Newsblast 4-24-2015

We have a lot of bigger volunteer events coming up in the next couple weekends (Pitch Hit & Run, KaBOOM, and Launch Sports Performance in particular). A lot of these are only a couple hours, and we’d really love to see some of our providers more involved and out at these events– bonus points if you bring your kids out! Talia is taking project lead at one of our events this weekend and she’ll (hopefully!) be bringing some of her Clemente kids along with her. Thank you, Talia!!

Please let us know if you’re able to make it out and we can get that setup and ready to go. Thanks!

STAFF/INTERNAL NEWS:

A big welcome to two new providers, Yvette Downs and Phil Silberman! Yvette has taken over two theater classes at Strathmore, and Phil has kindly stepped in to lead an Olympiad program at Neelsville Middle School. The kids have loved having you there the past couple weeks, and we welcome you to the So What Else team!

We’d like to feature Barbi Lopez and the fabulous work she’s been up to with her students all over D.C. and Montgomery County!! Last Saturday she spent the day with her students from the Shady Grove Girls’ Home, first at the 2015 MS Walk and then at a Youth Empowerment Forum at Anacostia Museum. Her day with the girls truly embodied the So What Else mantra of giving service and leading our kids to Pay It Forward. Thanks for all your AWESOME work Barbi!!

Our new programs at DC Prep have been going swimmingly; thanks to Rachael and Jonathan for spearheading Taste and Move and Olympiad down in DC!

The building of Baltimore’s first-ever bottle brick bench has officially begun! Volunteers came out on Saturday to get the foundations dug and ready, and all this week and next, Roland Park Country School students will be building the bench by their playground with the help of The Harvest Collective. We will be updating pictures to our FB page, and invite any providers out to help on the final build day, scheduled for May 9th.

Upcoming Events White Oak Mulching

Date: Saturday May 2, 2015
Time: 10:00AM – 3:00, lunch included!
Location: White Oak Recreation Center (1700 April Lane, Silver Spring MD 20904)
Details: White Oak Recreation Center is starting a youth gardening program and is looking for volunteers to help set up the area with light landscaping and mulching.

Pitch, Hit, & Run in Takoma Park with Pyramid Atlantic Sports

Date: Sunday, May 3rd 2015
Time: 12:30pm – 5:30pm
Location: Ed Wilhelm Field | 2 Darwin Avenue, Takoma Park, MD
Details: This grassroots program is designed to provide youngsters with an opportunity to compete, free of charge, in a competition that recognizes individual excellence in core baseball/softball skills. This event will give the competition a “creative flavor” by providing free art activities for youth that will include screen-printing of team logos and bracelet making from old baseballs. Pyramid Atlantic is looking for TEN VOLUNTEERS to help support the various athletic activities, art projects, and set-up/break-down. The event lasts from 2-5pm but volunteers are needed from 12:00-5:30. This opportunity is a great one for high school and college student group volunteering! Please email swevolunteer@gmail.com if you’re interested.

Sarah’s Hope Birthday Party

Date: Monday May 4, 2015
Time: 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Location: 1114 Mount Street, Baltimore MD 21217
Details: We will be having a May birthday party at Sarah’s Hope this coming Monday at 7pm. The center is full with 50 school-aged children, so we’re looking for people to lead games and activities. There will be cake, games, and arts & crafts as we help celebrate the May birthdays of the shelter.

Roland Park Country School Bottle Brick Build

Dates: May 9, 2015
Time: 10:00AM – 3:00PM
Location: 5204 Roland Avenue, Baltimore MD 21210
Details: The Harvest Collective needs help on May 9th at the Roland Park Country School bench builds! The Roland Park Country School invites community volunteers to come out for the day and help finish off the mosaic work and put the finishing touches on the completed bench.

KaBOOM! Playground Build with MoCo Coalition for the Homeless

Dates: May 20, 2015
Time: 7:45AM – 3:00PM
Location: Seneca Heights Apartments | 18715 North Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg MD 20879
Details: The Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH) needs 75 volunteers to participate in a “one day build” to build a KaBOOM! playground for the Seneca Heights Apartments, where 17 formerly homeless families and 40 single adults live. They require 75 volunteers on Wednesday, and we hope to supplement the volunteers they bring to the table to get them to 75!

