Program of the Month: Taste and Move


Taste and Move is the center program around So What Else’s mission to create a healthier lifestyle for our youth.

This program kicked off in 2013 at just 2 sites and has grown to being implemented in 4 schools and 1 community center per week. Our healthy living program is designed to introduce and encourage kids to make healthy food and lifestyle choices. The program combines hands on cooking lessons, nutrition lessons, fun fitness activities and gardening lessons to engage students in new and fun ways to stay healthy.

The program’s mission is to teach kids that food is fuel and health is happiness. In our program students explore the concepts of organic foods, local and seasonal foods, sustainable eating and GMOs. By encouraging kids to grow their own food and eat healthy we are empowering them to take control of their health at an early age. Our program strives to make healthy living fun and interesting instead of a chore or burden, encouraging children to care for their health and well being.

After a long day of school our program re-energizes students and encourages kids to stay active. Through group cooking lessons youth are able to gain teamwork and leadership skills and they are given the chance to develop new relationships with their peers. Learning about growing your own food creates self-efficacy and empowerment in youth. Students gain a sense of pride in providing for themselves and feel more in control over their lives. Trying new foods and learning new accessible snack recipes encourages kids to eat more LIVE foods full of nutrition and less processed foods with no nutrition. The physical activity students take part in during the program gets them moving and encourages them to keep moving after school instead of sitting in front of the TV.

The programs ultimate mission is to combat childhood obesity and prevent diabetes and disease at an early age. All the ingredients used in our program are organic and nutritious. Students are able to eat what they cook in the program thus providing them with a nutritious snack after school. This helps students focus when they go home and have to study and work on homework.

Our  goal is to expand this program to 2 new additional sites in the Spring of 2015. To help us reach our goal please donate! We cannot reach more students without your help.

Fall 2014 Program Kickoff


September 29th marks the kickoff week for our fall after school programs. So What Else and our team of Youth Development Practitioners will be teaching a total of 24 youth programs at 14 different sites.

We have a wide range of programming being offered this semester, all with the common core focus of teaching our students the importance of community and the importance of helping others. We are providing Fitness, Yoga, Hip Hop Dance, Expressive Arts, STEM and Healthy Cooking Classes.

All of our programming is free to the students and families that live in the under-supported communities that we serve.

To volunteer at our after school programs please email us at We are looking forward to a great semester that is full of creativity and learning!

2014 Summer to Remember


2014 Summer Camps wrapped up this past Friday, August 22nd. This summer So What Else doubled the amount of our day and week long camps, provided free of cost, to low income and under served communities in Maryland and DC. We provided four weeks of day camp for the PG County Community Services Division, where we served over 400 kids. Two weeks of camp for the Montgomery County Recreation department at Broad Acres Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland, serving over 60 kids. Two weeks of summer programming at White Oak Recreation Center where we served over 60 kids. We finished out summer with our 4th year of two weeks of camp at the Kingman Boys and Girls Club where we served over 80 kids.

Youth spent the summer participating in service learning projects, sports and games, fitness and healthy cooking lessons, expressive arts and crafting, science and engineering projects, music lessons, water play, environmental projects and more. Big thanks to our dedicated staff of Youth Development Practitioners and Interns who made this summer a success for our youth and for So What Else.

Eco-Friendly Bottle Brick Bench Build


Volunteers are needed to help The Harvest Collective in building a beautiful eco-friendly park bench made from recycled material at Black Hills Regional Park (20930 Lake Ridge Dr, Boyds, MD 20841). There will be multiple volunteer days to participate in each of the three phases of building. This is a good opportunity to not only give your time back to the community and planet but also a great learning experience about sustainability and eco-conscious initiatives. Together we will be building an incredible piece of art and students will get the experience of learning in an outdoor classroom setting. Students from our Roberto Clemente Middle School Green Club will be learning how to create mosaics and to develop designs that will be placed on the bench. They will also be helping to build the bench during their after school program on Thursdays.

So What Else is always inspired by the Harvest Collective and their mission to educate and provide programs that “empower homeowners, students, and volunteers to develop a deeper connection to their food, community, health, and habitat.” We are very excited to partner in the building of this bench. Most importantly we are excited to expose our students to creative art, building and out of the box recycling. This is a great opportunity for group or family volunteering. See below for the volunteer days. To sign up please email us at

  • Wednesday September 24th – 2 PM – 6 PM – We will be constructing the base for the bench.
  • Thursday September 25th – 10 AM – 6 PM – We will be “earthbagging” and building up the vertical skeleton for the bench.
  • Saturday, September 27th – 10 AM – 6 PM – We will be sifting clay, building bottle bricks, earthbagging, and starting to cob the bench.
  • Saturday October 4th – 10 AM – 6 PM – ALL BOTTLE BRICKS WILL BE DUE! We will finish cobbing the bench.
  • Saturday October 11th – 10 AM – 6 PM – We will mosaic and plaster the bench with our students from Roberto Clemente Middle School. .

If the Saturdays are rained out, we will have make-up days on Sunday. WE WILL NOT BE BUILDING IN THE RAIN!

Bike Lovers Volunteer Opportunities


 We have two upcoming volunteer projects that are perfect for bike lovers or any individual looking to give their time for a good cause. This Friday August 29th, So What Else is sending volunteers to the annual New England Bike to the Beach Ride. We are excited to once again to join the Bike to the Beach volunteer crew. Cyclist will ride from Boston, MA to Middletown, RI to raise money and awareness for autism.

Volunteers are needed to distribute refreshments to bikers at two rest stations. The rest stations are located at Ray’s Appliance (264 Broadway, Taunton, MA) from 6:00 am to 8:15 am, as well as at the East Bay Bike Path near mile 1.25 (95 Veterans Memorial, East Providence, RI 02914) from 7:30 am to 11:30 am. Volunteers are also needed at the finish line to set up and cheer on riders as they arrive. Riders and volunteers are welcome to enjoy complimentary refreshments at the end of ride party at Tickets Bar & Grill.

Our second opportunity is a bike drive for the great organization Bikes for the World. We will be hosting a collection of gently used bikes at REI Rockville on September 13th, from 12 pm to 4 pm. The bikes will be sent to individuals and institutions in developing countries and used as a form of transport to school, work and health centers. Volunteers are needed to help advertise on the day of and to disassemble the bikes to get them prepped for shipping. Please come and donate a bike for a good cause! REI Rockville – 1701 Rockville Pike, A-7, Rockville, MD 20852)