Strengthening Schools & Education Advocacy
Successful neighborhoods need successful schools, and Strong City believes every child in Baltimore deserves to attend an excellent school. Quality schools are not only good for kids but also help to build strong neighborhoods that families want to live in.
Strong City is a longtime partner to four public Community Schools: Waverly Elementary/Middle, Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle, Guilford Elementary/Middle, and Barclay Elementary/Middle. Strong City is the nonprofit coordinating agency at these schools, using the nationally recognized Community School model, in which schools are neighborhood hubs, bringing educators, families, and community partners together to offer a range of opportunities, supports, and services to children, youth as well as their families and community.
Our staff collaborates with over 80 partners including the Johns Hopkins University, Goucher College, MICA, Towson University, and Loyola University to activate volunteers, engage parents and neighborhood residents, and leverage support services, such as on-site food pantries, after-school programming, and academic support.
Strong City annually leverages more than $1.5 million in resources to strengthen student success at Community Schools. We have recently helped local schools secure funding for upgraded cafeterias, playgrounds and learning spaces, as well as the new Johns Hopkins-funded engineering lab and relevant curriculum supports at the Barclay Elementary/Middle.
Our relentless advocacy resulted in construction of a brand new Waverly Elementary/Middle School building. This 10 year campaign informed citywide advocacy: as a founding member of the Baltimore Education Coalition (BEC), we helped build a grassroots movement for equitable finding and policies for Baltimore City students. Involving hundreds of parents, teachers, students and community members, BEC’s grassroots campaign and policy advocacy helped to bring about a $1 billion investment in city public schools buildings and continues to advocate for adequate funding including operational and facilities funds as well for full day pre-K, Community Schools and after school programs needed in a city with concentrated poverty.
Strong City’s Great Schools Charles Village Initiative focuses on supporting Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle and Barclay Elementary/Middle as high quality neighborhood public schools that families want to use.
Strong City focuses efforts on helping parents organize effective parent groups and connect to their children’s learning. We work closely with parents at each of our schools to support strong parent-teacher organizations, participation in School Family Councils, parent-teacher conferences and more. We also collaborate with groups like The Village Parents to support their efforts in making greater Charles Village a family-friendly neighborhood with great activities for families and great schools.