Resources and Reminders – March 2021

Happy March! Happy Women’s Month and Social Worker’s Month! 

Spring (and more vaccines) are coming! What is also here is OST for High Schools. It is so exciting to see OST programming for our older youthWe would like to welcome United Way to the space of OST programmingWe also welcome The Movement Team to the Community School Family!

Family League of Baltimore to invest over $3 million in innovative partnerships to improve outcomes for children and families

Family League of Baltimore (Family League) recently announced its plans to invest more than $3 Million in a package of innovative partnerships to take an important step toward improving outcomes for children and families. This includes:

Healthy Families America (HFA) Home Visiting Strategy

Family League will invest more than $1.35 million to support an enhancement of its Healthy Families America (HFA) Home Visiting strategy, specifically focusing on the housing needs of home visiting participants.

Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY)

Family League will be investing $122,000 in Baltimore’s early childhood system to enhance the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program, an evidence-based approach focused on parent support, kindergarten readiness, and workforce development.

High School Out-of-School Time (OST) Programming

Family League has awarded more than $460,000 to support high school OST programming operated out of Family League-funded high school Community Schools.

Community-Based Out-of-School Time Programming

Family League is proposing a partnership with Baltimore City Recreation and Parks (BCRP) to invest $1 Million in City’s youth development landscape, a priority across the city, by supporting the layering in quality of community-based Out-of-School Time (OST) programming at sites.

John Ruhrah’s Community School (CS) team has produced a creative idea to support the school’s family engagement efforts. Three former PTO leaders have teamed up with ESOL para-educators and front office staff as “community helpers.” These three parents help with bilingual family outreach. This includes getting the word out about important surveys, making wellness calls, posting announcements to a WhatsApp parent groups, helping parents set up Class Dojo accounts, and more. They also help the primary office with sorting and organizing various learning materials that need to be distributed to studentsThe parents receive a stipend for this work through a grant the school has received from Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for this work! Congratulations! 

Shyrene (Child First at FLT) and Maurice (BellXcel at Harlem Park) put together fun, engaging, and meaningful Black History Month celebrations at the end of February. Students and their families took part in – and, in some cases, led – a variety of creative activities that were perfect for virtual programming.  

Other shoutouts go to Child First Authority teamMs. Hall and Ms. Chambers at Hilton Elementary and Ms. Neal at Calvin Rodwell Elementary/Middle School for supplying quality OST programming in this virtual space. Janikka Simms at Frederick also supplies awesome enrichment and quality programming for students. 


Are you struggling with FUNDINGtrackDo you need FUNDINGtrack training? Do you have a question about how to better use FUNDINGtrackIf so, please send a ticket to our Help Desk at Be sure to include your name, organization, role, and best availability for training so we can get you access.  

Site Visits   

Please look out for invites starting this month from your Specialist for Spring Site visits and Check-ins. If you have any questions, please reach out to your Specialist. 

Community Schools

Partnership Trackers 

As a reminder, Community School Coordinators must fill out and complete their partnership trackers in their entirety. Jenn Duncan is doing an amazing job covering until there is a new hire in the Data and Evaluation Department. Please pay close attention to any data-related comments having to do with your trackers and email with any questions about your feedback.  

Deliverables for FY21 

All Q2 reports should be approved by now. Please make note of the following due dates for the remaining quarterly reports: 

Q3 – April 15th
Q4 – July 15th

Additionally, all Coordinators must send their support/partnership tracker with each quarterly report. Finally, the leveraged funds tracker is needed with the Q4 report.  

Out-of-School Time

All Q2 reports should be approved by now. Please make note of the following due dates for the remaining quarterly reports: 

Q3 – April 15th
Q4 – July 15th 

Additionally, OST Site Managers need to send monthly attendance trackers by the 5th of each month. Please email Clint Middleton at with questions. Finally, the leveraged funds tracker is needed with the Q4 report.  

We have posted several sessions on our community PD calendar. Topics focus on youth voice and choice, fundraising, virtual youth engagement, work-life balance, equity, mental health, and volunteer engagement. To access a list of upcoming offerings, click here. 

Community Schools

Thank you for signing up for a cohort/PLC! Cohorts/PLCs will meet three times before the end of the fiscal year. If you have not heard from your Cohort lead, please let your Specialist know or contact 

Out-of-School Time

The next OST SM (Site Manager) PD will not take place until late April. Stay tuned!

