Do the Write Thing Foundation of DC

aka Do The Write Thing of DC   |   WASHINGTON, DC   |  dothewritethingdc.org

Mission

Our mission is to use a whole-child approach to promote the long-term development and success of children and youth across multiple developmental domains including social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. Our vision is to help young people find their voice when they feel powerless.

Ruling year info

2011

Executive Director

Dr. Gerald Sidney Norde Sr.

Main address

56 T STREET NW

WASHINGTON, DC 20001 USA

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EIN

27-2171541

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Do The Write Thing addresses the need to offer youth from economically and socially vulnerable communities in the District full access to performing, literary and visual arts instruction which teach actionable strategies and constructive methods of self-expression. Research shows art education helps students in low performing schools where learning is impeded by the detriments of poverty. The needs of our target population are well documented in research which shows children from vulnerable communities have low social-economic indicators that are inextricably linked to lags in academic performance, intergenerational health disparities, mental and behavioral health challenges, social isolation and criminalization. There is evidence within the research that promising approaches for minimizing the harmful effects of poverty should be culturally appropriate, align with school-day instruction, include parental involvement, develop self-esteem and expand safety net opportunities.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

R.O.Y.A.L. (Raising Our Youth As Leaders) Multi-Media Violence Prevention Program

This leadership program uses multi-media arts to give middle and high school youth a voice in addressing the violence that permeates their communities by activating student involvement through published anti-violence poetry, writing stop-the-violence lyrics and recording their songs in a mobile sound recording studio, producing stop-the-violence music videos and producing Stop-The-VIolence P.S.A.'s (Public Service Announcements). Through evidence-based violence prevention lifeskills workshops, youth are provided with the knowledge, tools and social-emotional skills to prevent minor encounters and conflicts from escalating into violence.
College readiness workshops are included. They cover FAQ's about college, FAFSA and other financial aid, financial literacy, essay writing, and completing college applications. Youth attend a local college fair and go on a college tour during Spring Break or during the summer.

Population(s) Served

Living Storybook is Do The Write Thing's signature literacy program for primary grade children that teaches literary concepts such as theme, narrative voices, characters and settings through group writing and publishing of books. The children dress in costumes to portray the characters for their books and independent readers record the text in a mobile sound recording studio.

Population(s) Served

This project helps elementary students build valuable social and emotional skills by teaching them how small acts of kindness can have a big impact and create powerful moments of shared humanity. The project reduces incidences of bullying and supports school efforts for a safe environment that is conductive to learning.

Population(s) Served

STEM + Arts integrationfor elementary students will blend art forms such as dance, drama and music with academic subjects (science and math which must be used in set design and costume design workshops). These activities will impact the development of the whole child. Project based instructional experiences will require students to use critical thinking skills, to be creative, and use problem-solving and expressive skills. Typical musicals that will be presented include ANNIE JR. and INTO THE WOODS JR.

Population(s) Served

In partnership with the Children's Defense Fund, children and youth are engaged in an out-of-school time (OST) FREEDOM SCHOOL PROJECT which reinforces and enriches the core academic objectives of the DC Public Schools.
FREEDOM SCHOOL is a literacy and cultural enrichment program that enhances each child's motivation to read. Students are engaged in a research-based, multicultural Integrated Reading Curriculum that supports them and their families through five essential components: (1) high-quality academic enrichment, (2) parent and family development, (3) civic engagement and social action, (4) intergenerational leadership development, (5) nutrition, health and mental health. Each day starts with "Harambee!" a time of informal sharing when students and staff come together to celebrate themselves and each other through chants, songs, reading of a book or poem by a guest, acknowledgements and announcements.
Children are engaged in reading and theme-based hands-on activities. They read books that feature heroes, heroines and settings that reflect their own cultural images and history. Activities use a variety of teaching models, including cooperative learning, role playing, and group discussions as well as reading aloud, paired reading, creative writing or visual arts. Each child receives a number of books each week to take home to build their home libraries. Children are also engaged in performing arts activities.

Population(s) Served

Fairy Tale Mock Trials combines performing arts with career education and literacy instruction for students in grades 1-5. Students learn persuasive argument writing skills, the concept of different perspectives, debating skills and critical thinking skills as they work cooperatively to create each case featuring fairy tale characters. Students take on the roles of judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, witnesses, bailiff and jury.
This project provides exposure to the court system to low-income children beyond the lens of the systematic criminalization of their adult family/community members.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The three-year vision for the organization is to:
triple the number of children served from 250 to 750 per year;
upgrade the arts and humanities instruction within our key programs;
align our goals with those promulgated through the DC Public Schools, arts education agencies and other youth development organizations;
evolve our infrastructure in governance, strategic planning and resource development;
purchase our own facility.

In order to serve more children and youth, DTWT will continue to form strong partnerships with other youth-serving organizations. DTWT will also continue to serve as a fiscal agent for grassroots organizations which can replicate or implement our program model.

DTWT is working to increase funding and governance infrastructure in the form of diversifying revenue sources and participating in Board Development offered by the Catalogue For Philanthropy. DTWT is listed in the 2018-19 Catalogue For Philanthropy as one of the top nonprofits in the DC-MD-VA region.

We believe developing sustained partnerships to address the needs of our target communities makes Do The Write Thing different from similar programs, particularly as a former grassroots organization, we have the capacity to work with smaller groups and extend infrastructure for other burgeoning community-based organizations. Our work reflects the value that no one organization can solve all the problems inherent to the target communities and neighborhood challenges require effective collaborations and synergy between multiple groups, especially groups which give community ownership for participation and solutions.

Our work demonstrates the following evidenced based instructional strategies and practices:
(1) project based learning supports student collaboration with each other and presentation of solutions through a multi-media approach,
(2) program designs use experiential learning, through hands-on activities that facilitate service and cooperative learning,
(3) differentiated environments provide broad opportunities for students to transfer learning beyond the classroom,
(4) the program is intentional in advancing positive youth development outcomes by providing youth opportunities to enhance their skills and abilities.

For the period 2012-2018, our programs achieved 95% retention and 98% attendance rates.
Do The Write Thing applies best practices in OST programs through adult to student ratios, high stakeholder involvement, effective partner collaborations and outreach. Additionally, the organization has successfully evaluated multiple youth development programs funded by the DC Department of Employment Services, DC Department of Human Services, DC Commission on the Arts, (former) DC Trust, the United Way of the National Capital Region, and the Washington Community Foundation.

Financials

Do the Write Thing Foundation of DC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Do the Write Thing Foundation of DC

Board of directors
as of 01/24/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Rhomda Thomas

VORTEX

Term: 2018 - 2021

Eugenia Serita Norde

Consultant

Elaine Paulette Laura

Retired Educator

Marion Ingram

Consultant