It’s spring, and the children at the Frederick Douglass Apartments in Southeast D.C. are “blossoming,” literally and figuratively. Each time a Frederick Douglass child accomplishes a goal
they’ve set for themselves, they add a leaf or flower petal to the “Flower Vision Boards” they designed to visualize their dreams. The vision boards are one small part of the after-school classes and activities available at Frederick Douglass, thanks to a partnership between MidCity’s nonprofit arm, Community Services Foundation (CSF), and a grant from D.C.’s Learn24 initiative. D.C. created Learn24 to capitalize on a decade of research showing that quality after-school and summer programs improve academic performance, social and emotional learning and overall health and wellness. After-school support al
so generally boosts school attendance and graduation rates and instills positive behaviors and work habits in participants. MidCity’s late founder, Eugene Ford, Sr., also founded CSF to provide these and other social services for residents at his company’s properties. Today, MidCity spends more than $1 million each year to support social services at our Washington-area properties alone.
Frederick Douglass’ program includes homework help, reading and math tutoring, and online science and art projects
using STEAM kits that were distributed in person. By the end of summer, the flowers should be full grown, highlighting each little thing the kids did to achieve their goals. Ultimately, they’ll see how they’re blossoming as an individual.