A Q&A with Stephen Hocker, Executive Director of Teens Run DC.
How did Teens Run DC (TRDC) start?
Founded in 2009, TRDC began at Wilson Senior High School with 19 students and 7 teachers. Since then, TRDC has grown from a pilot project to a nationally-recognized organization with innovative and research-driven programming, now serving nearly 500 middle and high school students at eight partner schools throughout the District of Columbia through our curriculum-based approach that employs running, mentoring, and social emotional learning.
What are TRDC's program offerings?
Teens Run DC is the only program for DC's middle and high school students focused on health and wellbeing that supports students academically, physically, and socially, both in and out of school. The organization's founding beliefs that (1) positive change and growth occur within the context of long-term, caring relationships and a welcoming community; and (2) bolstering the physical, social, and emotional well-being of at-risk youth leads to lasting achievement in academics and beyond, and continues to shape the vision and direction of the organization. Our program promotes the physical and mental health of at-risk youth in some of DC's most underserved communities through three key program offerings:
1) Mentoring: TRDC's coaches and volunteer mentors provide consistent guidance to our students and serve as positive role models. Coaches are at each school two days per week and volunteer mentors work alongside coaches during Saturday practices.
2) Social Emotional Learning (SEL): SEL tools are critical for healthy transitions into adulthood, but underserved youth often lack the support to develop these skills. Students meet with coaches for four one-hour sessions each week to learn skills from the SEL curriculum.
3) Running and Physical Activity: In TRDC's distance running program, students develop personal fitness goals. With the help of our coaches, they improve cardiovascular fitness by engaging in a minimum of 150 minutes of physical exercise each week. Our weekday programming is complemented by Saturday practices and races that attract community members to come out and support our students.Read more
Mayor Muriel Bowser and the DC Office on Aging will be hosting and celebrating the holiday season with more than 4,000 Washington residents at the 20th Annual Senior Holiday Celebration. The event will take place on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at the DC Armory and will feature live entertainment, health and wellness exhibits, a festive lunch, and of course, giveaways.
This event is free; those interested are required to contact their senior site or call 202-535-1372 for tickets.
The revitalization of the RFK Campus continues! To celebrate turning asphalt into action, we’ve partnered with Atlas Brew Works to develop a limited-edition IPA beer called RFK Untapped. Designed by locally-renowned artist Maggie O’Neill, the can is inspired by the idea of visually reimagining a coveted area of the District – while the beer’s name is a nod to the Campus’s untapped potential. The beer officially launched in October of this year. Keep an eye out for further announcements and tasting dates as we head into 2019.
As 2018 comes to a close, we're reflecting on another exciting year here on the RFK Campus. In August, we broke ground on three multi-purpose recreational fields -- the first milestone of five in our short-term plan to reimagine the future of RFK. This year also marked the opening of Summit Point Kart Capital Raceway, featuring highway-speed go-kart racing. From these improvements to celebrated events like DC Field Day, DC World Reggae Festival, the Events DC Kickoff Classic, and more, it was truly a banner year for the Campus.
We hope you'll end the year on a high note and join us for favorite returning events like the Title IX Holiday Invitational Conference and Classic – or, visit us in the new year for our next Quarterly Meeting on January 14 at 6:30pm. This month’s newsletter explores these events and more, plus continues to highlight the excellent services provided by community partners like Teens Run DC.
Finally, however you may be celebrating this season, Events DC wishes you the happiest of holidays. No matter how you choose to get involved, we extend our deepest thanks to neighbors, partners, and supporters like you. We appreciate your ongoing support as we work to turn asphalt into action, and look forward to keeping you updated as to the future of the RFK Campus in 2019.
The tenth annual Title IX Holiday Invitational Conference and Classic returns to the DC Armory from December 27-29. This top national tournament features over 1,200 female basketball players on more than 74 teams from 24 states and Canada, playing in nine brackets on five courts. NCAA, CIAA and NJCAA eligible players travel right here to DC to play before a wide range of coaches and scouts seeking to award athletic scholarships to female student athletes -- scholarships made possible because of the passage of Title IX.
The event also features an empowering conference with informative workshops, where they learn about the passage of Title IX, are encourages to self-advocate, and become better prepared for post-secondary success. This year’s speakers will include Olympic champion and Title IX expert Nancy Hoggshead-Makar, NJCAA Division-I Champion maker and author Franqua “Q” Bedell, and Olympic champion/former WNBA player Lisa Willis. To learn more, visit TitleIXClassic.com.