Launch Sport Performance Fundraiser

Date: Thursday May 21, 2015
Time: 5:00PM – 8:30PM
Location: 2600 Tower Oaks Boulevard, Suite 101 | Rockville, MD 20852
Details: Launch Sport Performance is hosting an open house event honoring So What Else on Thursday, May 21. We’d like to invite you out to their 11,000 sq. foot state-of-the-art facility for an evening of drinks and h’or d’oeuvres, as well as a meet and greet with Olympic athletes, Jordan Zimmerman and other Nationals players, a former NBA player, and other local professional athletes. LSP is an incredibly valued partnership of ours and they are aiming to raise $25,000 to fund several weeks of our summer camps, so we would really love to see anyone who can make it out to come out in support of this event!

Launch Sport Performance Fundraiser!

Join us on Thursday May 21st from 5:00 to 8:30 pm and support our mission!

Launch Sport Performance is hosting an open house event honoring So What Else. We’d like to invite you out to their 11,000 sq. foot state-of-the-art facility for an evening of drinks and h’or d’oeuvres, as well as a meet and greet with Olympic athletes, Jordan Zimmerman and other Nationals players, a former NBA player, and other local professional athletes.

LSP is an incredibly valued partnership of ours and they are aiming to raise $25,000 to fund several weeks of our summer camps, so we would really love to see anyone who can make it out to come out in support of this event!

Open House Flyer-page-001

April 10 Newsblast

Internal News

  • Olympics this past Monday went really well! We had +400 chaperones and kids come out to Anacostia Park for a beautiful day of sports, games, service, and art. Thank you to ALL our providers, staff, interns, and volunteers for helping to make it such a success!
  • We’re hammering out our summer camp schedule– I know Dave said this in an earlier email, but please email us to let us know your availability (full-time, part-time, spot-work, etc) for summer!
  • Amy Santis has started running The Big Idea at City Springs Middle School every Thursday; congratulations Amy! We know you’ll help the kids come up with great ways to help their community!
  • We’re starting TWO new programs with our new partners, DC Prep- Rachael will be teaching the Big Idea and Jonathan will be running an Olympiad program. We know they’ll do awesome work and make us proud :)

Upcoming events

  • Leveling the Playing Field: Saturday, April 18th, 2:00-5:00pm9170 Brookville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910– We’re looking for some excited volunteers to come out to help our long-time partner, Leveling the Playing Field, in sorting donated sports equipment at their Silver Spring warehouse!  This is a great opportunity for families with young kids to come out for a couple hours and do some good service.
  • Community Forum: Female Youth Empowerment Forum: Saturday, April 18th, 2:00-4:00pm | The Anacostia Community Museum– Documentary filmmakers, Donna and Tony Fair will show excerpts from their film, Don’t Hate Me, which explores the internal struggles of girl’s self-esteem and how girls can receive guidance and support from mentors. An interactive panel discussion will take place at intervals during the screening with various community mentors and leaders. This is a wonderful learning/enrichment opportunity; no registration is necessary, and we’d love to see any interested volunteers and students in attendance!
  • Maryland Jubilee Association fundraiserMonday, April 20th, 3:30-10:30pm | North Bethesda Marriott: 5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda MD 20852— The Jubilee Association of Maryland is looking for ten volunteers to help them out at their annual fundraising event, a toast of Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen! Volunteers are needed from 3:30-10:30pm (or any time therein) for unpacking cars, setting up the room, interacting with guests and clients, and then cleaning up at the end of the night. The Jubilee Association of Maryland is a long-time partner of So What Else and we always have a great time at their service events. They’re looking for TEN volunteers, so if you’re free and want to help make their event a success, contact us for more information!
  • Leveling the Playing Field: Saturday, April 25th, all day| Baltimore MD (exact location TBD)– Leveling the Playing Field is having an all-day collection in Baltimore, MD and is looking for volunteers to help out at their event! They’re especially looking for volunteers who would be able to transport equipment to/from Baltimore.
  • Plant the TownSaturday, April 25th, 8:00AM – 1:00PM | 8916 Chesapeake Avenue, North Beach, MD 20714– Join us for the 8th Annual Plant the Town clean-up.  Volunteers will be doing beach and marsh cleanup and overlook park, town streets, and curb side cleanup. Lunch IS included! Meet time is 8am to register and get assignments, then spend the morning beautifying North Beach!
  • Pitch, Hit, and Run in Takoma ParkSunday, May 3rd, 12:30-5:30pm
    Ed Wilhelm Field | 2 Darwin Avenue, Takoma Park, MD– This grassroots program is designed to provide youngsters with an opportunity to compete, free of charge, in a competition that recognizes individual excellence in core baseball/softball skills.  This event will give the competition a “creative flavor” by providing free art activities for youth that will include screen-printing of team logos, bracelet making from old baseballs and baseball inspired art making! Volunteers are needed to help support the various athletic activities, art projects, and set-up/break-down.  The event lasts from 2-5pm but volunteers are needed from 12:30-5:30.
  • KaBOOM! Playground BuildTuesday, May 20, 7:45AM-3:00PM
    KaBOOM! is a non-profit dedicated to making sure children from all walks of life are given the opportunity to have safe and fun places to play. The Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH) needs 75 volunteers to participate in a “one day build” to build a KaBOOM! playground for the Seneca Heights Apartments, where 17 formerly homeless families and 40 single adults live.  They require 75 volunteers on Wednesday, and we hope to supplement the volunteers they bring to the table to get them to 75!

