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Deputy Mayor for Education Announces the District of Learning Playlist Challenge

Thursday, February 2, 2017
Playlist Challenge will connect learning opportunities for District youth

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education, CityBridge Education, The Kimsey Foundation, and District of Learning announce the District of Learning Playlist Challenge—an opportunity for schools and community partners to help District youth explore their passions and strengthen their paths to college and careers.

“Washington DC is home to unparalleled resources for learning, but we need better ways to help young people navigate learning paths across schools and community institutions to reap the full benefit of these resources,” said Deputy Mayor for Education Jennie Niles. “The District of Learning Playlist Challenge is a way to connect learning opportunities for DC youth, and link their passions to college and career success.”

The Challenge will help schools and organizations create District of Learning Playlists and share them with young people through the free District of Learning LRNG platform at The Challenge includes free workshops and technical assistance for participants. Winners will be announced at the Playlist Challenge Showcase on March 15, with top prizes of $1000, $750, and $500.

CityBridge Education is collaborating with District of Learning to engage their Breakthrough Schools in the Playlist Challenge. “Playlists are a promising way for schools to personalize learning experiences for students,” said Caroline Hill from CityBridge Education. “We’re excited about how the Playlist Challenge will connect innovative schools to a broad range of personalized learning opportunities in our communities.”

District of Learning Playlists are collections of learning experiences organized around a theme. These learning experiences can happen anytime and anywhere—in school, the community, at home, and online. Learners that complete playlists earn Badges that embed the evidence of

their learning and become part of their lifelong portfolio. Badges may also unlock real-world opportunities for youth, and lead to jobs and college admission.

The Playlist Challenge invites participants from all kinds of learning organizations: schools, afterschool programs, youth-development nonprofits, schools, arts organizations, environmental organizations, libraries, museums, government agencies, higher education institutions, and employers. Challenge participants will join the growing network of dozens of District of Learning collaborators.

The Challenge has a priority on learning for teens and young adults ages 13-24, but can include learning opportunities for children as young as 5. Focus areas for learning activities might include, but are not limited to:

  • Summer activities
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)
  • Arts and humanities
  • Health and wellness
  • Public service
  • Life skills
  • College access
  • Employment training

Key dates

  • February 2. Playlist Challenge launch.
  • February 7. Overview webcast.
  • February 15-16. In-person playlist design workshops.
  • February 21-March 3. Playlist design webcasts and customized technical assistance.
  • March 7. Entry deadline.
  • March 15. Playlist Challenge Showcase and Awards.

District of Learning is facilitated through the DC nonprofit organization Fair Chance, and made possible through support from The Kimsey Foundation. It is part of the Cities of LRNG movement that was incubated by the MacArthur Foundation and is now in ten cities across the nation. LRNG has been endorsed by the US Conference of Mayors. For more details on the Playlist Challenge and to sign-up for updates, visit

The District of Columbia is celebrating Education Week by highlighting ways the Bowser Administration is accelerating education equity for all young people. Follow DC Education Week on social media by using #EDweekDC.