Tuesday, September 26, 2006

DC Public Schools NeighborCorps

From Marc Borbely:
Happy National Good Neighbor Day!

Please consider joining the DC Public Schools NeighborCorps, launched today, September 23, 2006. Sign up at http://DCPSNeighbors.net or call 202-544-2447.

The idea is simple: you identify one thing you're willing to do for your neighborhood school (elementary, middle or high) -- even just once a year! For example: reading to kids, talking to kids about your job, helping to fix computers, helping to raise money for the PTA, tutoring, helping with school activities, beautifying the grounds, calling parents about upcoming PTA meetings -- anything. We'll compile and update NeighborCorps resource lists for every school and give them to the principal and the PTA president every month. They'll call or e-mail you when they can use the help you've offered. (Note: DCPS requires volunteers interacting with children to pass a criminal background check and show proof of a negative TB test.)

Our neighborhood schools need our involvement, as activists and/or as volunteers -- and as owners. They're our schools.

We're shooting for 1,000 people by October 19.

all the best!

- Marc Borbely
Candidate for School Board, Wards 5 & 6


Anonymous said...

How about some truth in advertising?

This isn't a DCPS-sponsored initiative, so while it's all very wonderful and warm and fuzzy, there's no guarantee a principal or anyone else will call the prospective volunteers.

self-promotion dressed up as altruism + a political campaign = gag me with a spoon

Marc Borbely said...

Nope, there's no guarantee anyone will call the volunteers -- but principals and PTA presidents I've spoken with think it's a great idea.

Where schools have either functioning PTAs or good principals, this will be a good resource.

Where schools don't have either, I agree with you: these resource lists won't help. Note though: everyone gets on the list for three schools (their local elementary, middle and high school). Chances are, at least one of those schools will be able to use the volunteers!

I do also strongly support strengthending DCPS's Office of Volunteer Services, so central admin support staff can help coordinate matching volunteers with schools that want them (and see what the heck is going on at the schools that don't). Right now, that office is severely understaffed.

Our neigborhood (public!) schools will be MUCH, MUCH stronger once the public is fully involved. Volunteering, and being activists and advocates, is a great way to rebuild connections.

Every school can (and should) use neighborhood help -- and also give back to the neighborhood.

all best!
- Marc Borbely

Anonymous said...

Are (public!) charter schools included in this effort? Or do you believe that the children who attend (public!) charter schools aren't worthy of your - and others' - volunteerism?

Marc Borbely said...

All children are worthy! Most students are at charter schools because their own neighborhood schools are inadequate. The DCPS NeighborCorps is focused on bringing neighbors together to revitalize those neighborhood schools. Check out the Fox 5 report that ran last night on the DCPS NeighborCorps.

- Marc Borbely