Monday, November 17, 2014

Thank You Education Support Professionals - You All Rock!

Courtesy of Girls of Worth Literacy Club, William Paca ES, and Youth Ambassadors, Parkdale High School
We wish education support professionals everywhere a wonderful, wonderful week and THANK YOU for all that you do every single day to take care of our most valuable assets, our children. We especially thank support staff at our partner schools in Prince George's County, Maryland - Parkdale High School, Charles Carroll Middle School, Walker Mill Middle School, Kenmoor Middle School, William Paca Elementary School, and Carrollton Elementary School. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Save the Date: Tuesday, November 4, 2014!

If you can't join us on Tuesday, consider supporting In Reach in one of the following ways:

  • If you are an amazing parent or know someone who is, purchase In Reach’s “I Am An Amazing Parent t-shirt in gray, red, or pink (Ladies T) and gray or sapphire (Unisex). The purchase of one t-shirt will provide a student with $25 worth of books while participating in our new Power of Literacy Program in partnership with Scholastic’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE™) Initiative to help students build literacy skills. 
  • Making a workplace contribution via the Maryland Charity Campaign, designation code #6720. 
  • Mark your calendar for Tuesday, December 2, 2014, the big day, #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. We would appreciate your support in raising funds to support the development and implementation of our High School Internship Training Program, a much needed resource to help prepare rising juniors to interact and conduct themselves in professional settings.
We appreciate your support! Please share.

Lights On #Afterschool!

Prince George's County Council Member Ingrid M. Turner, Esq. (D-4) and Kentland Community Center afterschool students

Contact: Samantha Trotter

What Does a Nonprofit Organization and Community Center Have in Common?
Collaboration is Key in Afterschool

Landover, MD | On Thursday, October 23, 2014, In Reach, Inc. in collaboration with the Kentland Community Center celebrated Lights On Afterschool, the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. 

Forty students ranging in kindergarten to eighth grade from surrounding schools enjoyed an afternoon full of activities including decorating paper light bulbs, Lights On’s symbol, competing in a relay race, and sharing reasons why they love their afterschool program.  While some students took home winning prizes, everyone took home a book bag filled with goodies. “Our Lights On Afterschool celebration was a huge success thanks to In Reach. The kids were still talking about all of the fun they had days later,” commented Tarik Brown, Director of the Kentland Community Center.

All over the country public officials recognized the special day. Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley signed a proclamation claiming October 23rd the official Lights On Afterschool Day in the State as well did the Prince George’s County Council in a proclamation presented by Council Member Ingrid M. Turner, Esq. (District 4) to In Reach and the Kentland Community Center for their hard work and dedication to providing children with afterschool programming in Prince George’s County.
In Reach and the Kentland Community Center are both members of the Kentland-Palmer Park Transforming Neighborhood Initiative (TNi), one of six neighborhoods in the County that face significant economic, health, public safety and educational challenges. Several TNi members attended and supported the event. Corey Smedley, Team Leader, Kentland-Palmer Park TNi shared, “Education is the key to success and our County Executive, Rushern L. Baker, III, has set the vision for the County. Whether it is integrated school governance or Transforming Neighborhood Initiatives, education is the foundation, and improvements will take a collaborative effort.” 

This collaborative event was just one of many that took place in the county, and all over the state, committing to increase awareness about the value of afterschool programs and their necessity. It is just one way In Reach and the Kentland Community Center work to continuously expand its afterschool opportunities in Prince George’s County. Afterschool programs play a pivotal role in keeping kids safe and healthy, inspiring them to learn, and relieving working parents of worries about their children’s activities during the afternoon hours.

# # # #

In Reach, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, mission is to prepare students for college, work and life.

Kentland Community Center is a facility of the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation.

The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children have access to quality afterschool programs, organizes Lights On Afterschool. Read more about the importance and value of afterschool programs at

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Turning Dreams into Reality at Largo-Kettering Public Library - Celebrating #TeenReadWeek

Every year the Young Adult Library Services Association celebrates Teen Read Week, its purpose is to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users. In Reach’s own Girls of Worth Afterschool Literacy Club visited the Largo-Kettering Public Library, one of their neighborhood libraries, in celebration of Teen Read Week. The group included 19 sixth grade girls, In Reach Executive Director, Toni A. Smith, Manger, College Access Programs, Katrina Robinson, and Partner Engagement Specialist and trip organizer, Samantha Trotter.

