The Club at
The Club at Collington Square is an after school and summer program serving children in the Collington Square neighborhood of East Baltimore.
Changing young lives changes everyone’s future
In four renovated rowhomes on Mura Street, behind four colorful doors, daily miracles are happening. The Club at Collington Square is an afterschool and summer program. Club staff create a consistent, loving, educational haven for 128 children in a very tough neighborhood. Here, Club staff are teaching and building the leaders this neighborhood and this city need.
Operations During COVID-19
Hosting summer camp for grades K through 8th during July. Serving as a meal distribution site and resource center for community members.
Club at Collington Summer Camp Brings Joy to Kids Struggling Through Pandemic
In early July, Club staff welcomed back 47 scholars for the summer session. After extensive planning and preparing, The Club will safely provide summer reading, academics, meals, and play to scholars K through 5.
Program Director Vanessa Williams is a specialist in urban education and understands how to develop children as learners and leaders. She has intentionally recruited and developed a staff of teachers and assistants, almost 100% of whom live in the neighborhood The Club serves.
The Club’s dedicated staff provide a highly structured program between the hours of 3:15 and 6:30 of academics, enrichment, play and homework help. The Club also provides a snack and hot dinner cooked by the wonderful Chef in an on-site industrial kitchen. The program emphasizes student voice and leadership with intentional roles for older scholars to mentor and serve younger scholars, as well as serving on an elected Youth Board of The Club. Male scholars and staff also work with Mr. Munir Bahar’s COR (Committed, Organized, Responsible) leadership program and train in martial arts.
After many years at the helm, in 2017, Episcopal Community Services of Maryland (ECSM) shifted its focus from directly operating their two community programs, The Ark, a pre-school in West Baltimore for children experiencing homelessness, and The Club at Collington Square. Committed to the sustainability of these programs that serve some of Baltimore’s most vulnerable children, ECSM worked to find like-minded organizations to take on operations. The Ark was absorbed as part of Saint Vincent De Paul’s Head Start program – and Strong City Baltimore assumed management of The Club at Collington Square starting October 1, 2017.
Strong City staff were impressed and moved by The Club, its staff and its commitment to providing a structured, loving haven in a very tough neighborhood. This is an essential program that Strong City is proud to operate – and in fact, has been is an important first step in engaging with the community around our future offices at The Hoen Building, which are one block away. The Club is Strong City’s first step in our commitment and efforts in supporting East Baltimore.