Kisha Clark: It Hits Different In Your House

November 22, 2022

Mental health has always been an important issue to me. But now, after experiences with my daughter that I detailed in the Washington Post, and experiences in my own community, I see more clearly how critical school-based mental health resources are. Mental health plays a crucial role in how students show up to school, and […]

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Monique Cole: A Justice for justice 

June 30, 2022

When the United States Supreme Court was established over 230 years ago, only white men could sit on the court and uphold the Constitution and ideals of this great nation.  So, you can only imagine my excitement when months ago, I watched a Black woman, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, confirmed to take her place at […]

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Russchelle Moore: Why I #Vote4DCKids

June 16, 2022

It doesn’t matter if it’s a primary or a general election, rain or shine, in person or by mail: my kids are always there as I fill out and cast my ballot.  My kids come with me to vote because I want them to see just how crucial of a right it is. Family members […]

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Yvette Selby: #MySummitStory

June 4, 2022

If you know me, you know when I have a chance to advocate for opportunities in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field – I’m there.  So, in 2017, when a friend of mine shared about an upcoming parent-led event (the 2017 PAVE Parent Policy Summit) that would include conversations about STEM programs, I […]

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Kisha Clark: Exercising better mental health

May 9, 2022

I often think about ways Out-of-School Time (OST) programs complement mental health.  I believe that OST programs – especially ones centered around physical activity – benefit our children’s mental, spiritual, and emotional health. This is not to say that academic-based OST programs are not beneficial to mental health; they are just as important to supporting […]

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Marquis Cotton: My faith in Out-of-School Time programs

March 15, 2022

I’ll never forget the moment when the officer of the corrections facility I was in ordered me to report to the Chaplin’s Office. Because only a few moments later, I was informed that my unborn child, who my wife was pregnant with at the time, did not make it through the delivery.  I returned to […]

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Tyesha Andrews: Advocating as an Andrews and a PAVE parent leader

March 15, 2022

My advocacy for School-Based Mental Health (SBMH) supports stems from personal experience. Growing up, I felt high levels of stress and anxiousness, especially when I was in the classroom. Despite these feelings being so visually apparent, my family, teachers, and schools did nothing to help. This is why I fight for kids in the District […]

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Leigh Sims: Headed down a path that makes sense

February 22, 2022

From a Public School Teacher to a Budding Policy Buff and the Road that’s Paved with PAVE.   The classroom is where my heart is but my adventure cup was bottomlessly empty so I moved from America to the Middle East. After about a year, I landed myself right back in America but I still had […]

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Karla Reid-Witt: Stepping out of comfort to step up for change

February 22, 2022

As quiet as it’s kept, I hate public speaking.  Well, it is not really kept quiet, I tell people all the time. Some people are blessed with the gift of gab but not me. I’ve been an education advocate for about 20 years and if I had my way, I would always lead from behind.  […]

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Miguelina Zapata: Necesitamos OST para los niños en DC // We need OST for children in DC

January 21, 2022

NOTE: This blog is translated in both Spanish and English. Scroll down to read the blog in English.  Tengo tres hijos con personalidades, aspiraciones y mentalidades muy diferentes. Además de estas diferencias, mis hijos también tienen necesidades muy específicas para apoyar su educación. Creo firmemente que la educación puede impartirse más allá del horario escolar.  […]

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Tara Brown: No RSVP needed to the table, parents! We’re the VIPs

December 14, 2021

As parents, we are responsible for raising the next generation of citizens.  To do this, we take on the role as caregivers. We provide our children with a safe environment. We make sure they are nourished and healthy. And we do not hesitate to protect our children from harm.  Through all this provision, we are […]

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Datiece Frazier: Empowering the community to build safe passage

October 27, 2021

I loved my neighborhood growing up. Walking around, it felt like a block party was happening on every corner. Everyone knew each other and we were always coming together.  The neighborhoods don’t feel like this now. As a native Washingtonian, I’ve seen my city change in more ways than one, but it’s the loss of […]

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Gaby L. Fraser: The POWER of parent voice

September 20, 2021

I am a parent of three DC public school graduates, a grandmother of five current DC public school and public charter school scholars – two of whom have graduated. I’ve always been involved with the Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) and Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTOs) my children attended.   As the PTA President of SEED Public Charter School of […]

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Kim Gutierrez: Nos Vemos

June 24, 2021

For almost two years, I have had the privilege of serving as a PAVE Community Organizer.  Through this role, I’ve listened to powerful words and stories from parent leaders, learned about the rich history of DC and her influence on our nation, and walked the culture-filled streets of every ward.  It is through my time […]

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Tara Brown: Learning to practice patient parenting

May 25, 2021

Trigger Warning: This blog piece mentions multiple attempts of suicide.  My daughter almost died three times before I even knew that there was a problem.  To think that she attempted suicide three times before I could get her help is the reason why I lie awake at night.  I can’t help but reflect on all […]

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Russchelle Moore: Forever healing open wounds

May 12, 2021

Trigger Warning: This blog piece mentions multiple forms of trauma, including drug and alcohol addiction and abuse, physical abuse, and emotional abuse. My entire life I’ve been given the same three tips when it comes to supporting my mental health.  First, there’s “I’m sure you’re feeling just fine! Maybe you should go take a nap.” […]

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Letisha Vinson: A stumble worth taking

May 7, 2021

Sometimes sharing my story feels like stumbling down a flight of stairs.  I start at the top, sharing all the good parts – like my spiritual growth and relationship with God, building my interests in the pre-med and public health field, and my deep family ties that have strengthened over time.  But then I share […]

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