News & Highlights
CFG Bank Announces $1M Donation to Support new Living Classrooms Bauer Building Workforce Opportunity Center and Additional Support for CNA/GNA Training for Entry-level Healthcare Workers
CFG Bank (CFGB) announced the launch of the newly formed Jack and Nancy Dwyer Workforce Development Program, whose mission is to help resolve the effects of systemic poverty and inequality and also address the turnover crisis in the healthcare industry by creating a pathway to advance career opportunities in the nursing profession.

As part of the initiative, CFGB is donating $1M to Living Classrooms towards the renovation and new construction of the Living Classrooms Bauer Building located adjacent to the Foundation's headquarters in Fells Point, which will house the training program to help Baltimore adults establish a pathway to entry-level careers in the healthcare industry. The program will support job attainment and long-term retention through Living Classrooms' case management system. The Bauer building will house the CFG Bank Classroom and the Jack and Nancy Dwyer Classroom, which will be used for training. Renovations to the building are currently underway and are slated for completion in July 2021.


In addition to the gift from CFG Bank, Living Classrooms has received a lead $1.5 million gift from the Charles T. Bauer Foundation; Governor Hogan has allocated $500,000 in his budget for this project, and the Maryland State Legislature is providing $150,000 in capital bond support. 
New Anacostia Green Boats Program Launches on Kingman Island
Yesterday, DC's Mayor Bowser joined us on Kingman & Heritage Islands to celebrate Earth Day 2021 by officially launching the District's Anacostia Green Boats program thanks to a partnership and funding from the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE).

The program was inspired by a similar stewardship initiative popular in several Northern European countries and will enthusiastically involve the public in cleaning up trash in the water and along the shorelines of the islands, while they are exercising and/or enjoying nature. Living Classrooms will operate a free kayak and canoe concession that will run every Saturday throughout the summer. Citizens can sign up in advance and we will supply them with the necessary equipment. Trash will be weighed and cataloged, and the data will be reported to DOEE for the purpose of developing targeted litter reduction policies. In addition to fun, exercise, and education, the Anacostia Green Boats citizen science program will raise awareness about marine debris issues, provide a pathway for activists to get involved, and enhance the beauty of the Anacostia River for all residents to access and enjoy. 


Want to reserve a boat? Register Here
Living Classrooms Welcomes New Board Members

Living Classrooms Foundation is honored to welcome the following individuals who were recently elected to our various Boards:

Living Classrooms Board of Trustees:

  • Jack Dwyer, Chairman of the Board/Sole Owner Capital Funding Group Family of Companies
  • Talib Horne, Director Baltimore Civic Site, Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Admiral Scott Sanders, Retired U.S. Navy (and Chair of our Historic Ships in Baltimore Board)
  • Mimi Kapiloff, Fine Arts and Antiques Appraiser
  • Megan Sparks, Manager, Innovation and Commercialization, Constellation Energy (and Chair of our Crossroads School Board)

Living Classrooms National Capital Region Board:

  • Dr. James Moore, Principal, KPMG
  • Victor Reyes, Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting
  • DeMaurice Smith, President of the NFL Players Association

Historic Ships in Baltimore Board:

  • Harry Coker, Jr., Retired, NSA Director

Baltimore Youth Take to the Streets for a Community Anti-Violence March
Our Safe Streets site in Belair-Edison hosted a Youth Community March and Easter Event on Saturday, April 3rd where dozens of community members came together to promote peace and encourage others to join the fight to end gun violence within the Northeast Baltimore neighborhood. The march ended in the backyard of our Safe Streets office where our team held an Easter Basket giveaway.

Our Safe Streets Belair-Edison team has made a significant impact in the two years since opening, recently earning several accolades from City and State Government officials for success in reducing gun violence. The zone has not had a reported homicide since December 2020.

Our two Safe Streets teams, the other located in the McElderry Park neighborhood, successfully mediated 661 potentially dangerous disputes last year. Since 2019, shootings are down 14.6% percent within the two zones and Safe Streets McElderry Park has not had a reported homicide in seven months.

Spring Break Brings Students Back Outside for Health & Wellness Camp
During Baltimore City Schools' Spring Break, our educators hosted a hybrid three-day camp focused on physical and social-emotional wellness, including a virtual option for students who wished to join from home and in-person activities at our Patterson Park House.

