Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

What’s new at Strong City and Beyond

Imagine you’re a principal trying to get ready for the new school year. It’s a big challenge – a thousand different tasks to get done, a hundred things that could go wrong, and all of it resting on your shoulders. If you’re a first-time principal it’s even tougher, because on top of all those expectations, you will essentially be learning on the job. Now consider this scenario: Govans Principal Bernarda Kwaw, left, and Community School
By Mike Cross-Barnet Tamara Payne says that before 2007, “I didn’t even know there was a ‘Harwood.’” That seems amazing now, considering the strong influence her artistry has had on this rapidly reviving neighborhood. Attractive mosaic house number signs on many blocks. Colorful flower baskets on Lorraine Avenue. The beautiful glass-and-ceramic mural at the entrance to Barclay Elementary/Middle School. Workshops at the 29th Street Community Center. And, most recently, a butterfly-themed community art project on
Vanessa Williams can spare a moment – but just a moment – to let you know how things are going at The Club at Collington Square, the Strong City-run youth development program in East Baltimore where she serves as director. You can forgive her for feeling a bit harried. During the school year, things are busy enough for her, with about 92 students (The Club calls them “scholars”) attending enriching after-school weekdays from 3 to
What does a community school coordinator do when school’s out for the summer? Plenty. Just ask Annie Weber, CSC at Guilford Elementary/Middle School and one of the newest Strong City staff members. Annie began her job on June 4, and she’s been learning that although the school year is now over, a community school coordinator’s work never is. CSCs function as a school’s connective tissue: helping families locate resources ranging from food assistance to social
Young campers exchange a “Peace Camp handshake.” It’s Monday morning on a warm July day, and the A/C is out of commission. You might expect a group of several dozen kids – ages 6 to 13 – gathered upstairs at the 29th Street Community Center to be a bit cranky or restless, possibly both. Yet, as they are called to gather in a circle along with a half-dozen adults at 9:30 a.m., the mood in