Education and Workforce Development Committee
March 2nd 2017
1138 Hollins St 2nd Floor
PopFarm Youthworks Project
The SWPs and UMB are partnering on a YouthWorks program. Last meeting Bill presented on PopFarm, a community garden adopted by James McHenry Elementary Middle School. PopFarm is one of the projects that a team of YouthWorkers could work on. YouthWorks pays Baltimore City young people to work for five weeks in the summer.
The goal of the project would be to make sure as many people in Southwest Baltimore take advantage of PopFarm as possible. Four young people would do outreach and program planning around PopFarm. To make the project happen community members are needed to help supervise them and to work with the young people. The goal is for the young people to have a product that they can present at the end of the project that they can leverage for an internship or after school. Program runs between June 25th-July 28th. Total supervision time will be fifteen hours a week (five hours a day, Tuesday-Thursday). $1000 stipend per team will be allocated per team. We are also looking for folks to offer guidance over the course of the program based on their knowledge and skills.
Other three projects are: Southwest Storytelling Project, Mount Clare Vacant Houses, and Merchant Access Program. Each belongs to a specific Southwest Partnership Program Committee.
Virginia Grant, has worked with Master Gardeners in the past and may have other resources to help support the Youthworks program. She’ll connect with Bill via email. She also discussed the Earn while you Learn program.
Bill: as a side note, the Enoch Pratt Free Library offers free field trips to the library (they even pay for the buses). He knows that many schools in the area are looking for field trips. There is a limit of three free field trips per organization but UMB schools can be trip sponsors for multiple trips.
Community School Project
Sheila is representing an organization called LeaderComm, and one of the founders is a founder of an organization called Communities in Schools. LeaderComm focuses on Relationships, Routers, and Rewards–the importance of building relationships, community organizing, and applying collaboratively for funding.
Sheila was part of the team that brought community schools to Baltimore City, and has been meeting with the SWP on our community school plan. First meeting was to talk about how to best build relationships with principals and determining cost per school. Should begin doing the plan first, and then look at cost.
Organization called ACTS (Alliance for Communities Teachers and Schools) contract with the Family League to train the site coordinators, next step is to begin working with them to so do see how site coordinators would need to be trained.
Next steps are to build relationships with the principals and how to assess the schools to develop a needs assessment.
Bill: are their barriers to adding Southwest Partnership site coordinators to existing Family League training? Emily: if you come in fully funded you could come in to join the trainings–so that shouldn’t be an issue.
Meeting with ACTS scheduled for next Wednesday.
Kristine: Would the community school coordinator position be something that someone else in the school? Sheila:Wouldn’t want to tack the position onto someone else’s position it would need to be a new position.
Virginia: Will you create a shared vision for all the schools?
Sheila: Would be one of the questions asked during the planning–answer would need to happen after the planning. In her experience, each school develops its own focus. She asked Emily if that was her experience at James McHenry.
Emily: In her experience it is. Because of SWCOS and the principal’s focus, James McHenry has an emphasis on restorative justice and career exploration. Each community school operator brings their own flavor to the school. The initial planning process is external to the school, but there is planning every year. James McHenry focus–career and also restorative justice approach. Bring the flavor of each organization to the school.
Initial planning process kind of has to be exterior to the school, but have to redo it each year.
Vernell: one of the strengths of the James McHenry Community School planning process is that the partners that were brought in went out into the community and really got a feel for what things were really like here. Also, the community partners have been consistent, which is very important for the students and the school.
Virginia asked what impact budget cuts would have on the community school planning process. Lou: There shouldn’t be much of an impact, although the schools’ needs will certainly be impacted.
Sonia: there are lots of needs at James McHenry, and the PTO has been talking about services that are needed, especially in terms of family support services and behavioral and mental health support. The Committee discussed various options for these services, including the Holistic Life Foundation.
Sheila reminded the Committee that Title One Funds can be used to pay for community school coordinators.
Goal Setting and Project Planning
Lou: The Committee should plan out goals and projects for the upcoming year. Although the Community School planning process is our major goal, there are other projects that we can be working on.
Kristine: Suggested a Career Exploration Fair for all the schools to give kids hands on exposure to potential careers. The Committee was very interested in the project, and a subcommittee was formed. Those interested were Emily, Jane, Virginia, and Amanda.
Bill asked what the status of the childcare project was, as it’s in the ‘now’ items in the Vision Plan and a big priority for UMB.
The SWP has done some work on childcare, but we have run into a stopping place in terms of space and operators.
Sonia suggested a training program for child care providers–Virginia will look into offering a program at Vivien T Thomas.
Jane M: The Baltimore Education Coalition’s work is focused on restoring the 132 million currently missing from the city school’s budget. Last Thursday 4 buses from the area went down to Annapolis. On Monday there will be a hearing before the Senate subcommittee, and Jane will be driving with Edith Canty from Franklin Square. They have room for two more community members in the car. Sonia and Vernell will go.
Bill There will be free food and volunteering at PopFarm from 9-12, lunch at 12.
Weeding trees, mowing, also a workshop on basic garden skills at 11.