COVID-19 Response

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and D.C. public schools were forced to close in March 2020, suspending operations was not, and could not be, an option. Not when a pandemic was ravaging families while the weight of systemic racism was upon them. Immediately, LPTM stepped up in new ways to reimagine how we could work in partnership with our boys and families. We stepped up our support to those who have dealt with the loss of work, savings, transportation, and safe spaces to learn and grow, as well as those grieving through trauma.

With compassion, creativity, and commitment to our mission, we were able to continue to foster a community for our Apprentices and provide essential services to their families, starting on day one.

We did this by:

Meeting Families’ Needs

  • A new Frontline Team was certified to make safe, weekly deliveries of food, personal protective equipment, and cleaning supplies to over fifteen LPTM families.
  • We provided 50 young men with approximately 3800 meals during the fall program alone (September-December 2020). These meal services are ongoing.
  • With the support of a donor, we purchased 28 sets of winter coats and boots so our Apprentices could safely learn and play outdoors into the winter.

Implementing Safety Protocols

  • From March-June 2020, all programming was virtual, with home deliveries of art and school supplies to aid our virtual classrooms.
  • From June 2020 onward, outdoor, hybrid programming could resume, with the full buy-in of our families to stay safe, wear masks, stay outdoors, and remain in small, socially distant groups.
  • Masks are provided and required at all in-person programming.
  • Tables, chairs, and supplies at our outdoor classroom are sanitized three times a day.
  • Porta-potties are sanitized up to 50 times per day.
  • Our two passenger vans, which normally seats 15 Apprentices, runs at a reduced capacity of 5 passengers and were sanitized between trips.

Maintaining Educational Programming

  • Teachers and program staff check in with our Apprentices and their families at least twice a week.
  • We provide a safe outdoor campus for 15-20 boys whose parents are unable to provide supervision during the DCPS virtual school day.
  • Tents, tables, chairs, generators, lighting, and two porta-potties are provided to accommodate socially-distanced virtual learning.
  • We established a hybrid virtual and in-person summer learning program, the only one of its kind in the D.C.

Because of this:

All daytime apprentices have made advances in their reading and math over the course of the pandemic.
Parents have noted that their children’s social-emotional status has risen because of LPTM programming.

Encouraging Artistic Expression

  • Staff and older Apprentices have made and delivered masks to LPTM families, elderly residents, area hospitals, and local businesses. 
  • Middle school Apprentices wrote and recorded original songs.
  • Younger Apprentices continue their artwork with supplies delivered by the Frontline Team and instruction videos created by their mentors and teachers.

Connecting with Nature

  • LPTM partnered with the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation and Washington Parks and People to create a lush outdoor campus at the Marvin Gay Greening Center. 
  • Many Apprentices have access to safe green space for the first time.
  • Apprentices have learned new skills, including planting and harvesting crops in the community garden under the instruction of master gardeners.
  • Apprentices have had the opportunity to appreciate the value of fresh air, which is especially noticeable in the midst of a respiratory pandemic.

Creating Art… Changing Lives.

With love, security, and expression, each of us can become a masterpiece.