Program of the Month: Olympiad

Currently being run at 5 schools across Montgomery County and Baltimore City.

olympiad-1So What Else’s Olympiad program is designed to promote healthy activity and wellness in the lives of youth. The program provides students with access to fun fitness activities and games, in Olympic competition form, that keep them moving and engaged in physical activity for at least 60 minutes. These activities are set up as a series of team games, challenges and individual events.

olympiad-2Each class has a running theme of the day, which is reflected upon during the  activities. These themes teach the values of teamwork, integrity, inclusion, positivity and hard-work. These values are not only encouraged throughout the program but rewarded as well.  Fitness time is followed by a nourishing and healthy snack, fueling the students again after their exercise. Students are introduced to the concepts of nutrition and healthy living as well as new interesting topics and current events related to wellness and our bodies.

olympiad-3So What Else knows that kids are in the classroom all day with not much time, if any at all, dedicated to health and fitness. After school is the best time to provide kids with fun fitness activities because they have tons of stored up energy from being indoors all day. Our Olympiad program aims to heighten daily activity and exercise levels in youth which is essential to their health and combating childhood obesity. The program also promotes team building and gives students a chance to form new relationships with peers, allowing them to build social, character and leadership skills.

Donations Needed!

We’re seeking a donated or deeply discounted truck or van to aid us in our operations.

As our valued supporters know, our work providing extracurricular activities and leading community service projects takes us to many locations throughout the DC area.

We often have to rely on our staff to provide transportation of volunteers, bulky program materials, large quantities of food, and so on.

A vehicle devoted to our operations would be more efficient than using our staff members’ personal vehicles, decreasing the number of cars, the amount of time, and the amount of fuel necessary to transport materials. Our own vehicle will also build our capacity to deliver our students and volunteers the best experience possible. If you have any leads that will allow us to secure a vehicle within our budget, we are eager to pursue these. Please respond to info@sowhatelse.org, thank you!

Programming material donations wanted! So What Else seeks all sorts of materials to be used in our after school programs for under-served children, including school supplies, arts and crafts supplies, and new or gently used sporting equipment! A wide variety of materials will be accepted. We will be collecting during the Fallsgrove Community Halloween Parade, at 400 Casey Ln, Rockville, MD 20850 from 3pm to 6 pm on Friday, October 31. If you are unable to make this event but would like to donate, please respond to info@sowhatelse.org to make alternate arrangements.

As the weather grows colder, our concern for the well-being of our local homeless families grows, too.

To ensure a safe and happy season for homeless DC residents, So What Else is holding a clothing drive to benefit local nonprofit Miriam’s Kitchen.

We are looking for gently used SEASONAL MEN’S CLOTHING, including socks, long pants, large t-shirts, coats and other outerwear.

Please email sowhatelsehelps@gmail.com to request the address of a nearby clothing drop-off location.