By Meg Brinckman

Amidon-Bowen Principal Izabela Miller and Principal Natalie Gordon of the Jefferson Academy, which leads to the prestigious International Baccalaureate Program, have been working hard to bring resources to area public schools.

Amidon-Bowen has sustained 10 percent or greater cuts in its D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) budget for two years running, while Jefferson, with the institution of the sixth-grade Academy, has basically stayed at the same funding level.

The Community Benefits Coordinating Council and the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly have lent their voices to emphasize the importance of local educational institutions for Southwest students.

Several public and private organizations have announced grants and initiatives to support the schools. These projects will enhance the ability of both schools to provide an excellent education to area youth.

Amidon-Bowen Elementary

DCPS is ready to begin a $5-million renovation of all classrooms and new administrative offices this summer.  The project is scheduled to be completed in time for school opening this August.

Target will give Amidon-Bowen $750,000 over the next three years for literacy programs and to increase reading proficiency. The school will purchase much-needed guided reading materials to support students in small group literacy instruction.  Amidon-Bowen benefited from Target’s pledge to give $1 billion nationwide to education by 2015, through a major “Library Makeover” unveiled August 2011.

The DCPS “Proving What’s Possible” program announced June 1 that Amidon will receive a grant of $260,000 to be used to bring “time, talent and technology…. to make the dramatic gains that we all desire and that our students all deserve,” Chancellor Kaya Henderson said in a prepared statement.

The D.C. City Council has just approved $500,000 for playground upgrades at Amidon-Bowen.

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel has set a goal for 2012-13 is to raise $20,000 for programs at Amidon-Bowen Elementary.

Jefferson Middle School

Jefferson Middle, Eliot-Hine Middle and Eastern High School will receive $480,000 for their International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs.  The three schools will work as a team to move forward toward full status in the IB program.

Parents are urged to register their students now in these local schools, since staffing levels are determined in the summer based on pre-enrollment figures.