The St. Francis Reader                           March/April 2015

St. Francis Neighborhood Center

Our mission is committed to ending generational poverty through education, inspiring self-esteem, self-improvement, and strengthening connections to the community.



(L-R) Jamie, Heejin, and Christi
enjoying a black tie evening to benefit the Center

A Note from the Executive Director


I am excited to share many exciting updates with you in this issue of The St. Francis Reader. 
In March, Heejin Ryu became a part of the St. Francis donor family when she decided to donate and host a private event at Silo Point. She thoughtfully invited friends and co-workers to a black-tie evening and created a fundraising "party with a purpose" to benefit St. Francis Neighborhood  Center (SFNC). The results of the night yielded a net return  of $40,000! Her company's matching program will  add more to the tally. Words cannot express how much this means to us. Her fun with philanthropy caught the attention of Fox 45 News who interviewed Heejin the morning of the event. 

Thank You to Chasseur

Chasseur, a local Baltimore restaurant, hosted an event to benefit the Center April 14. 
More than 100 people dined and donated school supplies!

Center students, Arielle and Jada, join the Boy Scouts for Clean Up Day!

DuraBante teamed up with Boy Scout Troop #92 and the  Reservoir Hill community to activate an April Clean Up Day.  DuraBante provided lunch, and  the entire team made great strides!  Within the first 30 minutes it was too late to take a "before" picture!  36 people participated to beautify the grounds of  St. Francis Neighborhood Center and clean the blocks of Linden and Whitelock Avenue.
Look what we brought, art supplies for the kids!
What does all of this mean?  
As we prepare for summer programming for at risk City kids in our neighborhood AND an upcoming capital campaign to renovate and expand our 150 year old building...we are gearing up.  We have just begun and it is exciting.  I hope this good news has inspired you to get excited and get involved--whether donating school supplies, throwing a party, volunteering, or making a financial contribution, and more. 

Heejin loves to throw a good party, and she did so--with a purpose!  Pick something YOU enjoy, and have it mean something that will make a difference-- be a part of our next success story!




Volunteers of the Month

Congratulations DuraBante and Boy Scout Troop #92!



Spring Clean Check list: They cleared foliage from the fences, mulched, weeded, edged, hung organizing shelves, removed bulky appliances, painted three rooms, replaced the broken garbage disposal and unclogged the sink, worked on cleaning out the basement, donated cleaning supplies, and fully cleaned and organized the kitchen, including steam cleaning the stove! We at SFNC appreciate all the hard work, time and effort into making sure our Center looks its best!  


Volunteer Spotlight, Claire DiSalvo
Starting her internship with SFNC in January of this year, Claire has continued to be a motivating light to our youngest prodigies in Group One (ages 5-7) of our free after school program for at risk kids, the Power Project. Claire immediately immersed herself into building connections with these youngsters and has brought a new artistic flare to the art curriculum in the program, as well as art lessons of exceptional quality. She is extremely generous, spending extra time and money to ensure Group One's planned art lessons occur without a hitch -- the end result is absolutely magnificent. Claire is studying at the Maryland Institute College of Art pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Sculpture. As a sculpture student, her favorite mediums are plaster, wire, and wax. When she's not making art, Claire enjoys running, reading and walking dogs.  Thank you Claire for being a great volunteer. We see what you are doing with our prodigies and we appreciate you all the more for your selflessness. 


Volunteers, we can't do it without you!  Do you want to impact a youth's life in a meaningful way? Volunteer with SFNC and become a part of the community movement in Reservoir Hill to diminish the effects of poverty. #VOLUNTEER@SFNC #STFRANCISBMORE Email for details!

The Power Project Has Been Busy!   
The Power Project is our free educational after school program for at risk children. In addition to working on homework everyday, we have a monthly theme that we tie to the Common Core with art and academic enrichment.  In March the theme was "Nature's Wonders and Woes," and in April, "Actions Speak Louder than Words."    

In March, Group One, ages 5-7, worked with Claire DiSalvo on nature inspired art projects that explore abstraction, texture, drawing, and working with clay.

Group Two, ages 8-10, learned about Robert Frost's nature poems. They discussed how memory and nature are conveyed in Frost's poems. Students created their own poems inspired by a favorite memory of being in nature. They also studied the Fauvist art movement. They completed an art project in which they added bright colors to black and white photographs of their neighborhood using oil pastels.

Group Three, (ages 11-14) learned about different ecosystems. They compared and contrasted ecosystems like the tundra and the estuaries of Maryland.

