May 9, 2023
Affordable Homes & Communities (AHC), the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD), and the Life Enrichment Center have partnered to provide literacy tutoring to elementary-aged students at AHC’s Gates of Ballston after-school program. The tutoring program is part of a three-tiered approach between AHC and ACPD’s Community Engagement Division to support positive youth development through education and relationship building and enhances the longstanding collaboration between AHC and ACPD.
"Our partnership with ACPD proactively works towards AHC's mission of using education and social services to help residents build more stable and successful lives,” says Paul Bernard, President & CEO of AHC. “We are grateful for the partnership with ACPD and the Life Enrichment Center to bring impactful educational programming to the youth at our AHC communities."
“Since the formation of the Community Engagement Division in June 2021, officers assigned to the Youth Outreach Unit (YOU) have worked proactively to establish partnerships with community organizations to support and engage Arlington youth through community-based activities and programs,” said Deputy Chief Wayne Vincent. “Community partnerships, such as ours with AHC and the Life Enrichment Center, allow us to embrace this unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people in Arlington.”
Parents are incredibly grateful for the impact that the collaboration with ACPD has on their children. Parent Eldelmira said, “Thank you for showing up for James and helping him with his reading. He loves reading with the officers every Thursday… and is no longer scared of them.”
A student named Axwell exclaimed, “I like to work with the police officer because if I read something, he helps me to fix it. We read different interesting books. He helps me write more – and better.”
Axwell’s mother, Yenny, says, “My son enjoys literacy time with the officers. I hope they bring these types of activities to the school and other community centers.”
Life Enrichment Center (LEC) Literacy Tutoring
In early 2023, AHC and ACPD began partnering with the Life Enrichment Center, a non-profit organization providing literacy tutoring and other life-giving initiatives for elementary students from Title I schools across Virginia. Beginning in February, volunteering ACPD officers and professional staff members were paired with nine 1st- and 2nd-grade students at AHC’s Gates of Ballston Afterschool program. The AHC and ACPD student pairings meet weekly and work towards reading at or above the student’s grade level while creating lasting relationships.
Know Your Rights
Know Your Rights is a curriculum designed to educate 6th through 12th grade Arlington students about Virginia laws. The program helps them develop skills needed to make sound decisions, to avoid breaking laws, and to become active members within their community. Participants in Know Your Rights engage in guided conversations on a range of topics including drugs, opioids, alcohol, dating violence, and criminal and civil law basics. Topics are presented by ACPD officers at various AHC properties throughout the year and are open to youth and their guardians.
ACPD officers provide presentations and hands-on radKIDS® instruction to help youth replace fear with knowledge, skill, and power. The program enhances a child’s critical thinking abilities and physical resistance skills. Recently, ACPD partnered with AHC to begin offering radKIDS® curriculum at The Shell property after-school program to expand instruction from Arlington 4th and 5th grades to kindergarten through 3rd grade.
About Affordable Homes & Communities: Affordable Homes & Communities (AHC), a nonprofit developer based in Arlington, VA, builds and preserves affordable and mixed-income housing in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Since 1975, AHC has developed more than 8,200 apartments in the mid-Atlantic region, including 3,400 in Arlington. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches thousands of children, teens, adults, and seniors each year through onsite education and social service programs and activities.
About the ACPD’s Community Engagement Division: As part of our key initiative of community engagement, ACPD is committed to maintaining strong partnerships, like those with AHC and LEC, to further trusting relationships within the Arlington community. The Youth Outreach Unit will continue to engage with Arlington youth throughout the summer months by hosting two sessions of Summer Safety Patrol Camp and an expanded Teen Police Academy. For more information on these camps and to fill out an application, visit the ACPD webpage.
Ahmad Davis, Affordable Homes & Communities, 571-330-8295, email@example.com
Alli Shorb, Arlington County Police Department, 703-228-4270, firstname.lastname@example.org