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About A.R.E.

About A.R.E.

A.R.E. provides a continuum of care for youth and families from early childhood education programs, services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), residential programs for adjudicated youth, and parenting workshops and training. We also function as a conduit to other agencies that extend the core services provided by A.R.E., while also operating as an integral agency in several consortiums that serve the children and youth of the District of Columbia. A.R.E. believes first and foremost, that all youth deserve a safe haven, and our purpose is to be a partner in making the District of Columbia a better place to live and do business; a place where children, youth and families come first.


Our History

Associates for Renewal in Education, Inc. (A.R.E.) has been serving the Washington, D.C. community for over 40 years, 25 of those years under the leadership and guidance of the late Brenda Strong Nixon. During this time, A.R.E. has grown from its original educational based orientation to becoming a multi-faceted programming agency that works primarily with at-risk and underserved infants, children, youth, and adults, improving the quality of their lives through intervention, education, and employment skills training.

A.R.E. was founded in 1971 with the goal of bringing together educational professionals from the public, independent, and parochial school sectors to share information about current trends in education, as well as to work on improving the quality of education afforded to the residents of the District of Columbia. Since then, A.R.E. has evolved into a multi-faceted programming agency, and a well-respected member of the District of Columbia's social services community. In 1980, A.R.E. relocated from Washington D.C.’s downtown commercial district to take up residence in a vacant school building in nearby Northeast Washington, D.C., eventually moving into the historic John Fox Slater Elementary School Building in the District of Columbia’s North Capitol Community in 1988.

Constructed in 1891, during the time of racial segregation in the United States, the John Fox Slater Elementary School was one of several schools for African-American youth located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Upon opening, the school was immediately at capacity, and The John Mercer Langston School was built next door to help ease the overcrowding conditions at Slater. Both schools would operate independently until the late 1910s and at the time were referred to jointly as Slater-Langston. Today, A.R.E. still remains in the two-story Slater School Building and as of 2013, the building was officially listed as a historic site by the United States National Register of Historic Places.

Our Mission

To promote the well-being of children, youth, and families of the District of Columbia, and to help them achieve success in education, employment, family, community, and civic roles.

Our Vision

Effective, professional, and ethical services for children, youth, and families are our priority.

Our Motto

Where Children, Youth, and Families Come First

Our Values

  • When people are treated with love and respect, they will learn to treat others with love and respect.
  • ARE workers will display integrity in their interaction with clients, the community, and the A.R.E. family itself.
  • People deserve to be treated with dignity. Their strengths will be recognized and utilized; their autonomy and privacy will be respected.
  • People will be treated fairly.
  • People will have an equitable opportunity to succeed to their maximum potential.
  • People will not be harmed and their safety and welfare should be promoted.
  • People will value diversity and respect others of all ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, economic statuses, ages, abilities, and disabilities

Our Beliefs

  • People learn best in interaction with their environments, and service providers must offer a variety of developmentally appropriate opportunities and experiences to promote growth of human potential.
  • Members of the community are an integral part of the service development and delivery process.
  • Using knowledge about effective services is a requirement for state-of-the-art programs.
  • Compassionately arranged learning experiences are required to promote success and to redirect people who have experienced little success and much failure in mainstream systems.
  • Carefully applying tested interventions and programs produces beneficial outcomes for clients. Conversely, careless and incomplete application of interventions is unlikely to be effective and teaches clients that services are not helpful and that service providers are ineffective.
  • If we monitor the quality and intensity of our services, we will deliver them in effective form. If we do not monitor what we do, we will not deliver quality programs.
Where Children, Youth, and Families Come First