Genius Patch’s vision “to create a world where every child has a chance to succeed based off of their own unique gifts and abilities through the guidance of caring community members including parents and educators.” Behind the scenes the Genius Patch Team has been working tirelessly to contribute to creating the world it envisions by exploring ways to expand it’s programming around the nation and eventually the world. On October 20th, we took a huge step toward that goal.
Genius Patch was invited to Washington D. C. by the founder of the International Partnership for Economic Sustainability and Development (IPESD), Courtney Bennett (pictured rght). Bennett contacted Genius Patch earlier in the year out of an interest to bring Author Ashlee Chesny to the global world to get children excited about literacy and learning through her books showcasing main characters of color and being an author of color herself. Chesny had reached out to an organization Bennett was the Executive Director of years prior in hopes of sending her books on the organization’s international trips to developing countries, but the two had never connected. Starting her own organization recently, Bennett saw a great opportunity to partner. What Bennett did not know was that Chesny had since founded a full nonprofit with a host of robust programming to get historically underprivileged children excited about learning.
With excitement, the two began brainstorming ideas for the two organizations to partner and support each other. Through many conversations and a growing appreciation for each other’s works, the two began diligently coordinating a way for Genius Patch to visit Bennett and IPESD in Washington D.C. Chesny and the Genius Patch Team would meet with Bennett in full discussion about opportunities for Genius Patch to expand internationally.
The trip, however, became even more exciting when Genius Patch was granted an additional $1,000 by our generous supporters at TCC Gives. With the additional funds, Genius Patch proposed that Bennett coordinate a school visit to do it’s programming and gift a copy of Chesny’s book to each student attending the workshop. Bennett was enthusiastic about the idea! She quickly coordinated a visit to DC Prep Public Charter School Anacostia Elementary Campus. Chesny, known as “Mrs. Ashlee” when working with children, would conduct a Genius Patch Read & Play Workshop for 75 1st graders and 75 2nd graders.
150 books were given to the very excited scholars of DC Prep on October 23rd thanks to the generosity of TCC Gives, which Genius Patch was exited to take along for the trip. “Mrs. Ashlee” also left behind copies that she donated of each of her books for the school library. Genius Patch put stickers in each book, so that the children and the parents would know how the donations were made possible,
We are so thankful to the work of Courtney Bennett for this gracious welcome and the work done to coordinate our visit to DC Prep. We are also grateful to Engineer turned Science Teacher, Mr. Eugene Banks, for his invitation to enter his school and work with his students. (Pictured left with Bennett and Chesny.) His enthusiasm and excitement for what Genius Patch’s work truly encouraged us all. We must also thank Principal Neema Desai support and inviting nature to allow Genius Patch to provide such an experience to her scholars. The entire staff was welcoming to our team, which speaks to her leadership and culture.
Of course, we must extend our endless gratitude to our friends at TCC GIves. With their generous support, we have been able to make a level of impact that we only dreamed of. Gifting a book to each child at DC Prep was met with a level of excitement that reminds us why we do what we do. Many of the scholars asked “Mrs. Ashlee” when she was coming back before she left out of the door and told her what they planned to do with their books. Read more about TCC Gives’ support of Genius Patch here .
The rest of the trip was just as eventful and impactful as Genius Patch’s school visit to DC Prep. Genius Patch and IPESD are working diligently on some amazing, world changing initiatives behind the scenes. We will share them when the time is right!
Here are some pictures from our trip to enjoy! For more pictures, be sure to follow us on Instagram.
Photos of this workshop were taken by Evan Chesny Photography.