Our “Community Partner Friday” series allows 826DC to dedicate one day a month to developing new partnerships as well as building on existing ones. On each CPF we work closely with another organization, like the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) in Columbia Heights, to provide their students with creative and engaging writing lessons. This month we’re excited to feature one of our favorite collaborators. Lucky for us, John Holmes is just as enthusiastic about building partnerships as we are. Previously, we worked with him on summer programming, and this year we were eager to help create heroes, villains, and more with students from Sacred Heart who participate in his LAYC afterschool program. We asked John to tell us a little bit more about his experience with LAYC and 826DC.
Can you describe your role in LAYC at Sacred Heart?
For LAYC, I am the liaison/site supervisor for the Sacred Heart afterschool program. LAYC has partnered with Sacred Heart to provide after school programming the past 4 years, including homework completion, tutoring, enrichment, sports and more. I coordinate and design monthly themed activities, field trips, as well as the overall schedule. I also look for partners to do presentations, trips and classes during after school.
Why partner with 826DC?
I love collaborating, as seen by the partnership created with LAYC and Sacred Heart. I love the energy and knowledge that the 826 employees provide. They have fun and enriching activities and do a great job connecting to the students. It’s always nice to have the students exposed to new things and to show them how communities can come together.
Tell us about a memorable experience you have from working with the students at Sacred Heart.
I will use the example of when 826 came to Sacred Heart to complete a lesson where students were making their own super heroes or villains. Students of all different ages were so excited! I loved how imaginative they were allowed to be and the buzz of energy it created. Students talked about their super powers even the next day and were still very excited about it.
What is your favorite part about working with this community?
My favorite part about working with this community is the tight knit feel of the school family. It is the kind of place, where people are happy to help one another and greet each other warmly. It is a big machine, where everyone is doing their parts; students, parents and teachers. It is also an environment where hard work is appreciated and respected!