The Story of D.C. Soup

D.C. Soup builds a community of support for teachers from schools across the city by hosting soup dinners that provide microgrants to fund exciting, teacher-initiated projects.

The concept is simple. Four times a year, D.C. teachers and their supporters will congregate to share a soup dinner made by different members of the community. We ask each guest to contribute $10.00 toward a microgrant to fund an innovative classroom project. The more guests who contribute, the larger the grant. During dinner, three teachers will each present a proposal for an innovative classroom project she is excited to introduce to the classroom. Each guest votes for the proposal they would most like to see funded, and the winner receives that night’s microgrant pot to implement his plan.

D.C. Soup was inspired by Philasoup and Detroit Soup who fund teachers, community organizers and activists, and artists through soup dinners.


D.C. Soup is organized by Emily Gasoi, Abby Hare, Sonya Robbins Hoffmann, and Erin Thesing.

Emily Gasoi has worn many hats over her 20 year career in the field of education, including classroom teacher, researcher, mentor, adjunct professor, writer, and consultant. She is a co-founder with Sonya Robbins Hoffmann of Artful Education, a consulting practice working with educational organizations to measure, assess, and message the impacts of creative learning. Along with Abby Hare, she co-founded the Washington Teachers Inquiry Group, a bi-weekly gathering for teachers seeking collegial support to improve their practice. She is currently working on a book with Education Reformer, Deborah Meier, about education and democracy. When she’s not sitting alone writing or hanging around with teachers, you might find Emily biking around town or hitting the playground with her 4 year old daughter who attends Washington Yu Ying PCS.

Abby Hare teaches first grade at Amidon-Bowen, a D.C. public school in Southwest D.C.  She has taught first and second grades for the past four years in both DCPS and KIPP DC. Abby co-founded the Washington Teachers Inquiry Group with Emily. When she’s not teaching, you can find her sleeping. She just celebrated her 10-year anniversary of living in D.C.!

Sonya Robbins Hoffmann is co-founder of Artful Education. In addition, she works with Lachman Consulting to create tailored strategic planning processes for non-profits. In her spare time, she is learning Spanish – slowly – and loves to read, cook, hike, and hang out with her kids. She is co-chair of the Woodrow Wilson PTSO grants committee and a proud parent of students at Wilson and Mundo Verde PCS.

Erin Thesing is a fifth grade English Language Arts teacher at Maury Elementary, a D.C. Public School. She has also taught Kindergarten through second grade at charter schools in Philadelphia and D.C. She was a founding team member of Philasoup. She is passionate about creating authentic learning experiences that engage children in creating and advocating both in the classroom and in their communities.When she’s not at school, you can find Erin running, fanatically cooking from and talking about the New York Times Cooking Newsletter, reading, hiking or biking in and around D.C., and plotting her next trip to a country where she can stumble over her French.

A big thanks goes to Daizy Cushner, a Pre-K art teacher at Capital City Public Charter School for designing our logo. You can check out her work and that of her students on her blog.