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.

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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!