Largo-Kettering branch director, Devon Holland, opened her doors to the Girls of Worth. She gave an impromptu tour and provided the opportunity for each young lady to sign up for the new Student Library Card. This new card allows students to check out a limited number of items without a financial burden. The girls were intrigued to learn of some of the overlooked resources Prince George’s County Metropolitan Library Services offer. Some of which include online homework help, test prep sessions and access to online movie and music streaming all with their library card.

After the tour and discussion the girls had a chance to familiarize themselves with the branch. This time was filled with chatter between the young ladies about their favorite genres of literature as well as which books they would begin next. The bus ride home was filled with excitement. The girls discussed how they would be visiting the branch and checking out books, music and movies as soon as they received their new card. This Teen Read Week event met its goal of encouraging teens, in this case preteens, to be more frequent readers and library visitors! 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Girls of Worth Afterschool Literacy Club is back!

First Team Win of the Year - Crossing the River Activity

Our Girls of Worth Afterschool Literacy Club is back in session for the 2014-2015 academic year with 19 sixth grade girls! Now entering its second year at William Paca ES in Landover, MD, another amazing program year is underway.

The purpose of Girls of Worth is to prepare girls for middle school by engaging them in fun, hands-on and confidence building activities that will strengthen them academically and further develop their 4C's - communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity - 21st century "super" skills.  

This year, in addition to using the Kindle Fire, we have added Practutor, an online tutoring program that customizes learning for each student based on individual skills and empowers them to master every concept of the Common Core Standards, to help strengthen the girls reading and math skills. Club members will also become pen pals and organize and implement a community service project.

Stay tuned for much more from these awesome girls!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Amazing #AmeriCorps

Samantha Trotter, Partner Engagement Specialist and AmeriCorps VISTA member

In Reach celebrated 20 Years of AmeriCorps Service with AmeriCorps Maryland on September 12, 2014. We were pleased to watch as our AmeriCorps VISTA, Samantha Trotter, was sworn-in in Annapolis, Maryland.

In collaboration with the Maryland Out of School Time Network (MOST), on September 2, 2014, Samantha officially joined In Reach as our Partner Engagement Specialist. She will be assisting In Reach with building its capacity to reduce challenges of poverty as they directly relate to K-12 education, bridging the gap in services in the Kentland/Palmer Park neighborhoods, one of six Transforming Neighborhood Initiatives in Prince George's County, Maryland, and raising awareness about issues that currently challenge In Reach's mission of preparing students for college work and life.

Samantha is a native of Columbus, Ohio and a recent alumna of Central State University. She graduated with honors earning her Bachelors of Arts in Mass Communication. Ms. Trotter has excelled throughout college in many ways including serving a three year consecutive class president and an active member of Student Government Association. Additionally, she has been a member of the United States Army Reserves since 2009. Samantha is honored and humbled to be able to share her assets, learn and grow in this new, rewarding environment.

And we are honored and humbled to have her!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

10 Things Every Young Man Should Know

10 Things Every Young Man Should Know
Do you know a young man who could benefit from learning beneficial skills to make him a more well-rounded individual?

If so, “10 Things Every Young Man Should Know” is the perfect program. This 12-week program for young men ages 14-18 is strategically designed teach them basic life skills as they transition from adolescence into adulthood.
The program will be held on consecutive Tuesdays from September 2, 2014 - November 18, 2014 at Oakcrest Community Center, from 6:30 pm-9 pm.

The cost is $50 for Residents and $60 for Non-Residents.
Topics in the 12-Week Session
Introductory Session
How To Maintain A Car
How To Prepare For The Workforce
How To Stay Healthy
How To Make A Difference
How To Maintain A Positive Identity
How To Have Healthy Relationships
How To Interact With Law Enforcement
How To Handle Finances
How To Cook A Meal
How To Be A Leader
Closing Session

*Attending all 12 sessions is not mandatory, but is strongly encouraged. Don't miss out on these educational and empowering sessions.
Participation Criteria
All participants must have a M-NCPPC Youth ID. Create your FREE Youth ID at any local M-NCPPC Community Center or online at the PG Parks site.

