize classes for D.C. students. DC Strokes relished the opportunity, citing what it saw as a lack of community awareness about the Anacostia Community Boathouse. In June, the groups launched a three-week summer session in conjunction with the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation, taking on eight students from Rosedale Recreation Center in Northeast, before adjusting the curriculum and launching the five-week fall session.

A spring session begins in March and may include a larger group of students. Maurice Cooke, founder and executive director of Serve Your City, said the awards ceremony and community enthusiasm around rowing are signs of what he sees as a potentially sustainable program.

“[There are no reasons] why students cannot have programming like this east of the river,” said Cooke, 42. “Our goal is to create collaborative programming for both schools. Eventually, kids from this program will be able to go head-to-head with the best rowers in the city,” said Cooke, who lives in Northeast.