Washington Middle School for Girls, Grant Recipient

The Junior League of Washington is proud to announce a grant of $25,000 to the Washington Middle School for Girls. Founded in 1997, WMSG is dedicated to providing a good education and other forms of support for girls in an under-served area of Washington, DC. Their goal is to “level the playing field,” helping these girls acquire the educational, social, and emotional strengths and capabilities that will enable them to create productive and rewarding lives for themselves and their families. WMSG serves 106 African American girls who live in Ward 8 or neighboring Prince George’s County, Maryland and who are at risk of terminating their education prematurely.

In the fall of 2008, WMSG began using the Voices program, a reading and language arts program targeted specifically for inner-city education. The Voices Core Program explores all aspects of student reading and writing territory (grammar, spelling, writing strategies, comprehension strategies, reading fluency, exposure to all literary genres, and vocabulary) while also addressing student character development. While Voices of WMSG is strongly linked to the reading/language arts program, it goes beyond the classroom in both its focus on the social and emotional growth and development of the students and its engaging reach to the families and caregivers.

WMSG set a goal for the 2011-2012 school year (and going forward) to enhance the Voices program and purchase much needed equipment that will take the school to the next level. Experts at the Library of Congress and elsewhere believe that electronic books and other state of the art equipment such as Kindles and Smart Boards will attract and encourage those students who are not on reading level to embrace reading on a whole new level. It is also believed that visual and auditory aids are particularly helpful to lower-level readers. The Voices program has supplemental materials which WMSG has been unable to purchase because of the cost. Specifically, funds from the JLW will purchase books for the classrooms, Kindles, electronic books for the Kindles to complement the current Voices program, video cameras and Smart Boards for the classrooms.

If you would like to receive further information about the 2012-2013 grant process, including notice of the application and deadline information, please contact Alicia Lee, Chair, Targeted Grants and Volunteer Resources Committee at grantsandvolunteers@jlw.org.