On Saturday, November 17, the DC Armory will play host to Project GiveBack’s 24th Annual Thanksgiving Food Distribution. More than 500 volunteers will come together to assemble and distribute meals to over 2,000 families throughout the District, Maryland, and Virginia.
A nonprofit community service organization, Project GiveBack works to provide programs and assistance to less fortunate individuals, families, and children in the greater Washington metropolitan area. Founded in 1995 by Ransom Miller III and a handful of friends, Project GiveBack began small, distributing meals to six families. Now its signature program and touching thousands of lives, the Thanksgiving Food Distribution aims to provide enough food to last for over a week – with meals including turkeys, vegetables, canned goods, and many other holiday favorites.
2018 marks the first time this heartwarming holiday effort will be staged at the DC Armory, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Project GiveBack to the RFK Campus. “Over the past 24 years, Project GiveBack has grown from a small group of friends attempting to brighten the holiday season, to an army of passionate volunteers that provide thousands of grocery baskets to families the Saturday before Thanksgiving,” said Miller. “The Planning Committee members are excited for the opportunity to plan logistics in such a massive space. I am confident that the amenities of the DC Armory will allow us to be more efficient and creative in our service delivery.”
This level of impact on our community can be achieved only through the generosity of volunteers and supporters like you. Volunteer shifts include assembling food baskets (7:30am) and delivering food baskets (10:00am); to register, please visit www.ProjectGiveBack.org. All assembly line volunteers must be at least 8 years old; children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult. Those interested in registering for a group should email email@example.com.
Save the date for EdFest 2018! The annual My School DC Education Festival public school fair will return to the RFK Campus, where it has grown over the last 3 years. The fair will be held at the DC Armory on Saturday, December 8 from 11am to 3pm.
EdFest showcases all DC Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools programs, making it easier for families to take advantage of DC’s many school options. Come explore the city’s public-school options (PK3-1) for your child. Representatives from DC Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools will showcase their programs, with the launch of the My School DC lottery application on December 10, 2018. For more information please visit www.myschooldc.org.
The revitalization of the RFK Campus continues! To celebrate turning asphalt into action, we’ve partnered with Atlas Brew Works to develop a limited-edition IPA beer called RFK Untapped. Designed by locally-renowned artist Maggie O’Neill, the can is inspired by the idea of visually reimagining a coveted area of the District – while the beer’s name is a nod to the Campus’s untapped potential.
The release of this limited-edition beer coincides with the recent groundbreaking of three multi-purpose recreational fields, the first phase of the RFK Campus redevelopment project short-term plan. The fields will transform nearly 27 acres of asphalt into three new state-of-the-art artificial turf fields with community amenities.
Construction on the multi-purpose recreational fields is underway and the fields are estimated to open for play in March 2019. We look forward to announcing the next phases of the redevelopment in the coming months, as well as communicating updates on the current construction progress.
RFK Untapped beer will be available at select events throughout the District this fall and winter at select upcoming events. Stay tuned for details. Experience this exciting new brew and prove you’re #RFKReady by letting Congress know the time is now to redevelop the RFK Campus and bring further community-oriented resources and amenities to our neighborhood. To sign the petition and learn more about the “untapped” potential of the RFK campus, please visit www.RFKCampus.com.
Fall is well underway, and we continue to make excellent progress towards the future of the RFK Campus. As you know, our work depends on neighbors, partners, and supporters like you, who are equally invested in building the critical foundations of a healthy community. We sincerely thank those of you who joined us for the October RFK Campus Quarterly Meeting – please keep an eye out for the date of our next meeting, which will be held in January.
In this month’s newsletter, we’re excited to update you as to the progress following the development of three multi-purpose recreational fields, the first phase of the RFK Campus redevelopment project short-term plan. In celebration of the recent groundbreaking, we’ve partnered with Atlas Brew Works to develop a limited-edition IPA beer called RFK Untapped. Keep reading to learn how to get your can – and how you can show you’re #RFKReady as we look ahead to the Campus’s untapped potential.
The change in the weather also brings a number of community-focused programs and events to the RFK Campus. Whether you’re joining us for the popular Farmers Market or volunteering at Project GiveBack’s 24th Annual Thanksgiving Food Distribution, we appreciate your ongoing support as we work to turn asphalt into action. In the meantime, don’t forget to follow along with the progress at www.RFKCampus.com, Facebook, and Twitter.
Thursdays and Saturdays (year-round)
Friday, October 5– Saturday, October 6
Army Ten-Miler Expo Presented by Navy Federal Credit Union
Monday, October 15
RFK Campus Quarterly Meeting