The founder of Elsie Whitlow Stokes Public Charter School, Moore will be inducted into the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Hall of Fame on July 1.
Why do you think you were chosen for the Hall of Fame?
I'm the founder of one of the pioneer [charter] schools in Washington. We're in our 15th year now. There were only a handful of charter schools in the city before we -- and the cohort of schools that were approved the year we were approved -- came along, and we are one of the few survivors of that group.
Why did you name your school after your mother?
My mom was a first-grade teacher in Arkansas. She was very focused in having all of her students achieve. In addition to teaching them how to read, write, add and subtract, there was a lot of emphasis on becoming a responsible citizen in one's community. She always made an effort to expose her students to a greater world, and it's much of what we are trying to do here.
Why is Stokes unique among D.C. charter schools?
We are distinguished by being the only public school in the District that offers two languages in addition to English. We offer French and Spanish, and we are the oldest language immersion charter school in the city.
How is Stokes unique on a national scale?
We have sixth-graders right now who are in Martinique using their French language skills. They're visiting pen pals they've established. They are visiting rainforests, doing analyses of water samples and comparing them to what they've done here. We absolutely want to teach them that books can open up new horizons, that it's great to know scientific method. But we also want them to understand that once they get the knowledge that it's important to use it for the betterment of their communities.
-- Rachel Baye