"Scandal" Star Visits DC School with First Lady

4:49 PM, May 24, 2013   |    comments
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SOUTHEAST, DC (WUSA) -- What happens when you get good grades and your school does well? If you're Savoy Elementary School in Southeast you get a visit from the First Lady and Actress Kerry Washington.

The school went from one of the worst performing schools to one of the most improved schools in the district.
On TV  they may be bitter rivals, but in real life , First Lady Michelle Obama and Scandal star Kerry Washington are good friends and stepped out together for a good cause.

First Lady, "I've been wanting to visit your school for a very long time. Now my dream has come true I am here with all of you."

Kerry Washington, Scandal Actress, "i'm not sure how I was matched up with Savoy Elementary, may be had something to do with playing Olivia Pope and having a Principal Pope but I feel very lucky that this happened."

Savoy Elementary in Anacostia was one of the the lowest performing schools in the district, with less than a fourth of the students proficient in reading and math.

It was one of 8 schools selected to take part in the President's 'Turnaround Arts' initiative, using the arts to motivate, inspire and educate. Friday afternoon, Savoy students performed for the actress and First Lady.
The school has turned around since those dark days two years ago. Now the school is bright, full of color, artwork and energy. Test scores are up, attendance and enrollment are up, discipline action is down.

Kerry Washington, "You take a low performing school, add arts and it's the key to unlocking all the problems getting kids in school, staying engaged and getting parents involved."

Washington is a mentor to the students. She visits, skypes and reads books to them.

She plays a character that 'fixes' problems and says in real life she feels blessed to be a part of a program that helps fix schools.

Jahsier Ellis, "I didn't like school."

That was then but now the 4th grader is up on stage performing for the school.

"my grades are really good. I'm getting 3's and 4's before I was getting 2's, and 1's.

Washington, it opens them up and helps them be front and center not just on stage but in their lives and the classroom."
Each of the 8 schools chosen for the president's arts program is paired with someone famous in the arts.

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