This year at PAL Club
PAL has made great efforts to expand to more schools throughout the DC Metropolitan area. This school year, PAL has partnered with Miner Elementary School, located in Ward 7 of Washington, D.C.. Miner has a wonderful PTO and Administration, which has allowed for a smooth transition into the school year. We partnered up with their PTO to bring a petting zoo to their OktoberFest in October, and are anxious to determine fun and exciting events in the future!
Why have a PAL Club?
Children are born with an innate curiosity about animals. PAL Club and PAL Camp are opportunities for students to explore the wonder and science of animals.
PAL Club extends the learning day by three hours for more than 350 children. At D.C. Scholars at Stanton Elementary in Ward 8 and John Burroughs Elementary School lower income children grow butterflies and become migrating geese. Words like “adaption” and “camouflage” spill easily from their lips. They lecture their daytime teachers on the nuances of the life cycle of a frog and snuggle with gerbils and guinea pigs as they read.
Cool animals are just the beginning: PAL relies on best practice guidance provided by the US Department of Education’s Doing What Works, ChildTrends and other national groups to ensure quality and outcomes.
The day is structured to include:
Students are given a free, healthy supper daily. It’s easier to learn with a full stomach!
Academic Power Hour
More than half of the children are more than a year behind in school, another 25% are less than a year behind. The remaining 25% are on or above grade level. DCPS requires one hour of academics, a time allotted for students to complete their homework and ask questions about English, Math, and Social Studies. Children who are more than a year behind in reading attend daily small group sessions (four children in a group) to hone in on their strengths and weaknesses. Groups for children who are less than a year below grade level are led by experienced PAL staff. City Year does an excellent job leading learning groups for those who are on or above grade level.
Animal Studies is a natural sciences program with big themes like Migration and Nocturnal Animals. Children read books, see power points and videos and gain master over vocabulary and concepts. Living animals and animal themed-activities from dance performances to science experiments bring the knowledge to life. Questions are encouraged! Experiences include raising, caring for, and observing living animals like butterflies and chickens and going bird-watching and bug catching. PAL’s STEM based curriculum is bringing forward greater opportunities for low-income students to pursue animal related interests, and potentially create a few veterinarians in the near future!
If you are interested in becoming either a teacher or aide at Stanton Elementary School, please complete the employment application and send to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to volunteer with PAL Club or PAL Camp, please forward inquiries to email@example.com.