For more than 50 years, a D.C. organization has been helping students reach their potential in school and at home.
FLOC — For Love of Children — started in 1965.
"At FLOC, we really want to teach our students to grow and push themselves and to try new things," Executive Director Brandelyn Anderson said.
The organization says students can gain one year of grade-level equivalency in reading and math in just 28 hours of tutoring there.
FLOC helps students in the D.C. area up to the 12th grade who come from under-resourced backgrounds.
"Part of my personal mission is to rid our organization of the low-income term,” Anderson said. “We really want to focus on what kids can do and where they can go."
The secret is guiding every student at their own pace.
“Our students can come in and just let it all go, and they can come in and they're seen,” Anderson said. “They have a person, so our staff knows the name of each kid who comes through our doors. They have a tutor that they work with for the entire school year and often multiple years and so kids come here because they are treated as an individual."
Maria Caiza once was one of those struggling middle school students. Now she attends American University and interns at FLOC.
“I’m getting a scholarship from FLOC, so that's really helping me continue my education and not having to worry about the financial aspects of college," she said.
Students don’t just spend their time at FLOC doing homework. They also bond with their mentors.
“The mentor I had when I was in middle school, she was super supportive, and I always looked forward to coming to FLOC every weekend," Caiza said.
“A lot of times students are able to come out of their shells; a lot of times students are able to really become more social and they get excited,” Anderson said.
FLOC serves 600 students every year, and they're always looking for tutors and mentors. They don't have to be professional teachers. FLOC has people from all professions.
Reported by Leon Harris, produced by Michelle Montgomery and edited by Scott Eisenhuth.