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.


Sponsor Spotlight: MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

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The GHCC Blog Team caught up with MedStar Union Memorial Hospital to talk about community health, the 29th Street Community Center, and hand and heart care. 

You happen to be neighbors with GHCC – our main office is located just across the street from Union Memorial – can you tell us a bit about MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s philosophy towards community engagement?

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital recently celebrated our 160th anniversary in service to our community. Through the years, we have cared for generations of families in the neighborhoods surrounding the hospital and, as a healthcare provider, one of our roles is to be actively involved in our communities, providing information and expertise. We are involved in a number of neighborhood programs to actively support our communities.

What do you enjoy most about working in the Greater Homewood area?

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital has a long history in this community and we take our role as a healthcare community resource very seriously. Helping neighbors with health screenings, attending health fairs, creating events that provide education and expertise, and supporting community events are just some of the outreach efforts we participate in to help keep our communities and its residents healthy.

Why did MedStar Union Memorial choose to sponsor the 1st Annual Oktoberfest to support GHCC’s 29th Street Community Center?

MedStar Union Memorial established a relationship with the 29th Street Community Center and is proud to support its efforts on behalf of families in North Central Baltimore.

Can you tell us a little more about the history of MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and what you are best know for?

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a regional specialty and teaching hospital that has been a member of this community since 1923. It is known nationally for The Curtis National Hand Center, cardiac care and orthopaedics, and developed the first hospital-based sports medicine program in the nation. The hospital offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services, including a diabetes and endocrine center, general surgery, oncology, thoracic surgery, and vascular surgery.

The MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s number one heart program, have recently announced that they are now working together to develop and share treatments, therapies, and clinical research opportunities to benefit all patients who reach out to us for heart care.

 


Sponsor Spotlight: The Beliveau Group

The GHCC Blog Team caught up with Tina Beliveau, owner and team leader of The Beliveau Group (and one of our preferred realtors) to discuss city living, the importance of community centers, and GHCC’s 1st Annual Oktoberfest Fundraiser at Peabody Heights Brewery! 

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Can you tell us a bit about The Beliveau Group?

The Beliveau Group is a residential real estate team. We help people buy and sell homes throughout Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and the surrounding counties. We are a team of specialists with over 25 years of combined experience in the industry. Our motto is “Creating a First Class Real Estate Experience”. We believe that what matters most in our business is elite customer service and life-long relationships. We are in the top 1% of real estate agents, locally and nationally. We put a high value on authentic relationships with our clients and the people we talk with on a daily basis.

What do you love most about working in Baltimore?

Where to begin! As real estate professionals, we appreciate the diverse choices of neighborhoods and lifestyles in Baltimore, from the most urban downtown neighborhoods to the more suburban feeling areas with many single family homes like Roland Park. There is something for everyone here. We really enjoy knowing the nooks and crannies of the entire city and helping people discover the lesser-known options they might have never been exposed to otherwise.

Why did you choose to sponsor the 1st Annual Oktoberfest Fundraiser for the 29th Street Community Center?

Being of service in our community as much as possible is a key element of our philosophy and goals. We strive to create opportunities for our team members, our clients, and the community at large in as many ways as we possibly can. We have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Greater Homewood Community Corporation, and we really value their mission of strengthening north/central Baltimore neighborhoods. The 29th St Community Center is a natural extension of that relationship and we are thrilled to be supportive in as many ways as we can!

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The 1st Annual Oktoberfest Fundraiser to support the 29th Street Community Center at Peabody Heights Brewery.

From the perspective of a realtor, why are community centers important to potential home buyers?

When someone buys a home, the first and most important step is for them to sit down with us and have a detailed consultation on their home buying needs, budget and goals. During that meeting, there are certain prevalent themes that come up almost every time, and one of those is neighborhood quality. A strong community center is crucial for many people and we are excited to be able to help our clients get connected with these types of resources when they do move into their new home. We truly enjoy helping people network and get connected to resources that are helpful to them, whether it’s a community center, a babysitter, or a great contractor! We are pleased to be able to connect our clients to GHCC and the 29th Street Community Center and the programs it offers.

Have you ever utilized the 29th Street Community Center personally? Has The Beliveau Group?

We have not yet utilized the Community Center, but we plan to soon!

Buying a home in Baltimore is more affordable than you might think! GHCC’s Healthy Neighborhoods program can help by providing low-interest loans and incentives for buying and renovating homes on target blocks in north central Baltimore. To learn more about this program and opportunities to work with The Beliveau Group please contact Andre Stone at 410-261-3511 or astone@strongcitybaltimore.org.  

 


This is what community building looks like

When local leaders and elected officials gathered to kick-off Community Development Week at GHCC’s 29th Street Community Center on October 20, what they witnessed was community building in action. Delegates Maggie McIntosh and Mary Washington were among the group that toured the Center and met many of the young families who come every week to participate in a Sing-Along Playgroup for babies and toddlers.

“I think the center means a lot for young families and I hope all of them stay in the city because of it,” said Odette Ramos, who coordinates the playgroup as well as leads the Community Development Network of Maryland.

The event received some fantastic coverage in The Baltimore Sun, citing the 29th Street Community Center as an excellent example of how GHCC successfully strengthens neighborhoods. Take a look:

‘Not just buildings’: Center helps develop community

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It looked like a fairly standard play group: a man playing guitar, scattered toys, toddlers yanking purposefully on adult fingers and clothes. But community leaders and public officials gathered Monday at the 29th Street Community Center to show off something else that’s happening: the strengthening of a neighborhood. Read the full article here.

Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Sun.


Building sisterhood at the 29th St. Community Center

A sense of sisterhood is something that Sabrina Bond continually tries to instill in the elementary and middle school-aged girls who participate in her afterschool program, Finding the U From Within. Hosted every Thursday at the 29th Street Community Center, the program provides a safe space for young girls to talk, share, discuss, and support one another. Bond, who is a longtime resident of Harwood, exudes the kind of warmth and acceptance that encourages this group to talk openly about life at home, life at school, and life in general. And, what is discussed inside the space always stays inside the space. “You are your sister’s keeper,” Sabrina reminds her participants.

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Modeling, writing poetry, and producing theatrical sketches are among the many activities the group has taken part in over the past few months. During a unit on “praise poetry” last fall, each girl wrote a poem celebrating her uniqueness and presented it at the Community Center’s 1st Annual Potluck of Thanks in front of more than 150 family members, neighbors, and elected officials.

“It was an amazing experience to see the effort they put into their poems, practicing diligently before their recital, and their sense of pride they felt after they recited their poems,” says Community Center Director, Hannah Gardi.

Finding the U From Within is free and takes place every Thursday from 2:45pm – 4pm. Contact Sabrina Bond at bondbond1968@yahoo.com or at 410-889-2911 if you know a girl who is interested in joining. Or, register online today!