Free Immunizations

The D.C. Department of Health and the D.C. school system are reminding parents that they must have their children immunized by the time school starts Monday. Children who have not had their shots will be turned away.

The Children's National Medical Center is offering free inoculations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The shots will be available at the D.C. General Hospital Ambulatory Care Center Building, 1900 Massachusetts Ave. SE. For more information, call 202-884-BEAR.

Also, the Department of Health is offering free immunizations at locations around the city. Call 202-671-5000 for more information.

"As parents get kids ready for schools by buying supplies and clothes, we want them to make sure they take their kids for a physical examination and for immunization," said Leila Abrar, spokeswoman for the Department of Health.

School Supply Drive

Businessman and District native Kwame Jackson, formerly of NBC's "The Apprentice," is conducting a local drive to collect school supplies for students who cannot afford them.

Through the "Stuff the Bus" program, people are encouraged to donate school supplies at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington locations.

Items such as backpacks, rulers, scissors, pencils, pens, markers, notebooks, glue, highlighters, calculators and paper will be accepted until Saturday, when the program culminates with a back-to-school fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Boys & Girls Clubhouse No. 10, 2500 14th St. NW. Jackson will be on hand to meet participants, and food and drinks will be available.

For more information, go to or call 301-562-2003.

Web Help for Teachers

School teachers in the District can appeal to a nonprofit Web site for basic teaching needs and other materials for students that may not be available to them at their school. posts specific needs for teachers so that donors can fund those requests through tax-deductible contributions to Means for Dreams.

Web site staff members and volunteers use all of the contributions to purchase materials and deliver them to the teachers at their schools. Jonathan Evans, executive director of Means for Dreams, said more than300 D.C. teacher requests have been funded with the more than $130,000 donated since 2002, when Means for Dreams was founded.

For more information go to

Scholarship Fund

The Washington Scholarship Fund will start accepting applications next month for its Opportunity Scholarship Program for the 2006-07 school year.

The Opportunity Scholarship program provides federal fundsof up to $7,500 per year for eligible schoolchildren for tuition, fees and transportation for private school attendance. Students must live in the District, meet household eligibility requirements and be entering kindergarten through 12th grade. Priority goes to students entering kindergarten in 2006-07 or attending public "needs improvement" schools this school year.

More information is available by calling 888-DC-YOUTH or by going to

Ready Schools Project

DC VOICE (District Community Voices Organized and Informed for Change in Education), a nonprofit organization working to strengthen the public's voice in education, will be conducting the Ready Schools Project this school year.

The project, like last year's, involves gathering information from principals, teachers and students in more than 50 schools to make sure the support needed to provide effective teaching and learning for students is given.

Volunteers can participate in the Ready Schools Project by attending one of the volunteer training sessions next month or by participating on a team that conducts the project's checklists at local schools.

To volunteer or for other information, contact DC VOICE at 202-986-8534 or

-- Compiled by BRUCE C.T. WRIGHT