The Power of Partnerships & Books

Community partnerships come in all shapes and sizes, from groups of volunteers, to funding an initiative.  Many evolve in unexpected ways.  For example: The partnership between The Education Foundation of BCPS and THE AVENUE at White Marsh with Federal Realty continues to grow.  What first started as a pop-up storefront location to provide a space to distribute school supplies, which was launched in September, 2019, has now become a place the sustains a number of  events that compliment and support the community.


In this case, an initiative called “Books for Bins” evolved into a community partnership.  The goal to distribute unlimited quantities of free books to students has created a bridge between community members, the merchants at THE AVENUE at White Marsh, and the foundation.  For the past three months, the foundation has participated in an event called Tots @ 10:00 – The 2021 Remix, hosted by THE AVENUE and supported by Federal Realty.  The monthly event includes themed entertainment/activities, giveaways, and special meal deals from participating restaurants.  The Education Foundation has been given the opportunity to give books to as many families as possible who attend these events; books to broaden the opportunity to expand literacy across our community.  This initiative has not only brought awareness about the importance of literacy to families but has delivered the message that we are a caring community who believe what the power of a book can deliver to inspire, motivate, teach, and entertain young minds.


During the course of the past three months, the foundation has provided over 1,600 books to families who have attended the Tots @ 10:00 event.  In June, 100 books were distributed.  In July 500 books were shared, and in August over 1,000 books made their way to the homes of families and friends.  As a bonus, in addition to the August book distribution day, the foundation featured a “Stuff the Bus” event, which coincided with the initiative.  As books were shared, the community returned the favor by providing school supplies, which will be distributed to teachers to give to students in need, at the Exchangeree.  We thank all those who supported this venture and appreciate their participation.


As an added bonus, the community partnerships did not end there.  In attendance to help support the foundation’s free unlimited book give-away “Books for Bins” and “Stuff a Bus” supply collection, were several members of the community who volunteered their time and service.  We wish to thank all of the participants below who have supported the foundation through the Tots @ 10:00 – The 2021 Remix event with THE AVENUE:


BCPS Colleagues | Sonya Swift (Harford Hills Elementary School – Library/Media Specialist)

BCPS Office of Transportation | Dr. Jess Grim (Director), Kenny West (Assistant Director), Kimberly Kuhr (Business Manager), and Frank Rapisarda (BCPS Bus Driver)

Boy Scout Troop 108 | Boy Scouts from Catonsville Middle School and Catonsville High School and Corinne Louden (Boy Scout Troop Leader)

Girl Scout Troop 164 | Girl Scouts from Dumbarton Middle School, , Sonia Synkowski, Girl Scout Troop Leader (BCPS Dance Resource Teacher, Office of Music and Dance Education)

Douron | Lainie Troutman, Carren Stahl, and the Douron Team

First Financial Federal Credit Union  | Joan Pugh

Freedom Federal Credit Union | Diane Austin, Michele Young, Marcus Johnson, Lisa Snodgrass and the FFCU Team

Board Members of The Education Foundation of BCPS | Karen Grannas (Towson University) Judith Fitzgerald (The Johns Hopkins University), Steve Grim (Wise Consulting Associates) and Joan Pugh (First Financial Federal Credit Union)

Foundation Volunteer Coordinator | Linda Alpin and Foundation Co-Volunteer Coordinator Sandy Bauer