Register for this program with SMARTlink#: 1555217.
Registration begins Aug 11, 2014.
Read the attached commitment letter, then print it out, once you've successfully registered for the program.
Additional Information

Need more information or seeking financial assistance?

Please contact Natalie Smart at 301-446-3400, or

Monday, July 14, 2014

Keeping Teens Safe, while driving - In Reach Partners for Free Driver's Education

Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for US teens. In Reach would like to help change this statistic. We are excited to announce our new online free driver's education program for teens, and others, preparing to learn how to drive. Visit our dedicated site for access to Maryland permit practice tests and more information on the Maryland licensing process

Join In Reach in helping our teens and others prepare to take and pass their MD state written driving exam. We have partnered with to bring residents in Maryland one site where they can practice and get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

- There are 26.6 Million Teens in the US;
- Automobile accidents are the #1 cause of death for US teens;
- 95% of teens use the internet; 75% have broadband at home;
- 40% of all teens fail their permit exam on the first try; and,
- Lack of preparation and failure to study is the #1 reason cited for exam failure.

Maryland ranked seventh best in safer places for teens to drive according to a study by WalletHub. Let's do our best to stay in the Top 10 and move closer to the top spot by keeping our teens safe while driving especially during the summer months when they drive more and are supervised less.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Passport to Summer Week 2014

The Kickoff - Summer Learning Day

In Reach kicked off its Passport to Summer Week Program by holding its 2014 Summer Learning Day activities on Monday, June 24, with its Girls of Worth Literacy Club. The exciting day, which engaged 14 girls in a series of sessions in preparation for their week long travels, included a speaker who delivered a superb workshop, Dreams to Reality: Finding Your Passion and Purpose to Create Your Plan.

The purpose of Passport to Summer week was to encourage girls, who are rising seventh graders, to use the summer to continue their learning by exploring all of the amazing resources the Washington DC Metro Area has to offer (free Smithsonian museums, the best museums in the world) and to read and write to strengthen their comprehension and vocabulary skills. Each girl was given a travel journal and encouraged to record not just their experiences during the week; but, also to continue capturing their thoughts throughout the summer.

Although In Reach's programs are located in a suburb right outside of Washington, DC, many students do not have an opportunity to experience its many monuments and rich resources. Our student's Passport allowed them to enter the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum and the National Aquarium in Baltimore; the National Museum of American History and the first day of the annual Smithsonian Folk Life Festival on the National Mall; and, last but certainly not least, Luray Caverns in Virginia where girls not only learned about stalactite and stalagmite formations but found their way out of a maze and challenged themselves on a rope course.

The Girls of Worth Literacy Club is held in partnership with William Paca Elementary School in the city of Landover in Prince George's County, Maryland. It is an after school transitional program for girls in their last year in an elementary school setting. Its purpose is to prepare girls for middle school by engaging them in fun, hands-on and confidence building activities that strengthens them academically and further develops their 4C's - communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity - 21st century "super" skills.

Everyone had a great time! See the proof right here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

And the 2014 Amazing Parent Award Recipients Are . . .

The Third Time Really is a Charm--Recognizing Prince George’s County Parents

Hyattsville, MD | On June 6, 2014, In Reach, Inc., held its Third Annual Celebrating Amazing Prince George’s County Parents Awards Program, an event honoring outstanding parents with children currently enrolled in a Prince George’s County Public School. 

“I am very pleased with our third annual celebration of Amazing Parents and congratulate each nominee and their nominator for being simply amazing,” said Executive Director, Ms. Toni Smith.

Congratulations again to our three 2014 Amazing Parent Award Recipients:

Ms. Alexia Clark, recipient of the Parks and Recreation Amazing Parent Award for being an awesome and dedicated bridge builder in the lives of children.

Mr. Jeff Warner, recipient of the In Reach, Inc. Amazing Parent Award for being an all around selfless individual, active in the school and community, and an incredible parent who best demonstrates a well-rounded presence.

Ms. Diane Traweek, recipient of the Ingrid M. Turner Amazing Parent Award for demonstrating a strong sense of community as a volunteer, coach and mentor.

