DC Today…DC Tomorrow’s MLK Day of Service 2008

The Problem

DC Today…DC Tomorrow is applying for this GameStop grant to fund one of our big days of service, Martin Luther King Day on January 21, 2008. DC Today…DC Tomorrow operates with two main goals: to foster leadership in today’s DC inner-city youth through service-learning and to inspire DC’s inner city youth to become agents of social change for the DC of tomorrow. Through a direct campus and community partnership, DC Today…DC Tomorrow functions as an after-school leadership and service-learning program for the students of Thurgood Marshall Academy, located in Anacostia, D.C. Through service-learning, DC Today…DC Tomorrow seeks to address the needs of today’s inner-city youth by developing an intimate environment for the students to explore issues and challenges, as well as creating an awareness of the importance of social change through community service. In addition to the weekly meetings and service events, DC Today…DC Tomorrow participates in the nationally recognized Martin Luther King Day of Service (MLK Day) to honor the late advocate for social change. DC Today…DC Tomorrow partners with Thurgood Marshall Academy to provide several service options for the students to participate in on this day of service. In our first year, approximately 50 students participated and each had the option to either cook breakfast at Ronald McDonald House, to play BINGO with the senior residents of NW Healthcare, or to repair and re-paint a homeless shelter in DC. In addition to helping to retain our existing members in the organization, this was a great way to attract other students in the school, many of whom continue to attend meetings and field trips today. While our first MLK Day was very successful, we are looking to expand this event in every way. For 2008, we are hoping to have about 75 students participate and we would like to provide 6 service options to choose from. In order to expand in the measures we would like to, it is crucial that we have additional funds. The GameStop grant can provide us with the amount of money needed to run this event sufficiently. With the possible funding amount of $500, we would like to supply three things; the essential component of transportation, an incentive and retention tool in the form of a T-shirt and an outlet for reflection and reward in the form of a pizza party. The most crucial reason for the GameStop funding is to provide each student and staff member with transportation money needed to get to the service sites. We take the Metro to all service events and unfortunately many of the students do not have enough money to buy Metro cards. In order to bring this many students into the community, it is essential that we have the money to support the transportation costs. Once the transportation costs are covered, we would like to use the money to provide every volunteer with a T-shirt. These will be custom designed T-shirts that will serve as both an incentive to attract volunteers and also as a way for students to be continually reminded of the day they spent helping others. Lastly, the grant can provide funding for a joint reflection and reception session after the service event. Two key components of service-learning are reflection and celebration. The reflection will be a way for the students to recap on the day and think about what they have done and whom they have helped. In celebration of the accomplishments they achieved and reflection on, we would like to offer the students a reward in the form of a pizza party. Overall, the GameStop grant will be a great support to the Martin Luther King Day of Service project run by DC Today…DC Tomorrow. The funds can provide T-shirts, transportation and a reception for the expected 75 students and staff that will participate in the event. Engaging in this nationally recognized day of service is a great way to help out the community and to further our mission of “fostering leadership through service-learning.” Without these additional funds, our vision for the 2008 MLK Day of Service cannot be completed.

Plan of Action

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