Five-Point Programatic Thrust
Health, Education, Employment and Recreation
In 1972, Continental Societies, Inc. initiated its national program "Operation Awareness; HEER -- Health, Education, Employment and Recreation". Each component of our programmatic thrust was choosen because of its significance in the lives of all children and youth. In 1977, a fifth component, Arts and Humanities, was added. Thes five areas provide the structure for continental service to the children we serve from babies to college students. .
The Washington, DC chapter surveys, investigates and reports the needs and problems of children and youth in its community and subsequently initiates and implements programs, projects, and activities in these areas designed to meet the community's needs. The projects range from health fairs and drug abuse programs to community health awareness seminars. "Reading is Fundamental" sponsorships, tutoring and scholarships awards, career and employability and job placement workshops, as well as cultural programs, etiquette and leadershp academies all contribute to uplifting the lives of underserved children.
Special programs are developed to provide exposure to college campuses for students, stimulate their minds, broaden their cultural awareness and brighten their future. The components of the Five Point Programmatic Thrust work independently collectively to maximize readiness future leaders.
The DC Chapter addresses total health and fitness in its programs. We hold health fairs, medical screenings, lifestyle workshops, drug abuse awareness and prevention, walk-a-thons, diabetes awareness and prevention training and obesity prevention through fitness and nutrition education sessions. A signature component of our health program is the Colgate Dental Van sponsored by Colgate's Bright Smiles Bright Futures initiative. Our Chpater has served thousands of children through the Colgate Dental van.
DC Chapter programs include one-on-one reading support, tutoring, academic reinforecment and college preparation. Each year, the chapter reads to more and more children during the African American Read-In this year almost 3,000 children were read to nearly $15,000 in books was donated. We implemented a pilot program in public speaking to help students find their voices, form and articulate their opinions and develop skills in group dynamics and preparation. Our education program is highlighted by the awarding $5-8,000 in scholarship and mentoring the recipients.
The Chapter Employment Program entails workshop and instruction in employability, entry level skillls, interview techniques and participation in job fairs. Financial management of the student's income from summer jobs, etc,. is taught and encouraged with recommended guidelines for saving, charity and spending. Learning to manage a checkbook and savings account were integal parts of the workshop. The book "Richard Dad, Poor Dad" for teens was given to each student as a guide and reference.
DC Chapter Arts & Humanities Component has sponsored children's attendance and participation in visual and lively arts in many media. The Kennedy Center, Publick Playhouse and other venues have provided performances by the National Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Black Dance Company, Washington Ballet and others. Historic and cultural matters give students food for thought in movies like "42" the story of baseball great Jackie Robinson and "RACE" the story of Olympian Jesse Owens. Children have been able to explore music from the perspective of production through participation in the instrument Petting Zoo provided by the Women's Group of the Kennedy Center.
Arts & Humanities Component
Provides students with wholesome recreational and education entertainment. Activities include theater outings to plays, musicals and other performances. Students enjoy workshop training sessions on special talent development. Sessions include instruction in voice, instruction on various musical instruments and electronic equipment, piano lessons, dance, drama, public speaking and other activities. Many chapters conclude their arts and humanities activities with formal pageants presenting Miss Continental and Mr. Continental.
Each year, the DC Chapter Scholarship Program awards scholarships to deserving District of Columbia students. The students are eligible to receive the award for all four years of their college career provided that a specific grade-point-average is attained. Over the DC Chapters 63 year history, it has awarded more than half a million dollars in scholarships. The program now provides mentors to its scholars, tracks the achievement and is vailable to them for consultation, advice, emotional support, encoragement and support as they navigate the college experience. The Chapter's scholarship program is funded by individual and corporate donations, chapter budget and most recent by the Chapter's new signature event, Jubilee.