Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service
Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service

DC Schools Project

DC Schools Project (DCSP) is a tutoring, mentoring, and advocacy program that engages Georgetown students as volunteer and Federal Work Study (FWS)-funded tutors to provide English language tutoring and support for low-income immigrant families in Washington, DC. The program was established in 1984 in response to the quadrupling of the language minority population in the DC public schools, as a result of the drastic increase in the immigrant population due to the civil war in El Salvador. The program seeks to improve the literacy skills of youth to improve academic engagement of youth, and adults’ ability to self-determine and  fully participate in the cultural, civic, educational, and economic life in US society. Eighteen student coordinators lead DCSP through which approximately 100 Georgetown student tutors have weekly commitments to one of its eight programs each semester.

Our Model

Each semester about 100 tutors serve approximately 200 public and charter school students, their families, and members of the immigrant communities throughout DC at schools, in the tutees’ homes, on the Georgetown campus, and at community-based locations.

School-based Programs

DCSP tutors provide after school tutoring and English language scaffolding support at two elementary schools in the Downtown and Trinidad neighborhoods. Tutors work with students from low-income immigrant families who need English language scaffolding and support in English reading, writing, speaking, or listening comprehension.

After School Tutoring at the Wheatley Education Campus

DCSP tutors provide English scaffolding support and mentoring at the Wheatley Education Campus twice a week. The tutors work primarily with elementary and middle school youth, with newcomer English language learners (ELLs).

Parent Program at Days Inn

The Parent Program at Days Inn is held on Saturdays to accommodate working parents and adults who wish to improve their English language ability. The Saturday class is divided into varying English language abilities, and tailored to allow for as much individual attention as possible, including support for participants interested in taking the citizenship test. Parents are encouraged to bring their children for the youth enrichment component.

On-Campus Program

The on-campus program is open to Georgetown University employees and members of the community who wish to improve their English language skills. Classes are offered throughout the day and later evening hours to enable increased accessibility for adults working non-traditional hours.

1-to-1 In-home Tutoring Program

The 1-to-1 Program is an in-home tutoring program serving the Columbia Heights, Brightwood, and Petworth neighborhoods. Tutees range in age from elementary to high school.

Program-Wide Services and Supports

In addition to classroom support services and tutoring, DC Schools Project also engages families and enriches the learning experience through library visits, field trips, campus celebrations, family literacy events, and connections to other community-based organizations for a variety of other resources.

Campus-based Programming

DCSP holds events with campus and community-based partners during the academic year to broaden the Georgetown University community conversation about immigration reform and literacy disparities among other issues.

Opportunities to Get Involved

Tutors typically commit to tutor two times per week. Varying times are offered. Tutors are matched with individual students or on a small group basis. Each session requires roughly three hours, including van transportation to and from the site. Tutors are matched with individual students or pairs based on the tutor’s preferences and experience, as well as program and community needs. No prior teaching or tutoring experience is required. DC Schools Project provides pre-service training and ongoing support to both new and experienced tutors. 

Community Requests for Tutoring Services

DC Schools Project (DCSP) is a program of the Center for Social Justice at Georgetown University. DCSP tutors are undergraduate tutors who are trained on basic English tutoring skills and strategies, and meet with students for tutoring (we call them our “tutees”!) twice a week, in the evenings. Our mission focuses on working with low-income immigrant students, primarily newcomers, to provide free tutoring and support English language development for newcomer im/migrant youth. 

If you have any questions, you can contact us at (new window), or call 202-993-4352. This number is able to receive text messages. 

A DC Schools Project team member will follow up with you within 2-3 days of the submission of your request. 

The DC Schools Project falls under Georgetown University’s Protection of Minors policy.