Hooks Book Events- Ta-Nehisi Coates

Great experience.  Inspiring. Defining moment for our students.

These are the words of five Eastern students who, thanks to Hooks Book Events, saw Ta-Hehisi Coates speak. 

As part of our work to expose students to new opportunities and promote literacy, students attended a conversation with Mr. Coates author of The Beautiful Struggle and Between the World and Me. In the words of their adviser:

The students all really enjoyed the talk with Mr. Coates.  He addressed issues of race, racism, inequality, parenting, education, politics, and so much more.  As a teacher, it was moving to see how engaged our students were in the subject matter and to hear their reactions to the talk afterwards.  One of the best teaching moments I’ve had for sure.  Two of our students had just completed reading “Between the World and Me” and the other students began reading it right after the night’s event.  They all are now eager to read more of his writings and are curious about attending other discussions with writers.


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This past week, the Nation’s Report Card was released. As the Washington Post concludes about Washington, DC’s scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), “the District offered a bright spot in the otherwise bleak results, as one of just two jurisdictions that posted gains on two tests. Fourth-graders in the District made significant strides, climbing three points on the national math test and seven points on the reading test.” This marks the second time in a row that the city has stood out for its improvement on the NAEP.

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Over the past week, we’ve seen headlines such as “One in 10 D.C. students score ‘college ready’ on new high school math test.” “U.S. student performance slips on national test.”

It’s difficult to accept that our educational systems are not preparing our students for college and careers, but it’s a reality that we need to acknowledge and work hard to reshape. This is the first year of the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, and the District of Columbia State Board of Education set a high bar. The State Board set the bar at a Level 4, meaning that students “met expectations” and are ready for college or the workforce without remedial education. As anticipated, the District’s scores on the PARCC exam are far lower than recent scores on the DC CAS, the District’s previous standardized test.

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Fall 2015 Update

grad.stock.03B75087_copy.jpgEarlier this month, the District of Columbia reported that graduation rates for the Class of 2015 reached 64%. Graduation rates at Eastern Senior High School, Companies for Causes’ partner, exceeded the District’s average reaching 69%. Companies for Causes partnered with Eastern in 2011 and our CEO’s hands-on efforts and financial support for Eastern High School have contributed to this success. However, we realize there is still more to do. 

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Honoring Student Achievement


On September 25th, Companies for Causes honored 171 Eastern Ramblers for their academic achievements during the 4th Quarter of the 2014-15 School Year.

Thanks to Geppetto Catering, who has provided meals for Honor Assemblies since Eastern’s Relaunch in 2011. CforC also provides honor pins for all students who achieve Academic Honors.

Companies for Causes places a high value on school culture and is proud to reward students for their hard work and high academic achievement. 

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From Capitol Hill Public Schools to Top-Tier Universities

Diverse_students_studying.jpgThanks to Company for Causes, one of the UK’s most successful inner city school programs is taking root in Washington DC.  Dr. Tania Nguyen, The Brilliant Club-DC’s founder, is working closely with Companies for Causes as well as teachers, community organizers, and PhD mentors to put middle and high school students from the Capitol Hill area on a proven track to top-tier universities.

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our vision

Learn more about Companies for Causes from our board chair, Tom Raffa.

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Eastern HS School Beautification Day

Eastern_Cover_Photo.jpgJoin us on Saturday, August 22 from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM for Eastern's Annual School Beautification Day.

The Ramblers need help painting, doing landscape projects and organizing classrooms to prepare for the 1st Day of School.

Sign-up here.


If you can't volunteer, please consider dropping off items for Eastern's Supply Drive. Items needed include: 

  • Khaki Pants
  • White or Light Blue Polo Shirts
  • Spiral Notebooks
  • Tissue Boxes
  • Reams of Copy & Lined Paper
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Subject Dividers
  • Backpacks
  • Calculators
  • Three Ring Binders

Contact saudia.staten@dc.gov for more information.

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Envision Spring 2015 College Tour – A Glimpse at College Life

2015_envision_college__1.jpgOne of Companies for Causes’ goals is to help expand students’ opportunities to attend college by funding campus tours for Eastern’s students. Envision @ Eastern, a DCPS Twilight academy designed to improve academic outcomes for students who have fallen off-track from graduation, organized The Envision Spring 2015 College Tour – Reflections. This trip offered a select group of high school students the opportunity to see colleges firsthand so that they can take the next step in their academic career.

Purpose of the Trip

Seven students from Eastern’s “Legendary Class of 2016” took time off their Spring Breaks to visit the Durham, North Carolina area—a hotbed for academia, research, technology, and more—where they experienced college life and learned about these schools:

  • Saint Augustine University
  • Duke University
  • North Carolina Central
  • North Carolina A&T University
  • Shaw University
  • William Peace University

The Envision College Tour Experience

The Envision Spring 2015 College Tour was a great success, and the students came away with a roadmap for their future. They had the opportunity to see the classrooms, dorms, outdoor areas, gyms, and other features of each university. They also were able to meet real students and ask them questions, and in one instance met a future NBA star.

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D.C. releases new boundaries proposal

District of Columbia officials have released a proposal that would change school boundaries and feeder patterns.  The proposal comes after months of workby the Deputy Mayor of Education and an Advisory Committee of parents, community members, and other experts (click here to see the Washington Post’s coverage).

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