In April, Group One is reading The Giving Tree and is doing projects related to self image and positive behavior. They also started a weekly greening/nutrition class at Whitelock Community Farm.

Group Two is learning about Frida Kahlo and how she transformed her negative life experiences into beautiful works of art. Group Two is creating self portraits that explore personal identity and symbolism. 

Groups Two & Three will be working with Sadiq Ali on his "Millionaire Manners" curriculum which teaches youth how to master personal and professional etiquette (AIM=Attitude, Image, Manners).

Prodigy Highlights

Lorena, March Prodigy of the Month


Our prodigy for the month of March is Lorena. She is a Kindergartner who attends John Eager Howard Elementary. This is her second year at the Power Project. When Lorena arrives at the Power Project she immediately gets out her homework and gets to work! She is very polite, hardworking, and always raises her hand to be called on. Lorena consistently has the highest behavior score in the program. In the past year she has become a model student. 

Darrell, April Prodigy of the Month
Darrell is our prodigy of the month! for April! Darrell is 
a 5th grader at Midtown Academy. SFNC staff are continually impressed by his courteous nature. He treats adults and  peers with kindness and respect. Ms. Jenna, Darrell's teacher, comments that during his Power Project classes, Darrell has a great work ethic and is very patient. Last month Darrell had the 2nd highest behavior score (a 4.38 out of 5.0!) which allowed him to get  a $20 XBOX gift card in the PowerBuck store. Darrell has become an excellent role model for younger and older students. We are so happy to have Darrell in the program  and look forward to seeing his future achievements. 
Group Two participates in "Hear the Crunch," a campaign by Maryland Hunger Solutions to end hunger and promote well-being for all low income Marylanders.  Thanks to Whole Foods, Mt. Washington, for the apples!



Torbin at Heejin's Party with a Purpose
Update from the Outreach & Program Director, Torbin Green
Welcome to our newest partners:

SCSEP, Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland.  Through their job readiness/senior program, we introduce our newest staff member!  Richard Davis has joined us and will be handling all of our Maintenance/Janitorial issues. 

Digit All Systems, DAS, expands technology education to residents in Baltimore with a particular focus on socio-economically disadvantaged populations. Without a working knowledge of technology, many are in danger of being left behind educationally & financially. DAS provides workforce development training by equipping individuals with skills needed to maximize in demand information technology (IT) career opportunities.  This summer, DAS plans to teach our students and community members towards Google Certification! 

Sadiq Ali of Millionaire Manners Academy and author of "Millionaire Manners," who  provides a full service speaking, training, and personal development to our young people. Sadiq Specializes in assisting our youth to become the very best version of themselves. " The difference in being successful and just getting by sometimes lies in adjusting our attitudes, image or overall manners."~ Sadiq Ali
Don't miss these events coming up:
  • Thursday, April 16 Power Project Family Engagement Night, 6:30-8 pm; Kennedy Krieger is the speaker discussing Basic Behavior Principles; dinner provided by Whole Foods, Mt. Washington
  • Saturday, May 2, 10am-2 pm: another community clean up day!  Meet at the Center.  Lunch will be provided by Whole Foods, Mt. Washington.
  • Thursday, May 21st - Community Potluck/Engagement Night, 6:30 - 8 pm Speaker TBD

SAVE THE DATE!  Our 9th Annual Reservoir Hill Resource Fair and Festival is Saturday, August 1, 2015 &

Pre/Post Bike Party Social, Friday, September 25, 2015


Ongoing events:

  • Every Monday at 9:30 am (except holidays and Baltimore City schools delays or closings) - Corpus Christi free grocery distribution to Reservoir Hill neighborhood members. Please note: you must live in Reservoir Hill to qualify for this program.
  • Wednesdays 6:30 pm - Community yoga will continue-no class April 22; classes resume April 29, May 6, and May 13.
  • Every Sunday at 4 pm- Love & Liberty Ministries holds Sunday services at the Center.  All are welcome.
  • Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday evenings at 6 pm - Narcotics Anonymous meets in the Center.


Did you know you could donate while shopping on Amazon?
Use to shop and choose St. Francis Neighborhood Center as the charity!


St. Francis Neighborhood Center
2405 Linden Ave. Baltimore, MD 21217  
Christi Green, Executive Director 
Jessica Childress, Youth Program Manager
William Drew, Teaching Instructor
Jenna Gray, Teaching Instructor
Torbin Green, Outreach & Program Director
Montressa Hammond, Volunteer Maryland Coordinator
Lydia Mesekale, Teaching Instructor
Richard Davis, Facilities Janitor