Community Organization Creates Programs for Columbia Heights Youth
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Columbia Heights Village Together, Inc. (CHVT) has created a number of free programs to help the youth of Columbia Heights Village succeed in school and in life. The programs, which range from summer camps and fitness classes to computer training and work programs, are already seeing results. Last quarter, 90% of the students enrolled in the tutoring program made the honor roll.
CHVT is a non-profit organization established to provide social services to the more than 850 residents of Columbia Heights Village Apartments, an affordable housing community in northwest Washington, D.C. The organization's mission is to work with residents, local organizations, and other partners to empower residents and help improve their individual, family, and community quality of life.
Last year, Columbia Heights Village residents, Clark Realty Capital* of Bethesda, Md., and the non-profit Change All Souls Housing Corporation (CASHC) formed a partnership to preserve the long-term affordability of Columbia Heights. The partnership's rehabilitation program provides for the renovation of the community, which includes seven townhouses, a 10-story high-rise with 189 units, and 23 garden-style apartment buildings with 210 units.
In addition to the structural renovations, the partnership is also revitalizing the community through their support of CHVT. Last year, new property owners Clark Realty Capital, L.L.C. and CASHC provided CHVT with funding and a commercial storefront at the intersection of 14th Street and Columbia Road. The CHVT office now provides a safe, fun, educational place for children and teenagers to meet.
Clark Realty Capital and its partners have invested in the future of Columbia Heights and so have Clark Realty's employees. Clark staff members have supported the community by volunteering as tutors. CHVT's after-school program provides homework assistance to 36 children. The kids receive one-on-one attention and a daily snack and drink provided by D.C. Kitchens. CHVT employees communicate with parents and teachers on a weekly or monthly basis. The program also offers incentives for good grades and free backpacks, clothing, and school supplies. Other social programs for the children include martial arts classes, computer classes, summer camps, a gardening club, and holiday parties. In the six-week summer camps, children play miniature golf and other games and go on field trips to the beach, museums, and library. CHVT also offers free tickets to sporting events and Kennedy Center performances.
In addition, Columbia Heights teenagers can visit the Teen Drop-In Center on Mondays and Thursdays from 7 - 9 p.m. CHVT assists with homework, provides information on scholarships and local programs, holds college and Army recruiters' visits, and conducts field trips to local museums and art galleries. Last summer, CHVT worked with Pro-Urban Youth to provide jobs for 20 teenagers. The six-week program to beautify the property had the teens pick up trash, rake leaves, and plant flowers. The teens were taken on field trips to the Baltimore Aquarium, Sandy Point Beach, the Arboretum, the Botanical Gardens, and the National Aquarium. They were also offered sailing lessons on the Potomac River and dance lessons at the Dance Institute of Washington.
In March, CHVT will be hosting a "Techno-Rodeo" for the teens. CHVT is working with Columbia Heights Shaw Family Support Collaborative and other partners to encourage youth participation in contests such as graphic design, web design, music production, and video production. Contest winners will receive cash prizes.
To learn more about CHVT programs or to volunteer at Columbia Heights, call Amanda Hursen at 202-234-1478.
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* Clark Realty Capital, L.L.C. (CRC) offers a full spectrum of services to the real estate industry including capital markets, investment, development, construction, and property management.
About Clark Realty
The Clark Realty companies offer a full spectrum of services to the real estate industry including investment, development, construction, property management, and capital markets.