Center for Excellence (CFE) 2017-05-25T13:49:29+00:00

Center for Excellence (CFE)

Our most intensive program, the Center for Excellence (CFE) is designed to help children and youth prepare to achieve self-sufficiency as young adults.

More than 100 students participate in the CFE, meeting at our beautiful East Capitol Campus for three hours a day, five days a week after school. Saturday hours from 9:00am – 5:00pm allow for additional tutoring and tennis matches.

In a striking departure from other afterschool programs, which tend to limit the grade levels they will serve, the CFE takes children from kindergarten through their graduation from high school. This long-term involvement leads to strong relationships with positive adult role models and improved academic performance.

Our expert teachers have 70% of our children and youth on grade level in reading and 85% of our children and youth on grade level in math, compared with just 17% of African American youth in the District of Columbia who perform at or above grade level in math and English language arts, according to most recently released results of public school system-wide testing.

70% of our children and youth on grade level or higher in math and reading


17% of African American youth in the District of Columbia


The College Prep & Career Center at the CFE helps students beginning in middle school to explore their interests and aptitudes for future careers. We continue to strongly encourage our students to pursue higher education. Historically, 100% of our high school seniors have graduated and gone on to college with tennis or academic scholarships as well as financial aid. A full College Prep support program helps students identify schools that are right for them, prepare for entrance exams, apply, and evaluate acceptance offers. We also work with parents to help families navigate their financing and aid options.

The Career Center serves students who discover that they would prefer to pursue a career that does not require a college education. Professionals from the trades and other fields come to talk about their work, the preparation required to get started, and how it leads to self-sustaining employment.

35 to 40 students earn the right to participate in our Summer College Trip every year by accumulating points in the CFE’s incentive-based point system. Good behavior, acts of sportsmanship, and hard work earn points. Breaking the CFE’s code of behavior by disrespecting other students or staff causes a loss of points. In recent years, students have travelled to Nashville, Chicago, and Fort Lauderdale to visit local colleges and play in tournaments. This trip fuels our students’ dreams of attending college. The College Prep & Career Center helps make them a reality.

Students love the CFE program. 71% elect to come back year after year, compared to annual retention of just 45% in high-performing afterschool programs nationally.


Each day after school, students pursue 90 minutes of academic studies and 90 minutes of tennis instruction and play. Each student is tested as to their grade levels in math and reading when the school year begins and then our math and reading program directors develop an individual plan for each student. A team of teachers then works with the students one-on-one or in small groups of three to five students to pursue their individualized studies. Teachers also guide students as they complete their homework assignments.

Tennis is taught by our skilled coaches on the nine outdoor and six indoor courts at our East Capitol Campus. Instruction includes warm ups and general fitness, as well as tennis drills and play to build skills in the game. Children and youths are taught strategy and tactics and supported in competing in local, regional, and national tournaments.

To enroll your child in the CFE, contact program director Mike Ragland at or 202-660-0132.

Fund the Future of a child in the CFE with your gift of $5,000.