Updates from Annapolis
Transit Safety and Investment Act

Senator Cory McCray and Delegate Brooke Lierman cross-filed legislation  (SB199/HB114) that would alter and extend provisions in the Maryland Metro/Transit Funding Act to require increased operating and capital spending for the Maryland Transit Administration. This bill is particularly important because of the number of residents that depend on public transportation in Baltimore City. The residents of Baltimore City and across the state of Maryland deserve safe, reliable, and punctual transportation. Read and watch more about the Transit Safety and Investment Act.

Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (formerly The Kirwan Commission)

In 2016, the Maryland Legislature established the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education to make Maryland’s school system amongst the best in the world. In the past, this Commission was often referred to by the name of its Chairman, Dr. Brit Kirwan.

The Kirwan Commission was given two tasks:
To make policy recommendations to enable Maryland’s schools to perform at the level of the best-performing school systems in the world, and;
To propose changes to the current funding formulas for schools.

The package of proposed legislation resulting from the Commission’s work is known as the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.

As the local implementation partner for the Community Schools (CS) strategy in Baltimore City for more than a decade, Family League has been a supporter of the Blueprint for Education and the way in which it will transform the CS strategy. Community Schools are essential to the pursuit of educational equity and increased access to opportunity for the most oppressed students and communities. The Blueprint for Education not only means increased resources and support for schools, but also access to wraparound services for students, their families, and the entire school community.

The veto of this bill was overridden in February, clearing the way for implementation to begin for the State and a shifting of the scales of justice in favor of our students here in Baltimore. Read more about the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.

Bill Updates and Policy Testimony

Below are bills for which we have provided written testimony to date. Each aligns with the one or more of the following Results Areas:

Children are Healthy;
Children Enter School Ready to Learn;
Children are Successful in School;
Youth Will Complete School;
Families are Safe and Economically Stable; and
Communities are Safe for Children, Youth, and Families.

Headings for Priority Areas_Child Care - Pandemic

HB608: Early Childhood Education – Child Care Provider Support Grant Program (The Child Care Provider Support Act)
Establishing the Child Care Provider Support Grant Program to provide funds to eligible grantees to help support the operations of child care centers; requiring the Department of Commerce, in consultation with the State Department of Education, to implement and administer the Grant Program and, in consultation with certain industry leaders or advisory groups, to adopt certain regulations; requiring the Governor to include in the annual budget bill an appropriation of $25,000,000 for the Grant Program; etc.

Headings for Priority Areas_Economic Security

HB786: Department of Human Services, Maryland Department of Health, and Department of Education – Easing Access to Family Support Programs
Establishing that it is the policy of the State to do everything possible to alleviate administrative hurdles for low-income families seeking access to support programs; requiring that the Department of Human Services, the Maryland Department of Health, and the State Department of Education to take certain steps to achieve the policy goal and to simplify the application process for family support programs; requiring a joint progress report be submitted by January 1, 2023 and include areas where legislative changes are needed; etc.

Headings for Priority Areas_Health

HB636 School Buildings – Drinking Water Outlets – Elevated Level of Lead (Safe School Drinking Water Act).
Altering the definition of “elevated level of lead” for purposes of certain provisions of law requiring the periodic testing for the presence of lead in drinking water outlets in occupied public and nonpublic school buildings; and requiring by August 1, 2022, a school to take certain remedial measures on a drinking water outlet tested on or before June 1, 2021, if the test indicated a concentration of lead that was more than 5 parts per billion but less than 20 parts per billion.

Family League Policy Newsletter 

Have you signed up for Family League’s Policy Newsletter? This is the best place to stay on top of all the work that Family League does to support children and families in both Annapolis and in City Hall. Click here to sign up. 

