Friendship Terrace Retirement Community
GDS is the only school represented on the Friendship Terrace community council. Students from GDS volunteer at Friendship Terrace in a variety of ways, including visiting with community members, gardening, and helping with small errands. The Music Club, a musical group of student volunteers, visits once a month to provide in-house concerts. Students from GDS have also collected residents’ oral histories.
Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place
At this resource center providing services for the homeless, GDS students volunteer at the reception desk, organize clothing donations, and prepare meals. English 10th grade students also interview clients and then write their stories for Friendship Place every year.
IONA Senior Services
At this day center for seniors, GDS students have been volunteering for years, interacting with members and sharing their time for special events. This summer, the GDS Policy and Advocacy Institute will partner with IONA in researching and understanding senior health issues.
In addition to the three groups listed above, GDS students partner with organizations throughout the neighborhood and the city. From the Tenleytown Library to the Little Falls Watershed Alliance, GDS students are encouraged and supported in their service to the community.
- Monday Night Tutoring: GDS students tutor third through fifth graders from Miner and H.D. Cook Elementary Schools in literacy and civics.
- Tuesday Art: GDS students work with fourth and fifth graders from Amidon-Bowen Elementary School on student-developed art lessons.
- Wednesday Music: GDS students tutor students from Cesar Chavez Prep for the Music Club that performs at Friendship Terrace.
- Thursday Teen Corps: Middle school students from Jefferson Academy join GDS students in an advocacy project; the theme changes every year.
Each summer, GDS offers a variety of summer programs at our High School, open to all. This summer’s highlights include:
- Summer Dance Intensive: Students in grades 7–11 receive one-on-one instruction with the critically-acclaimed Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company.
- Service-Learning Institute: High schoolers explore social justice issues and inequities in DC with teachers who help them explore why inequities exist, what solutions are working, and what more can be done. This year’s topics are: Age, Ability, Human Rights, and Immigration Status.
- GDS Policy and Advocacy Institute: In its pilot year, high school students will learn about three separate areas (advancing global health, increasing diversity in the STEM field, and housing DC’s homeless veterans), increasing their understanding of the issues and then developing and implementing an advocacy campaign around a specific issue.
GDS Studies Tenleytown History
Every year in our 9th grade history course focused on DC history, students explore the history of Tenleytown and Fort Reno. Students walk the neighborhood and learn about the unique history of our neighborhood, envisioning Confederate soldiers marching on the city and researching the integrated community that grew up around the site after the war, Reno City.