The spirit of service is alive and vibrant at George Washington University (GWU) and on the birthday of the legendary Dr. Martin Luther King, hundreds of GWU students, staff and faculty took a day ON, not a day off to beautiful this former gang-plagued school.
Ballou High School in the past has been plagued with violence both off and on-campus.
Students from Condon Terrace and Barry Farms feuded with Ballou.
But lately, things are drastically improving.
The Peacoholics, the Ward-8-based non profit comprised of ex-offenders have been working diligently with at-risk kids in Southeast.
Starting last year, the DC police have shut down sidewalks and streets in front of Ballou from 3 to 3:30 pm. No cars, no foot traffic, no loitering.
DC schools have created war rooms to map out what would be taught in each grade, every subject, every day. The objective on the top left corner, homework assignments detailed on the bottom. Every single detail from when the students would come and go to how they are sent to class is planned.
|with Chancellor Michelle Rhee|
Principal Rahman Branch said that Ballou, once "a symbol of what was going wrong in public education, now stands for what is going right."
"In my five years, Ballou will be the nation's best school."
The school is located in an up and coming neighborhood in Congress Heights.
Read: My observations from my first trip to Anacostia/Congress Heights in 2003
Read the gripping article of the MLK Riots on April 4, 1968.
Ballou HS Marching Band made it to the Rose Bowl (Thanks to Ellen Degeneres and Old Navy)
The majestic Ballou Marching Knights struts their stuff.