By Cammy Contizano, Associate at Goodwin Procter LLP
Goodwin Procter LLP and West Education Campus have been teaming up for the past four years through the Washington Lawyers’ Committee’s DC Public School Partnership Program. Each year, our partnership grows stronger and continues to expand.
Our two longest standing programs are GeoPlunge and Good Read. GeoPlunge is a U.S. geography competition for fourth to seventh graders that teaches students both U.S. geography and critical thinking skills. Goodwin volunteers work with students at West each year to prepare them for seasonal GeoPlunge tournaments. Our Good Read program helps students improve their reading and writing skills. Goodwin volunteers visit West once a month to read with their third-grade Good Read “buddies” and write journal entries about the books they are reading. The students are rewarded with prizes for the number of books they read and the quality of the journal entries they write and, at the end of the year, there is a field trip to Goodwin’s office complete with a mock trial put on by Goodwin attorneys, paralegals, case assistants and staff.
Goodwin also participates in the DCPS Beautification Day, where we go to West to garden, paint, clean and decorate in preparation for the upcoming school year, and Career Day, where we talk to students about career choices and what it is like to be a lawyer. One year, Goodwin ran a book drive and collected over 400 books to add to the library at West. This past year, for the first time, Goodwin’s Women’s Initiative sponsored West’s Girls on the Run team. Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based positive youth development program for girls in third to eighth grade. Female attorneys from Goodwin participated in weekly Girls on the Run practices at West, hosted the West students and coaches at our office for a pre-5K celebration and ran the end-of-season 5K with the West team.
What makes our partnership with West so successful is the broad range of programs in which we participate – there is something for everyone. People can get involved based on their own passions and according to their own schedules, but the constant thread through it all is that we come together as a firm to give back to our community and invest in the education and success of our West students. We are honored to work side-by-side with the dedicated teachers and principal at West to continue to make our school partnership program even better and we look forward to all that is in store in the years ahead!
Check out other articles in our Partners Unlimited newsletters here to read about more WLC school partnership activities. For additional information about WLC’s DC Public School Partnership Program, contact Kent Withycombe at Kent_Withycombe@washlaw.org or 202-319-1000 x145.