Thank You, Mr. Alston!

January 3, 2020

Several of Stokes School’s faculty and staff have been with us for many years, however there are some familiar faces who have remained constant throughout the years. One of those faces is that of Mr. Clarence Bell-Alston, who has been with Stokes School for two decades. Many know him as the kind, yet firm force behind the All About Kids and Families Afterschool Program, but he has been that and much more for our community. He isn’t leaving us, but will be spending more of his time running the behind-the-scenes processes of the All About Kids and Families Afterschool Program. He leaves much of the day-to-day management of the program in the capable hands of Jasmine Campbell (East End), Eric Vance, and Tokunbo Adedeinde (Brookland).

Mr. Alston started working with Stokes School as a tutor for some of the earliest Stokes scholars and soon stepped in to fill the role as Stokes School’s second After School coordinator. After 21 years, he still performs his role with fidelity and commitment to every scholar. Described as a major contributor to the Stokes School community, everyone agrees, Mr. Alston is the same person today that he was all of those years ago.  He carries within himself a standard of greatness, attention to detail, integrity, compassion, reliability, and respect. You can always count on him.

It is telling of Mr. Alston’s focus on running a quality program that he will quickly correct you if you say “after care.” No, he runs an afterschool program. Executive Director, Erika Bryant, recalls a memory from 15 years ago, “He had a group of kindergarten scholars in afterschool who had not yet mastered the art of tying their shoes.  He worked with those students over the course of a week and by the end of the week each child knew how to tie his or her shoe.  It was a clear demonstration to me of Mr. Alston's love for the work and his
students.  He does not approach his work as a job but as a calling.  He's completely invested in the kids and works to make sure they have all of the skills they need to advance to the next stage in life.”



Some members of the Stokes School community have left messages for Mr. Alston:


“Clarence Bell-Alston, you probably saved my life. You allowed me to feel comfortable leaving our scholars in your care. Without you or someone exactly like you, I probably would have never left school before 7:00 pm. I have enjoyed working with you and will miss your daily presence at school. The good news is that you are leaving the program in good hands—hands that you have prepared.

                                                                                                         -Linda Moore

“Dear Mr. Alston - it has been an honor and a pleasure to work with you for almost two decades. You have positively impacted the lives of so many of the young people who have worked with you - both the students enrolled in the afterschool program and those who have worked as After-school assistants. You're an excellent mentor and role model.  Thank you for all of the hard work and love that you've poured into building an amazing After-school program. We will miss your presence on campus on a day-to-day basis, but you know that you will always be part of the Stokes School family.”


                                                                                                         -Erika Bryant


“I’m so happy that you are taking the time for yourself. I want you to know how much I admire your character and your teachings. Thank you for your dedication to the community, thank you for setting up high standards for an incredible, well-run program that many schools wish they had. I look forward to hearing about your new adventures!”


                                                                                                         -Fresia Cortes


“Thank you for making my job easier.”


                                                                                                         -Bill Moczdylowski


Thank you, Mr. Alston, for all you have done and continue to do for Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School.

I Voted!

November 30, 2019


“Being kind doesn’t mean you won’t stand up for yourself. You can

be compassionate and also be firm in your own stance. Continue

to be compassionate and then watch as your compassion inspires

other people.” -Satiya Ewing-Boyd c/o 2014

On November 8, 2019, Stokes School swore in the newly elected

Student Government officials for the 2019-2020 school year. All

scholars from first through fifth grades practice civic engagement

through voting privately; the younger scholars received assistance

from older scholars as needed.

Fourth and fifth grade scholars are welcomed to run for school-wide

office. This year’s officials are Jacob (President 5F), Frieda (Vice

President 5S), Amina (Secretary 5S), and Gabby (Treasurer 5F). First

through fourth grades have 2 representatives for each class. All

pledged an oath to their office and to serve in their positions with fidelity.


With platforms ranging from community service, to improving meal options for scholars with dietary restrictions, we are excited to welcome a student government ready to be active and make change!

Stokes Scholars Impress at the French Embassy

November 1, 2019


Second Grade French went to the embassy and interviewed Solene Burtz, who is in charge of the

bilingual education in the USA. During their first IB unit, "How we organize ourselves," scholars

studied not just our community, but also the organization of our society as a whole and the 

government. Consequently, they also got a chance to go to the Capitol and have a better

understanding of the US government. After both field trips, they compared the French and the

American governments, created two journals, and presented them to the class. 

At the embassy, students not only visited the facility, but also realized how the embassy is

important to our community and how French is widely spoken in the DMV with a significant

francophone presence. We then decided we would come back to the embassy to watch a movie

in French, enjoyed a French author coming to our school, and tried to connect with other French

immersion schools in the area.


As the only public elementary school in the District of Columbia that offers a French immersion

program, Stokes School has a special bond with the French embassy and we look forward to

strengthening that bond in the future.

Stokes Scholars are Rockin' Their New Shoes

October 3, 2019


Thanks to the generosity of the BB&T, 350 Stokes students received brand new shoes and socks today. This is part of BB&T’s year-long partnership with Samaritan’s Feet who will serve 4,000 children this year, and our ongoing partnership with BB&T. Today, volunteers spent time with each student by fitting them with a new pair of athletic shoes and socks and providing some words of encouragement.


Samaritan’s Feet was started in 2003 by Manny Ohonme, who received his first pair of shoes from a missionary when he was a child in Nigeria. Those shoes allowed him to learn and play basketball, ultimately earning him a sports scholarship in the US. A simple pair of shoes and the kindness shared by this “Good Samaritan” changed the course of Manny’s life. The mission of Samaritan’s Feet is to bring that same message of hope and love.

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