Enrichment, After School, and Summer Education
Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students After School Program (BUGS)
The Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students (BUGS) Program works with children from under-served Baltimore City communities throughout the year with an after-school program as well as a summer program. The program's primary goal is to empower and inspire our children to develop academically, creatively, and socially.
The BUGS program serves students from Commodore John Rodgers Elementary and Middle School in East Baltimore. Many of our students reside in public housing and low-income neighborhoods near the Baltimore City Detention Center. These students have little access to green space and few extra-curricular activities available to them. The program engages youth in learning while providing them with a safe and healthy alternative to the streets.
BUGS is a national model program that uses activities such as cooking, gardening, creative arts and movement, and entrepreneurial projects to help increase academic performance in reading and math and improve student behavior. The program provides a dynamic learning environment at Living Classrooms East Harbor campus, with access to vegetable and flower gardens planted by the students, and the only wetlands on Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Our 1:10 instructor/student ratio provides youth with the close attention they need to succeed socially and academically.
Center for Talented Youth
The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth selects academically gifted students from the United States and around the world to participate in three Living Classrooms Foundation summer programs. One group is involved in our Chesapeake Bay Ecology program. These students will spend half their camp experience at Notre Dame College in Baltimore studying the Bay with LCF educators. The other half of the program they will be in the field on our skipjack Sigsbee
. They will be meeting with researchers, crabbing with watermen and getting a chance to camp on the shores of the Bay each night. A second group participates in the Lady Maryland Cetology/Estuarine program. Students sail up the east coast and examine five estuaries before reaching Stellwagen Bank, off the coast of Massachusetts, where they study the whale population. These students will also spend half their camp experience on a college campus (either in Baltimore, MD or Bristol, RI) working with educators there and half their time living and studying aboard the Lady Maryland
UA House at Fayette operated by Living Classrooms
The Youth Development Center was created through a partnership between Living Classrooms Foundation and the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. The Youth Development Center responds to the community's need for intervention that supports the academic and social development of disadvantaged youth. The children and youth served reside primarily in public housing and low-income neighborhoods and their communities lack many of the services found in more affluent areas.
The program provides services in five core areas: Education and Career Development, Character and Civic Development, Health and Life Skills, The Arts and Cultural Enrichment, and Sports and Recreation. In addition, the Center hosts a number of community events such as immunization and lead screening, youth workshops and conferences, job fairs, family night activities, basketball tournaments, and an eight-week summer camp.
The Youth Development Center is open seven days a week. Currently, more than 200 youth are enrolled.
Programming at the POWER House Community Center
Living Classrooms opened the POWER House Community Center, located directly in Baltimore's largest public housing community, Perkins Homes. Programming replicates those offered at the Living Classrooms Youth Development Center. In addition, the POWER House offers financial literacy, English as a Second Language, and job training courses for adults.
The GEM Program works with disadvantaged high school girls in an effort to inspire them and lay the foundation for success in their lives. The program, run in partnership with Debbi Weinberg, is designed to address the needs of these at-risk girls within a positive and enriching environment that includes cultural, recreational, social, educational, and professional opportunities; mentoring, service to others, leadership training, financial literacy, and decision-making skills.
Historic Ships in Baltimore
The historic vessels located on Baltimore's Inner Harbor include the USS Constellation, USCG Cutter Taney, Submarine Torsk, Lightship Chesapeake, as well as the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse. These sites and attractions offer hands-on educational programming to students and visitors and are also major tourism attractions in Baltimore.
Programming at Masonville Cove
Living Classrooms Foundation is working with the Port of Baltimore, the Brooklyn and Curtis Bay Coalition, and the National Aquarium in Baltimore to create and manage the Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center, located on Masonville Cove on the Patapsco River's Middle Branch. This site acts as a gateway to connect underserved individuals and communities to the outdoors and the Chesapeake Bay through environmental education, stewardship activities, and job training programs. Living Classrooms is implementing coordinated school and community outreach programs for the Brooklyn, Curtis Bay, and Cherry Hill communities. This initiative is based on Living Classrooms' successful Meaningful Watershed Environmental Education program, which works with urban youth to understand and prevent the environmental effects of pollution and runoff in their own backyards.
Through the project, students learn about the water cycle, explore the concept of watersheds, learn about their own subwatershed, and employ mapping skills as they locate the storm drains on their school property and in their neighborhoods. Students are also involved in monitoring, protection, and restoration activities such as trash pick-up and recycling. They create and install rain barrels, stencil storm drains, and design and install native garden habitats. As students living near the Middle Branch learn about and help to improve their own neighborhoods, they will become the community's future leaders.
410-246-0669 (MCEEC), 410-355-1100 (Baybrook Coalition)
The Turning the Corner Achievement Program (T-CAP) serves sixth and seventh grade students at The Crossroads School. The program provides students with academic intervention in the areas of reading, writing, and math while addressing the needs of the whole child with academic and enrichment projects and wrap-around support for families.
The T-CAP staff provides student services during school hours as well as after school. Program components include: Targeted Assistance, Integrated Academic Support, Acceleration, Extended School Day programming, and Family Services. The program also includes an enriching summer component designed to increase retention of academic skills that are often lost during the summer.
Bay Buddies Program
Bay Buddies serves 80 students with special needs, ages 5-21, with a unique summer enrichment program. The primary goal of the program is to provide students with opportunities to address outcomes and indicators in the Maryland State Department of Education's Maryland Learning Outcomes and Alternate MSA in fun and positive learning environments. The program uses hands-on learning experiences while students explore Baltimore's Inner Harbor to reinforce life skills measured by the Alt-MSA. Bay Buddies is a collaborative project supported jointly by The Arc of Baltimore, Baltimore City and County Public School Systems, Baltimore County Department of Parks and Recreation, and Living Classrooms Foundation.
During the program, students participate in a wide variety of hands-on experiences. Activities include arts and crafts and use of digital pictures, model paddle boat construction and racing, outdoor games, a banner project, field trip to the MD Council for Special Equestrians (therapeutic horseback riding), sand art, sailing aboard skipjack Minnie V. and pungy schooner Lady Maryland, mosaic frame mirror art, a gardening project, and a field trip to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Students learn and practice landscaping skills and utilize adaptive gardening tools to plant a perennial garden as part of a career exploration component. In addition to involving students in community life, all activities are geared to maintain individuals' skills outcomes during the summer months. As a result of Bay Buddies' enormous success, the program has received two awards: the Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties and the Innovative Program Award from the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association.