Eager students were thrilled to use Utz Field for flag football and kickball. During breaks from the action, the group explored the park during mindfulness walks, "planted seeds" during an art activity, and set their goals for the future during a visualization and mindful breathing session.

Meanwhile, on Zoom, advocates of Baltimore Community Health at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) led workshops on healthy eating and mental wellness. Volunteers from the Nursing Public Health Network at JHU led a writing workshop called "Engaging Social Justice through Creative Writing." Staff from the Baltimore Orioles, including The Oriole Bird, led a few Camden Yards' favorites, including the crab shuffle and hot dog race then led a group stretch and light exercise session with the students.
Fresh Start Students Begin Returning to the Workshop
Our Fresh Start Program, a job-training program in partnership with the MD Department of Juvenile Services that uses carpentry as a medium to teach real-world skills to out-of-school youth, is scheduled to resume in-person meetings at the Barn workshop on our East Harbor Campus in mid-June. In March of 2020, the program moved to a fully virtual environment providing online instruction, while also assisting students and their families with comprehensive support throughout a tumultuous year. During the next several weeks the students will be attending individual and small group meetings in the Fresh Start workshop for assessments, training, GED instruction, and employment support as the program hopefully ramps up to fully in-person programming later this summer.

Daisha (pictured), an 18-year-old student who enrolled in Fresh Start late February, is eager to enter the workshop for some solo instruction in carpentry. She is getting hands-on experience learning to use the shop tools by helping to complete pending customer orders. Daisha has passed 25% of her GED exam and will be taking the remaining sections to earn her high school diploma within the next few months. She is also completing virtual job training workshops through our partnership with HeartSmiles where she is learning both customized industry and essential job skills so she is prepared to enter the workforce upon completion of her Fresh Start program. Daisha is committed to enduring through the challenges she has faced over the last year and is a great example of the tenacity and resilience of our Fresh Start students.
BeatZone Brings Virtual Music Education to the Girls of A Mother's Promise
Our Ascend through Music Program (AMP) has partnered with DC-based A Mother's Promise to deliver after-school programming to an all-girls cohort of students through our BeatZone initiative that teaches music production and songwriting skills to middle and high school students in Washington, DC. For eight weeks, the students (ages 11-16) have been writing and producing their own music through a hybrid virtual and in-person program.
The audio track featured in this video was created by 6th grader, Lehcar, for the group's latest activity called, "Remix Spring." The students were introduced to the musical piece, "Four Seasons" by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi and instructed to produce their own version of the song featuring only drums and strings (as was used in the original piece) using Garage Band software. Some produced hip hop remixes and some pop music but all enjoyed getting into a classroom with their peers and flexing their creative muscles.
AMPlified Students Promote Conservation through Music
Meanwhile, in Baltimore, the students of Ascend through Music's AMPlified performance group released their song, "Drip" about conservationism to help celebrate Earth Day. The song was originally written and recorded by the students in early 2020 (pre-pandemic) after a trip to the National Aquarium's Animal Care and Rescue Center. Over recent months, the song has been edited and finalized in order to release it at just the right time to share their evergreen message about the importance of environmental stewardship.
Digging Data: Pivoting in a Pandemic
Each month, our Research & Evaluation Department digs and sifts through our data to extract a meaningful "data nugget" to highlight the accomplishments from our programs and services as we look back over an unprecedented year.
Events & Education
LinkedIn Local Baltimore is Back this Sunday- Benefiting Living Classrooms
Sunday, April 25th | 11:00am - 3:00pm
@ Mama's on the Half Shell, Canton, Baltimore

LinkedIn Local Baltimore is hosting their very first in-person event since March 2020. This Sunday Funday outdoor Spring fundraiser will feature live music, shopping, oysters, and libations. They'll be selling new and unused tchotchkes from local businesses, with all proceeds benefiting Living Classrooms Foundation and the Tyanna Foundation. Not sure what a tchotchke is? Come and find out! This is a FREE event open for all to attend. Masks and social distancing required. 

Capitol Riverfront Spring Drive-in Movie Series
to benefit Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region
Every Friday, April 23 - May 28 | 8:00pm
The Stacks | 101 V Street SW

May 21st, Booksmart (rated R) to benefit Living Classrooms

Join the Capitol Riverfront BID for a six-week drive-in movie series at The Stacks in Buzzard Point, that will benefit a different local nonprofit each week. Tickets must be purchased in advance to secure your spot, space is limited. Grab your crew on May 21st to watch "Booksmart" and support our education and job training programs in DC.

