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SEED School Aims to Help Students Grow With Skills for Life

Dana Demange

I’m Faith Lapidus with the VOA Special English Education Report.

The SEED School in Washington, D.C., provides an intensive educational program in a boarding school environment. Students live at a boarding school. The SEED School is one of the few public boarding schools in the country.

It opened in nineteen ninety-eight. It is a modern, high-technology school in the poorest part of the District of Columbia. Most of the students are black. Often they have grown up in areas of poverty and crime.

SEED officials say the school provides a safe and secure environment twenty-four hours a day. The educational program is designed to prepare students for college. The boarding program is designed to help them learn life skills.

School representatives work with local teachers and the community to identify students who could be helped by the school. Parents and children decide together if the SEED program is the best educational choice for them. It is not for everyone. Students enter the program in the seventh grade. They agree to stay for six years.

The goal is to prepare them for success in college and in future employment. This means that learning continues after classes are over for the day. School officials say the students receive family and community support. They learn about personal responsibility. They learn to balance work and play. They can help teach younger students, or do community service. The school also offers sports and social activities.

The SEED School currently has more than three hundred students. So far, two classes have completed the program. School officials say all of the young people were accepted at universities.

The SEED School is a charter school. This means it is privately operated but receives public money. Private gifts also help pay for the school.

The SEED School has had some important supporters and guests. In November, Britain's Prince Charles and his wife, Lady Camilla, spent an afternoon there with First Lady Laura Bush.

The boarding school in the nation's capital is the first opened by the SEED Foundation. The group says it plans to open schools in other cities, such as Baltimore and Los Angeles. More information about the program can be found on the Web at seedfoundation dot com (

This VOA Special English Education Report was written by Dana Demange. Internet users can read and listen to our reports at I’m Faith Lapidus.