The non-profit organization Kid Power DC is opening doors for underserved communities throughout the District. Kid Power provides support, both after-school and over the summer, to elementary and middle school students at Title 1 DC Public Schools. The programs aim to promote youth development, and are composed of homework help, health and wellness lessons, and civics and advocacy lessons.
Jessica Truitt is Kid Power DC’s Program Director, who oversees the organization’s curriculum, partnerships with other organizations, and Kid Power’s data to ensure the effectiveness of the programs. “Every day is different and exciting! The great part about working for a non-profit like ours is that you get to wear a lot of different hats and gain skills in a lot of different areas…Going to a program site is always the highlight,” Truitt says in an email.
Nathan Laieke, a rising senior at Sidwell Friends School, is a volunteer counselor and tutor along with other high schoolers for the organization. Tutors aid students with homework during the school year for about two hours on Tuesday nights, and volunteer counselors assist teachers at the summer camp. “The most rewarding part of the program has been the interaction with the kids. It feels good that you can make a positive contribution to those who aren’t afforded the same opportunities you were given at their age,” Laieke says. He added that teaching kids inevitably comes along with occasional challenges like inattentiveness. However, both Laieke and Truitt commend the relationships that they have formed with the children, and the rewards that come along with mentoring the students.
With Kid Power DC, high school students have the opportunity to inspire students at schools like Malcolm X Elementary School and Jefferson Middle School to become leaders within their communities. Truitt and Laieke encourage Wilson and other high schools in the DC area to reach out to Kid Power DC and get involved. “We would love it if Wilson students wanted to volunteer at any of our school sites!…Wilson students can help tutor our students, and help lead them in small-group instructions in STEM, VeggieTime, and Citizenship lessons, and help teach things that they are excited about (dance, sports, art) during Club Days at our school sites,” Truitt says.
Those interested in volunteering can reach Kid Power DC at firstname.lastname@example.org, and additional information can be found on their website kidpowerdc.org.