Little Lights Urban Ministries

2011 Spring Newsletter

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2  Little lights urban ministries  SPRING 2011 ALL IN THE FAMILY CENTER BETH DEWHURST "I want to get a job as a paralegal." events. Residents and parents with children in Little Lights programs can read current magazines or catch "I'm looking for a place to up on the news playing on the flat take classes." screen TV. Need to do some Internet research or create an email account? "I need help sending my No problem — we have staff ready resume to this job opening." to lend a hand! These and comments like them are what Little Lights staff hear in the Family Center each week. Potomac Gardens residents have been using the Family Center regularly since its opening in February. Upon entering during drop-in hours on Wednesdays and Fridays, residents are greeted by Manager Debbie Robinson and Director Linda Rice. The smell of fresh popcorn, coffee, and other snacks set out on a welcome table draws visitors closer to the six bulletin boards packed with job openings; resources like classes, food, clothing, furniture, and medical care; and fun (free!) family In addition to these and other general services, the Family Center also provides special events and free on going opportunities for connection. There is free one-on-one resume building and job search support on Wednesdays; Creativity Corner where adults can explore a variety Ms. Dozier, a resident of Potomac Gardens. of arts-based forms of self-expression with Ms. Katie Keister on Fridays; and on the first Friday of each month, Tyler Elementary principal Jennifer Frentress holds office hours for any parent who would like to support their child's learning. Tim Tim using the computer lab! COMPUTER CLASS TYLER AT LLUM end assessment time approaches. Beth recently visited the Tyler faculty and shared how a partnership with Little Lights staff can directly benefit the 25 Tyler students enrolled in our programs by streamlining communication between afterschool staff assisting students with homework, our reading and math Principal Frentress during a workshop. individualized learning plans, and Tyler Elementary principal Jennifer parent-school communication. Frentress holds monthly office Hosting Principal Frentress regularly hours for any parent who would in the Family Center is the first of like to support their child's learning many new initiatives we are underat the Little Lights Family Center in taking in hopes of seeing Potomac Potomac Gardens. Principal Frent- Gardens families thrive. ress also brought several staff members and a PTA representative to the Family Center in March to highlight the benefits of sending students to Tyler. About 20 parents from the Gardens attended and several were then assisted in the Family Center's computer lab in signing up their children for Tyler in the fall. 25 Little Lights students attend John "This space is great, and we are excited to be here," explained Principal Frentress in a recent visit. She has also coordinated academic efforts with our Academic Director, Beth Dewhurst, so that Tyler students enrolled in Little Lights programs get specific support as the year- Tyler Elementary located a few blocks away from Potomac Gardens. Tyler Elementary 1001 G Street, SE Washington, DC 20003 (202) 939-4810 Ms. Linda during Mother's Day party. thomas taylor, volunteer Computer class participants are all smiles. I've been tutoring at Little Lights since October of last year. After talking with Steve and Mary about the Family Center, we came up with the idea for me to teach a six-week introduction to computers class for adults. The class covers a range of computer topics: how to build a Word document, using Gmail, surfing the internet, navigating the desktop, saving files and surfing Craigslist. The class has been a great help to Little Lights staff, and it has taught me a lot as well. We have students who have never used a computer to do more than s o l i taire now surfing the web, composing Word documents and browsing Amazon. It's also been a lot of fun! The computer class crew!

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