The following organizations offer free programs:
Program Description: D.C. LEARNs convenes service providers that are committed to working to improve literacy skills, to increase the effectiveness of literacy service providers, to raise resources for literacy providers, and to raise awareness of literacy needs and issues in D.C. D.C. LEARNS supports these organizations by assisting in improving their services and expanding learning opportunities for residents of the District of Columbia. As a leading advocacy organization for adult, children's, and family literacy in the city, D.C. LEARNs actively promotes the public and private benefits of increased literacy skills for all District residents.
Contact Name:Elana Bush
Summary: The primary goal of First Book is to work with existing literacy programs to distribute new books to children who, for economic reasons or otherwise, have little access to books.
Program Description: The First Book model depends on local involvement. A nationwide program, First Book establishes local advisory boards who select community tutoring, mentoring, family literacy programs and (child care centers) serving at-risk children and work to support those programs through either book grants, special events in bookstores and/or national literacy initiatives.
Program Provides: Book grants so that children may own their own books and special event support (involving book characters) for fund raising efforts.
Fee: No. Centers may apply directly to the D.C. LAB for books if you have an active literacy/reading program involving tutors/volunteers.
Contact: Ingrid Zimmer or Connie Zimmer
Summary: An arts, literacy and mentoring program available to inner city centers interested in becoming NAEYC accredited.
Program Description: ICIC is an 11 week program with both arts and literacy components to foster the child care center's arts and literacy curriculum and professional development program. Artists work with the center's 4 and 5-year-old classes for two mornings a week in which the children will learn music, African Dancing and drumming, sign language and movement. The entire workshop is based on one book that each child will be given to take home at the end. Centers wanting assistance in becoming NAEYC accredited will also receive a mentor to guide them through the challenging process of the NAEYC self-study, program review and validation visits.
Program Provides: Teacher Training Arts and Literacy workshops for the children. Mentoring for NAEYC Accreditation Support for accreditation and validation fees. Libraries for the center once they become NAEYC accredited. Books for the children and center as well as a monthly professional development program, Thinking Thursdays.
Summary: The mission of JSF is to use sports to assist children, particularly those growing up in disadvantaged neighborhoods, in fully developing themselves in body, mind and spirit.
Program Description: Star Power for Preschoolers focuses on helping young children develop themselves in five key areas: concentration, relaxation, cooperation, imagination and self-esteem. It contains more than 60 enjoyable games and physical activities and the only equipment needed is parachutes, tennis balls and large foam balls.
Services Provided: Residencies, Workshops, Teacher Training and Coaching as well as Star Power for School Age Children.
Contact: Tina Minervini
Summary: Jumpstart is an eight month program where college students help children struggling in preschool develop literacy and social skills.
Program Description: Jumpstart is a national nonprofit organization that pairs highly-trained college students with preschool children in Head Start and other early learning programs for one-to-one tutoring in school readiness skills. Jumpstart's strategy is to provide a high quality comprehensive program that focuses on the development of the child.
Support Provided: School-year one-on-one tutoring program Summer program designed to reach young children who would have no other summer learning opportunities.
Contact: Karen W. Jaffe
Summary: Educational nonprofit which develops and disseminates information and materials for children from preschool to highschool. Kidsnet produces and distributes curriculum materials directly to schools and libraries as well as social service institutions.
Program Description: In addition to their curriculum guides, Kidsnet also produces guides to Television watching, encouraging the watching of educational programming and provides information about new technology, research, publications etc.
Summary: An instructional program for four, five and six year olds that uses the arts to assist young children, including those with disabilities, in exploring themes commonly taught in early childhood classrooms.
Program Description: The program develops basic literacy skills and offers engaging arts activities teachers can apply to all curricular areas. Instructional materials are included for parents to continue their children's learning at home.
Program Offers: Sponsored by Very Special Arts, Start with the Arts offers "institutes" or trainings that provide artists, educators and parents opportunities to explore techniques for incorporating the arts into their existing curricula, learn strategies for promoting inclusion of children with disabilities into grade level classrooms and to network with veteran Start with the Arts educators.
Contact: Karen Granton
Summary: WCDC provides a referral service for parents seeking a child care program, provides technical assistance to child care programs, offers its Monthly Child Development Calendar, and advocates on behalf of child care providers in the District of Columbia.
Program Description: The WCDC mission is to promote quality child care in the District of Columbia through a variety of community directed activities and services.
Services Provided: Technical assistance to centers and family day care homes Resource information on workshops, training and government assistance Resource and referral system for parents
Zero to Three:
Summary: Founded in 1977 by top development experts, Zero to Three disseminates key developmental information, trains providers, promotes model approaches and standards of practice and works to increase public awareness about the signifigance of the first three years of life. It is a national nonprofit charitable organization whose mission is to strengthen and support families, practioners and communities to promote the healthy development of babies and toddlers.
Program Description: Zero to Three has many programs including a yearly training conference as well as programs that centers and family day care homes may apply for. Called the Cornerstones Project, it provides training, technical asssistance, materials and information in six cornerstone areas: child development, family development, community building , staff development, program management and administration and program evaluation.