The saying, “necessity is the mother of invention”, often holds true for The Education Foundation of BCPS. This time, a surprising initiative has grown from recent efforts to support the Baltimore County Public Schools reengagement between students and schools. In the last weeks of July, the foundation, in partnership with the United Way of Central Maryland, the Michael Phelps Foundation, and Under Armour, distributed over 2,500 BCPS Connects Tool Kits supporting social-emotional wellness and school reengagement efforts. Due to the popularity of the program, more schools have requested kits for all age groups. The foundation is in the process of launching two more stages to the distribution program for September.
In the meantime, while in the planning stages for the next phase, the foundation has remained active and and has invited principal to visit The Exchangeree and supplement their schoolhouse with the inventory of school supplies and resources stocked at the two locations, Windsor Mill and The AVENUE at White Marsh. We have been busy emptying shelves and sorting items to fill boxes and bags full of donated items. Through scheduled appointments with principals throughout Baltimore County Public Schools, shopping appointments have begun to overlap, in the attempt to serve as many schools as possible. As a result of the overlap, principals have had a chance to say hello to each other in person, share stories, and discuss new ways to approach the world of remote learning through unplanned and impromptu visits with each other.
As the executive director of the foundation, Deborah Phelps stated in a recent observation, “The Exchangeree is not only a place to provide school supplies and resources for our educators to support their students, it has become a place to collaborate and build collegiality.” While maintaining social distancing and observing CDC Health Guidelines surrounding COVID-19, The Exchangeree has become a place where educators can schedule meetings for small teams, share information, provide support, and provide a learning resource center for colleagues to work in partnership with each other in an informal setting. We have named this space, The Hub.
The bonus news is that over the past two weeks, the foundation has distributed an estimated amount of over $43,000 worth of school supplies and resources to principals of nearly 20 schools. This initiative will continue in the upcoming weeks prior to the formal opening of each location. It is our hope that not only will school supplies reach the schoolhouse for distribution to students in need and support for educators, but that the principals and their colleagues will continue to connect with each other in new ways. Who knows what new ideas may result from the sharing of minds at The Exchangeree.
We invite you to follow the foundation and its efforts to support the students, educators, and administrators of the BCPS Community through our Mission Moment series as well as our web site at www.educationfoundationbcps.org . You can also join our social medial communities found on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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Visit our website and learn more about: RISE for a Brighter Future (Relief in Securing Education) campaign sustains equitable access to curricular materials for students,
as well as equal access to process and to grow during these challenging times.
The Foundation is a 501 C (3) tax exempt, nonprofit organization, under Internal Revenue Service regulations to attract and direct public financial contributions to programs and activities of the school system in support of quality education for all children.
Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.