For over 30 years, the SCCW has partnered with DC elementary schools that receive funding under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, meaning that the school is largely composed of students from low-income families. SCCW is currently partnering with the Garrison Elementary School, located at 12th and S Streets NW, a self-described “proud and intentionally-diverse community school.” Smith alum volunteers read to a classroom once or twice a month, strengthening the critical thinking skills and love of reading of children in Grades Pre-K through 3. Readers also enjoy helping children in the library, getting to know the teachers and other readers at the annual spring potluck, and donating needed school supplies at the SCCW Holiday Tea.
The SCCW-Garrison Elementary School Partnership is entering its fourth year. Although the last year was disrupted by Covid-19, some of our intrepid readers continued to read to the children virtually. All of us are now looking forward to the beginning of in-person school this coming fall!
If anyone is interested in this fun volunteer commitment, please consider reading at Garrison Elementary School. It involves a once-a-month commitment to read and then help the children pick out library books – only about 45 minutes a month, but a special time that the children enjoy and look forward to. The readers have their favorite genres, ranging from classic folk and fairy tales to Shel Silverstein’s poetry to Roald Dahl and Pippi Longstocking. The teachers are very supportive of the program, sometimes suggesting book topics that complement particular units they are working on with the children. They also work with the readers to reschedule when necessary. Garrison is located at 1200 S Street, NW, two blocks from the nearest metro, a location that is convenient for many who work downtown.
Please contact the Read Aloud Chair if you would like to read. Contributing your dramatic and literary skills to this small jewel of a program is a fun, wonderful way to develop rewarding relationships with young Garrison children and connects you with other Smith alums who love children and children’s books.