Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

Hands-On STEM Education at the 29th Street Community Center

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Over the past several months, a group of dedicated students at the 29th Street Community Center have been participating in Maryland Science Olympiad (MSO). MSO is an after-school STEM enrichment program which encourages students to tackle a variety of STEM-focused challenges in a fun, but competitive, environment.

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In the fall, students selected MSO competition events they found interesting. They met twice a week after-school to practice these events and prepare for the Baltimore City tournament. These hands-on activities range from tests, for which students have to study specific STEM subjects, to construction challenges that require students to design and build structures, vehicles, or rockets. With help from a Johns Hopkins University student mentor group, the Charm City Science League, our students excelled in their chosen activities.

This past month, our students’ and their mentors’ hard work paid off at the city-wide tournament, where they placed 4th overall and qualified to compete in the state championship, scheduled to take place next month! Our students placed top five in several individual events at the Baltimore City tournament, including: 1st: Bridge Building, Fossils; 2nd: Wheeled Vehicle; 3rd: Anatomy, Dynamic Planet; 4th: Water Bottle Rockets, Crime Busters; and 5th: Can’t Judge a Powder, Write It Do It.

We are very proud of our students’ accomplishments and we are excited to share their success with everyone!

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Register for Summer Camp! The 29th Street Community Center provides exciting summer camp opportunities for kids of different ages and interests. Click here for page 1 and here for page 2 of the summer camp flyer. Make sure to register soon because space is limited! If you have any questions, please contact Center Director, Hannah Gardi.


Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “Oh Captain, My Captain” by Lottie Sneed

If your neighborhood is looking to start or grow a block captain network, “Oh Captain, My Captain” led by GHCC’s own Lottie Sneed is the workshop for you! To attend this workshop, and many others, register for the 2015 Neighborhood Institute here.

GHCC's Lottie Sneed (left)

GHCC’s Lottie Sneed (left)

A strong community will often have a healthy neighborhood association, meeting regularly and working with key stakeholders to improve quality of life. However, who are your other neighborhood leaders,  the residents who know about everything happening on their blocks? Block Captains! How can you identify these leaders and get them to work together to improve their blocks and strengthen your association? Creating a block captain network can both provide your neighborhood association with a boost and give an outlet for residents who want to be more engaged but aren’t ready for Board leadership positions.

In this workshop, GHCC’s community organizing team will walk participants through our process for recruiting, training, and developing block captains. This interactive session will include strategies for engaging neighbors and planning block events, while also helping neighborhood association leaders think about how to best plan and execute a formal block captain network.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). To register for the event, follow this link. This year, the Institute will feature 36 workshops on a variety of topics relevant to community issues and City-wide opportunities. Check back here regularly for a preview of some of the workshops and presenters you can expect to see at this year’s Institute.

 


Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “Orchards and Food Forests” by Ben Howard

If you are looking for a new and creative use for vacant space in your neighborhood, “Orchards and Food Forests: the Whats, Hows, and Whys” led by Ben Howard will be perfect for you. To participate for this workshop, and many others, register for the 2015 Neighborhood Institute here.

Ben Howard of the Baltimore Orchard Project

Ben Howard of the Baltimore Orchard Project

When neighborhoods think about starting a garden on a piece of local land, they normally consider a community garden, where residents grow their own vegetables, herbs, and flowers for individual or communal harvest. This model of urban gardening works great, but a new idea is popping up all across America: urban orchards. Gardeners in urban orchards plant trees that grow fruits to be distributed to neighbors in need throughout a community. Fruit trees create a new dynamic from traditional gardens, providing spaces where neighbors can meet, rest, and seek refuge from the rush of the day. They bring pleasant blossoms and aromas in the spring, shade and comfort in the summer and food and fun in the fall.

In this workshop, Ben Howard from the Baltimore Orchard Project will discuss the advantages of urban orchards and how they can be incorporated alongside annual food gardens. He will also give expert knowledge on how to plan and plant an orchard in your community.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). To register for the event, follow this link. This year, the Institute will feature 36 workshops on a variety of topics relevant community issues and City-wide opportunities. Check back here regularly for a preview of some of the workshops and presenters you can expect to see at this year’s Institute.


Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “Design in Detail” by Laura Wheaton

If you are looking to plan a long-term community project of any size, the “Design in Detail” workshop led by Laura Wheaton, Program Manager at the Neighborhood Design Center, is for you! To participate in this workshop, and many more, register for the 2015 Neighborhood Institute here.

One of the more difficult meetings a neighborhood can hold is a visioning meeting. How do you create a community vision that is both aspirational and concrete? How do you plan both short-term and long-term? How do you create consensus around your vision? These are problems all neighborhoods struggle with, whether you are trying to plan a block project or create a development plan for your area. At this year’s Neighborhood Institute, this workshop will provide valuable tips for constructing a group vision.
Neighborhood Design Center Staff Portraits
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The Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) provides pro-bono design services for community-initiated projects by leveraging the support of volunteer professionals. They coordinate and facilitate Visioning Workshops designed to bring community members together and construct a vision for their planning project, whether it is an edible garden, new building, or neighborhood master plan. Their workshop will share the best practices of coordinating and facilitating your own visioning process, including logistics, sample exercises, and facilitation tips. It will also discuss how and when communities can access pro-bono design assistance from NDC.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). To register for the event, follow this link. This year, the Institute will feature 36 workshops on a variety of topics relevant to community issues and City-wide opportunities. Check back here regularly for a preview of some of the workshops and presenters you can expect to see at this year’s Institute.

 


Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “Beautify Your Block” with Kari Snyder

If you and your neighbors are looking to improve your block, ‘Beautify Your Block’ by Kari Snyder of Southeast CDC will give you some creative ideas for a new project! Register for this workshop, and many more, here.

Have you always imagined making improvements on your block? Maybe you would like to see more trees or planters on the street to enhance the physical beauty of your block. Maybe you would like to see everyone on your block get new porch lights to improve your neighborhood’s safety and walkability. Whatever your idea might be, block projects are a simple way to improve the physical appeal of your block and create a more unified appearance, all while building a stronger community.

Kari Snyder of Southeast CDC (left) with a Southeast Baltimore resident.

Kari Snyder of Southeast CDC (left) with a Southeast Baltimore resident.

Block projects might seem like a straightforward way to make physical improvements to your neighborhood, but they also represent a mechanism for bringing together neighbors and beginning to explore complicated community issues. In the workshop, Kari Snyder of Southeast CDC will share some successful project implemented in the Highlandtown and Patterson Park neighborhoods. The presentation will explore the successes and challenges of these projects and resources that you can use for projects in your community. Kari will share what types of block projects have worked in the past, how to avoid common pitfalls, and how to find funding for your project.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). To register for the event, follow this link. This year, the Institute will feature 36 workshops on a variety of topics relevant to community issues and City-wide opportunities. Check back here regularly for a preview of some of the workshops and presenters you can expect to see at this year’s Institute.