In Reach would also like to thank all 32 of the 2014 nominees: Mr. Samuel & Mrs. Fatima Alfa, Ms. Alexia Clark, Mr. Willie & Mrs. Roberta Cooper, Mr. Jeffrey & Mrs. Bobbie Dewhurst, Ms. Monica Ferguson, Ms. DeLisa French, Ms. Cynthia Gray, Ms. Karen Hackett, Ms. Lorrie Ann Hyatt, Ms. Erica Johnson, Ms. Tarsha Deanna Jones, Ms. Sharon M. Lewis, Ms. Ana Moran, Ms. Josephine Moss-Nelson, Ms. Alicia Nelson, Ms. Anabel Nolasco, Ms. Lisa Ojeda-Brown, Ms. Mary Pollard-Jamison, Mr. Michael B. Rather, Ms. Elizabeth Santos, Ms. Deidra Speight, Mr. Terry & Mrs. Lori Thomas, Ms. Diane Traweek, Mr. Jeff Warner, Ms. Christine Monaco Williams, Ms. Andrea D. Williamson, Mrs. Geiner Janet Winkey, and Ms. Tia Yisrael.

“I commend and applaud In Reach, Inc. and the efforts of Executive Director Toni Smith for recognizing and celebrating Amazing Parents in Prince George s County. Parents are the most important role model in their child’s life and the nominees for the Amazing Parent award have certainly set a tremendous example. They have provided outstanding community service and invested time in our schools through their work in parent teacher associations, youth groups and mentoring programs all while raising and supporting their own children in every aspect of their lives. Congratulations to all of the Amazing Prince George’s County Parents,” commented Council Member Ingrid M. Turner, Esq., (District 4).  

In Reach thanks all of the individuals and sponsors who helped make the Third Annual Celebrating Amazing Prince George’s County Parents Awards Program a success especially Ms. Ingrid Harrison on behalf of Council Member Ingrid M. Turner; Ms. Shawna Fachet of the Prince George’s Department of Parks and Recreation; Ms. Amber Waller, Prince George’s County Board of Education, District 3; and In Reach's Board of Directors.


In Reach, Inc., is a tax exempt 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization designed to prepare students for college, work and life. Founded in 1999, In Reach envisions healthy, productive and prepared young adults in every family. To learn more about our work, visit

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Third Time Really is a Charm!

On Tuesday, May 20, 2014, In Reach held its final program event for the 2013-2014 school year with partner William Paca Elementary School in Landover, MD for the Girls of Worth Afterschool Literacy Club. Above is a video that was shown during the program that captures our work with the students during the year.

The Girls of Worth (GOW) Literacy Club is a free after school transitional program for fifth or sixth grade girls in an elementary school setting. Its purpose is to prepare girls for middle school by engaging them in fun, hands-on and confidence building activities that will strengthen them academically and further develop their 4C's - communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity - 21st century "super" skills. 

At the center of programming is the Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet. The Kindle Fire is used to introduce girls to a breadth of educational resources to encourage a continuous interest in learning, expand their thinking, and increase their knowledge about future college and career opportunities particularly in the areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Congratulations to our 2014 Amazing Parent Nominees!

In Reach is pleased to present the 32 amazing parents nominated for its Third Annual Celebrating Amazing Prince George's County Parents Awards. 
Join us on June 6 for the announcement of the Award Recipients.
 Dr. Samuel & Fatima Alfa
Alexia Clark
Willie & Roberta Cooper
Jeffrey & Bobbie Dewhurst
Monica Ferguson
DeLisa French
Cynthia Gray
Karen Hackett
Lorrie Ann Hyatt
Erica Johnson
Tarsha Deanna Jones
Sharon M. Lewis
Ana Moran
Josephine Moss-Nelson
Alicia Nelson
Anabel Nolasco
Lisa Ojeda-Brown
Mary Pollard-Jamison
Michael B. Rather
Elizabeth Santos
Deidra Speight
Terry & Lori Thomas
Diane Traweek
Jeff Warner
Christine Monaco Williams
Andrea D. Williamson
Geiner Janet Winkey
Tia Yisrael

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Congratulations to our very own Sagen Kidane!