Fort McHenry Live Virtual History Series
National Park Service Rangers and historians from throughout Maryland have been hosting a 4-part virtual history series every Friday afternoon throughout the month of April that examines stories of some of the most critical moments in United States history - April in Baltimore, 1861. Did you miss them? Don't worry, you can still catch the recording!

The last in the series is April 30th at 1:00pm and explores the experiences of Clara Barton in the aftermath of the Pratt Street Riot. Register for the Live Zoom Presentation Here

Each of the previous three episodes in the series has been made available for viewing anytime. Watch the Recordings Here

The National Park Service, Friends of Fort McHenry, and Living Classrooms are proud to help make this virtual programming series possible through a generous donation from the George S. Rich Family Foundation. 
Masonville Cove Presents: Professional Development Series for Teachers
Our education team at Masonville Cove Urban Wildlife Refuge is hosting 4 FREE Professional Development Workshops for teachers this spring through funding received from the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE).  During each workshop, teachers will gain the confidence and tools to use the outdoors as a hands-on classroom to engage students in outdoor environmental education and increase environmental literacy. Registration is required for each session.

The next session is “Tackling Trash” | Thursday, May 6th | 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm


Ways to Get Involved
Volunteer Spotlight: Andrew Magaletti, Robotics Team Mentor
In honor of National Volunteer Week this week, we are highlighting longtime volunteer from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Andrew Magaletti. Andrew has been a lead mentor for our Robotics team in the National Capital Region for seven years. He remains a dedicated and trusted leader of the team, even as the pandemic interrupted their regular after-school meetings. Last March, Andrew immediately set up a virtual classroom for students and continued to teach them computer-aided design (CAD) once a week.

In recent months, our students embarked on their first remote building season. In a normal year, the students would build their robots onsite at The Dent House and compete at big local and regional competitions where they would guide their robot in completing a series of obstacle courses against other high school teams. This year, the competition has gone virtual and students are not just building and programming their robot but also their own obstacle courses. Recently, Andrew has been meeting with our team onsite weekly at The Dent House to test their robot's ability to complete tasks like climbing, picking up, throwing, and driving; and completing the official "at home" competition challenges. Andrew has done a wonderful job keeping students engaged and excited about robotics through a difficult pandemic and a very unique season. Thank you, Andrew!

Help Us Get Our Boats Ready for Summer Programming
Friday, April 30th 9:00am-12:00pm

We need three strong volunteers to join us on our dock as we prepare our fleet of education vessels for the upcoming summer season. We are excited to get our boats out on the water again and need a few folks to assist our crew with transporting seasonal cover frames to storage for the season.

Volunteers will meet at Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park in Fells Point, Baltimore to load wood frames onto small barges and will then take a two-minute walk over to our East Harbor Campus to help unload the frames into storage. This volunteer activity requires bending, lifting, and carrying heavy objects. Masks required.

Email Erin Myers at emyers@livingclassrooms.org
Share Your Professional Development Skills as a Volunteer Guest Speaker
Project SERVE is seeking presenters in the Baltimore area to facilitate workshops focused on personal and professional development topics or even to share personal stories of struggle and triumph. Topics may include public speaking, mock interviewing, email etiquette, mindfulness, conflict resolution, time management, professionalism, workplace leadership, self-care, etc. Help our workforce development members as they prepare for the challenges they will encounter in any work environment.

Join Our FrogWatch Citizen Science Project on Kingman Island
In 2021, DOEE & Living Classrooms are teaming up to provide volunteers with guided FrogWatch walks on Kingman &
Heritage Islands Conservation Area. The walks will take place 30 minutes after sunset and will last for two hours. There will be one walk every month on the third Thursday between March and August. FrogWatch, a citizen-science project, needs volunteers to collect and submit data on calling frogs and toads at streams, ponds, and wetlands in and around the District.

All training is now online, and volunteers who have completed the training can conduct their own surveys or register for monthly in-person walks on the Islands. Pre-registration is required.

Next Event is May 20th. More Information and Registration Here

Stay Connected
Living Classrooms Foundation | 1417 Thames Street | Baltimore, MD 21231

Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region | 515 M Street SE | Suite 223 | Washington, DC 2003