Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Family Place

The Family Place is a non-profit organization that focuses on Family Literacy for the low-income community in the Columbia Heights area. They offer ESL classes, Spanish proficiency classes, and early childhood education to children ranging from two-months old to three years of age. The three most integral internships offered are:
·      ESL classroom intern
·      Early childhood development classroom intern
·      Case Management/Parent Support intern

The Family Place is routinely looking for undergraduate interns, and they have a fall, spring, and summer semester of their family literacy program. Throughout each semester, depending on time commitment of the interns, they take about 12-15 volunteers a semester. Depending on whether the student wants an internship or volunteer opportunity, the Family Place will discuss availability with them directly.

Students would be working with the low-income community in the Columbia Heights area. They serve a majority of Spanish native speakers, but they are not strictly Latino based. The Family Place started in the 80’s when community members were realizing the needs of the recent immigrants from Central America, and therefore provide ESL and Spanish proficiency classes. They admit anyone who is a DC resident, and require a pre-test to decide what level of English they are currently at.

Depending on the volunteer/intern placement, responsibilities can vary. If a student was working in the ESL/Spanish proficiency classrooms, they would be working with students directly forming lesson plans or one-on-one tutoring. They also have early childhood education classrooms, where volunteers would help with development activities and implementing interacting learning activities with parents and children. Over the summer, there are opportunities for case management and parental support, with a more social work focus. Lastly, they offer a Communications and Development Internship, allowing the student to work with their executive assistant with social media and other duties.

Because the participants are majority Latino, speaking Spanish is a valued skill in this internship. However, students who do not speak Spanish are also welcome, particularly in the ESL classroom intern position. If a volunteer does speak Spanish, they may be asked to do additional hours for the front desk area, which serves the reception area throughout the day for participants and walk-in community members with direct services such as diapers, food, or other emergency services.

To Apply: Email Kiersten Rossetto, Volunteer Coordinator, at or call her at 202-265-0149.

Location: 26th Street in Columbia Heights (two blocks away from the Columbia Heights Metro station)

The Family Place is also accessible to many bus systems, such as the S2, S4, and S9 buses along 16th street, the 42 bus, and the circulator that drops off at the Columbia Heights Metro Station.

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