In 2022, we awarded a $100,000 grant to City Gate, after a rigorous grant review process and vote by our membership. We’re pleased to provide an update on their first quarter progress with our grant, based on our latest conversation with Dr. Lynn Bergfalk, President of City Gate. Dr. Bergfalk was able to provide some of the highlights of City Gate’s expansion of their high impact tutoring programs for at-risk youth.
Successful nonprofits need to be able to pivot to accommodate circumstantial changes that inevitably occur, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic. (We saw this with Access Youth as it faced challenges bringing its MADE program to schools it had initially identified.) City Gate has needed to relocate its tutoring program from Hendley Elementary School as was originally proposed. Instead, it has begun providing 1:1 tutoring for fifth grade students with serious grade level deficits at Payne Elementary School in SE during the school day, as well as before and after school hours, so those children can successfully transition to middle school. Dr. Bergfalk shared that they had recently received a three-year grant for 12 AmeriCorps members for high-impact tutoring at Payne and its other sites. Using the new Reading with Relevance curriculum we learned about in our site visit with City Gate, they expect to make great progress with these students.
City Gate had also anticipated implementing their K-5 high-impact tutoring program at a community-based site: The Merrick Center in SE DC. Unexpectedly this past summer, City Gate learned they could no longer occupy that space because Merrick needed it for a different program. Ultimately, they were able to continue working with a smaller group of children at Merrick, and they also located a new site for its large-scale tutoring operation at the Johenning Community Center in SE. They are currently providing after-school services to 65 students there. Staff introduced the Reading with Relevance at the start of January at Johenning.
City Gate also reports that between the Impact 100 DC grant and the AmeriCorps grant, it will be able to incorporate its high-impact tutoring program into their summer programs in order to offset the delays resulting from the changes in their program sites described above.
If any Impact100 DC members are interested in volunteering with City Gate, please contact Bonnie Harkness (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.