We are so very proud of our very own, Sagen Kidane, for being selected at the Prince George's County Public Schools' Scholar of the Week, March 10-14.

Sagen is an excellent student and amazing young lady. An active member of the Youth Ambassadors @ Parkdale High School since her sophomore year, she also was a participant in In Reach's Quantum Project during middle school. We are so excited for Sagen and look forward to supporting her through the next chapter of her life as her high school years soon come to a close and she prepares to head off to college in the fall.

Read the full PGCPS write-up.

What are you waiting for? Nominations are now open!

In Reach's 2013 Amazing Parent Award Recipients

In Reach, Inc., is now accepting nominations for its Third Annual Celebrating Amazing Prince George's County Parents Awards. The Awards are open to parents with children (K-12) attending a public, including charter, school in Prince George’s County and honors parents who are making a difference in the life of their child, whether at their child's school or in the community. Parents who are nominated are invited, with a guest, to a delicious dinner and recognized on stage. Nominated parents may be selected for one of three Amazing Parent awards which comes with, in addition to the previously mentioned, a trophy and other rewards. Honorees and Award Recipients are announced in all publicity materials including website, social media and press.

Nominations close on Friday, April 4th.

Help make the third year a charm and nominate an amazing parent today.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Surprise! Unexpected Gifts Received from Reading

Looking for a new e-read? We have just the e-book for you.

Surprise! Unexpected Gifts Received from Reading is a fantastic e-book written by Library Media Specialist Bianca Johnson. It is an informative, inventive and engaging read. The layout and use of a variety of media - video, news articles and art - to deliver thoughtful and relevant messages meant to inspire reading is creative.

An educational tool for formal and informal settings, with students of various ages and grade levels, and adults, young and seasoned alike.

Currently only available for the iPad.

Ms. Johnson is the Library Media Specialist at Parkdale High School, a Prince George's County Public School in Maryland and an In Reach partner school.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Is there any charity in Prince George's County?

On Thursday, January 30, Beyond Charity: Nonprofit Business in Prince George's County, Maryland was released at the Beyond Charity: The Untapped Market of Prince George's County Nonprofits forum hosted by the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, the Prince George County Government and others.

Over 120 individuals representing nonprofits, businesses and government listened to panelist County Executive Rushern L Baker III; Leanne Posko, Senior Manager, Community Relations of Capital One; Kim Rhim, Executive Director of The Training Source; James Estepp, President & CEO of Greater Prince George’s Business Roundtable; and David Harrington, President and CEO of Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce discuss and present key recommendations on strengthening Prince George's County nonprofits.

As outlined in the Report, in 2012, 80 percent of Prince George’s County nonprofits with a 501(c)3 designation had budgets under $25,000, a higher percentage of small nonprofits than the state of Maryland.

In order to strengthen Prince George's County by helping the nonprofit sector build its capacity and achieve its full potential, the following recommendations were made:
  1. Invest in cross-sector partnerships.
  2. Help local nonprofits tell their stories.
  3. Leverage the expertise of both County-based and regional nonprofits to best meet local needs.
  4. Enable more nonprofits to participate in capacity-building programs. 
Read the full report.


Friday, January 24, 2014

A Day Off from School - The Perfect Time to Learn Something New!

@ Ski Liberty in Pennsylvania
We always encourage our students to try something new - they just may like it. Ten brave Youth Ambassadors did just that on their very first ski trip on their day off from school.They were awesome and here are the pictures to prove it!!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Girls and Engineering in Action

Our Quantum Project, in its fifth year at Charles Carroll Middle School in New Carrollton, MD, continues to engage students in the fascinating and many faceted world of STEM. Listen to two of the female participants describe designing their lunar buggy via NASA's Beginning Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) curriculum.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Celebrating Amazing Prince George's County Parents 2014

We are five months away and counting from our 3rd Annual Celebrating Amazing Prince George's County Parents Event. The event will be held, again, at our favorite Busboys and Poets Restaurant in Hyattsville.

We are in search of fabulous sponsors to help us celebrate our amazing parents! If you have or know a business that would be interested in being a sponsor, please contact Toni Smith on 301.744.9251 for more information.