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Little Lights Urban Ministries

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Causes: Boys & Girls Clubs, Children & Youth, Protestant, Religion, Youth Centers & Clubs, Youth Development - Religious Leadership

Mission: Little Lights Urban Ministries empowers underserved youth and families in Washington, DC with the love of Christ. We seek to develop their God-given potential spiritually, socially, and intellectually through academics, life skills, the arts, and discipleship.

Results: • Executive Director Steve Park received Center for Nonprofit Advancement's EXCEL Award for excellence in nonprofit leadership in 2010. • One of 68 organizations selected for inclusion in the 2007-2008 Catalogue for Philanthrophy. • One of fiteen organizations selected for the “Boys of Color” grant, awarded by DC Youth Investment Trust, in recognition of the work we have done with young men. • 400+ volunteers supported Little Lights in 2009. • Our Teen Internship Program expanded to include 12 community teenagers who help elementary and middle school students in Homework Club, receive job training and mentoring, and give back to their community. • In 2009, 100% of our students mastered math objectives identified in their learning plans, and 59% improved in reading. • We strive to achieve a one-to-one ratio of tutors to students in our academic programs.

Target demographics: Potomac Gardens, a public housing complex in Southeast Washington, DC

Geographic areas served: Washington, DC

Programs: Reading/Math Heroes meets twice per week. Students are matched one-to-one or two-to-one with a trained volunteer to improve reading and math skills using curricula that contain tutor-friendly lessons. Homework Club is an academic enrichment program that meets 4 times per week. Students receive help on homework, research and complete projects, work on computers, and engage in arts and crafts and recreation time. Boys and Girls Leadership Groups meet once per week during the school year and focus on building character and leadership skills for ages 9 and up. Groups study the Bible, work on academics, participate in recreational activities, and help out through community service. The Youth Mentoring programs matches youth one-on-one with adult mentors. Mentors meet at least one time per month with youth. Youth Night provides Bible study and worship for teens ages 12-15. Teens worship together, hear a message, have small group discussions, and play games. The Gospel Choir is a music program for approximately 12-15 children. The singing and dancing choir meets once a week for rehearsal and performs at numerous functions throughout the city.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have visited this great organization several times and watched their staff work with the neighborhood children. Great vision, great people, great focus on the mission at hand! Darrell J. Pearson Associate Professor Eastern University, St. Davids, PA