Funder or Grant NameDeadlineLink for InformationDetails
ALDI Smart Kids ALDI Smart Kids, we partner with organizations that make a positive impact on our kids' health and wellness. So, whether your mission is to support kids through education, arts, athletics, or any other program that inspires them to be active and healthy. ALDI says kudos to you and encourages you to apply for support from its Smart Kids program here.
Aquatic Resources Education Grants - Maryland DNRRolling to $2,500 for individual schools for learning activities and stewardship projects tied to the curriculum that benefit MD's aquatic resources. Request support for alternative arrangements and platforms for engaging students, such as blended learning comprising a combination of virtual and in-person (at home) learning, including asynchronous student investigations at home or in their community. Support is also offered for professional learning opportunities that enable teachers to transition their aquatic education activities to alternative platforms and settings. More information. 
Baltimore City Community Grants Program from Weinberg Foundation Weinberg Foundation and the Mayor’s Office have partnered to create a funding opportunity for small nonprofits (annual operating budget of $500,000 or less) that provide direct services to low-income individuals and families in Baltimore City. Grants, up to $10,000 per year and for a maximum of one year, will be provided for general operating support, program support, equipment, and capacity building (e.g., evaluation and audit costs).
Baltimore Community Foundation - School & Community Projects must demonstrate a partnership between school and community that builds and/or strengthens relationships. Projects BCF will support include, but are not limited to: volunteer projects and/or programs that bring the community into school buildings to participate and engage with the school’s students; efforts outside of the school building that connect students to the residents in the neighborhoods that surround their school; and joint trips, learning events or social activities that foster connection outside of the physical school community. Click here to learn more.  
BGE Corporate Giving Program BGE, we invest in organizations that support education, the environment, arts and culture, and community development programs. With a proven track record in addressing key community needs, we focus our funding on programs that can deliver measurable and sustainable improvements in the communities in which we serve and operate our business.
Now Available: We are happy to announce that our new online giving platform, CyberGrants, is now available! 
BOOST Café's Creative Play Grants Playground™ is an innovative design in play equipment that encourages creativity, communication, and collaboration in play. With a collection of custom-designed, oversized blue foam parts, Imagination Playground™ provides a changing array of elements that allow children to turn their playground into a space constantly built and re-built by their imagination. 
BOOST Café's Education and Youth Development and Culture/Civic Programs and Arts Mini-Grants InitiativeRolling foundation has focused on supporting programs that serve youth, kindergarten through 12th-grade education, and cultural and civic organizations, as well as local needs in the communities surrounding our offices and manufacturing facilities. 
Cigna Healthier Kids For Our Future Food Insecurity Grant Febuary 26, 2021 of the focuses of the Healthier Kids For Our Future initiative is to address childhood hunger and improve nutrition. Research has shown that food insecurity can significantly affect a child’s short and long-term health, and may lead to poorer health outcomes later in life. Applications will be accepted from January 25–February 26, 2021.
Cigna Healthier Kids For Our Future Mental Health Grant Febuary 26, 2021’s aims to supplement existing mental health programming and help close gaps both within and outside the school environment to address loneliness, anxiety, depression, and suicide prevention. They fund programs that foster collaboration between stakeholders—including school administrators and teachers, clinicians, and local and national nonprofits—to address mental health and emotional well-being challenges for children. Applications will be accepted until February 26, 2021.
Community Engagement Mini GrantsRolling Chesapeake Bay Trust Community Engagement Mini-Grant provides up to $5,000 to non-profits, community associations, faith-based organizations, and others that lead activities such as tree plantings, rain garden installation, stream cleanups, and other projects to enhance communities and improve natural resources. Requests are accepted on a rolling basis until funds are expended.
Mattel and Good360 and Good360 are offering In-kind grants of children’s toys and products to USA nonprofits, schools, faith-based, and newly developed organizations. Funding is intended to provide nonprofits with necessary supplies to achieve their mission and help local children (ages 3-12 preferred). Nonprofits may apply to receive donations such as toys, diapers, clothes, mattresses, computers and more. 
The Albertsons Companies Foundation Albertsons Companies Foundation is offering grants to USA nonprofit organizations for projects that eradicate childhood hunger. This program seeks organizations working to ensure that every child in the United States has access to a nutritious meal every day. Click here to begin the application. 
The Awesome Foundation Awesome Foundation is a global community advancing the interest of awesome in the universe, $1,000 at a time. Each fully autonomous chapter supports awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly. These micro-grants, $1,000 or the local equivalent, come out of pockets of the chapter's "trustees" and are given on a no-strings-attached basis to people and groups working on awesome projects.
The Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation ranging from $2,500 to $15,000 to USA nonprofits for programs in education, community development, and public health are available. Funding is intended to support programs for financially disadvantaged populations. Proposals that incorporate partnerships with community groups and local organizations are encouraged.
The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Kaplan Foundation is offering up to $300,000 seed money grants for organizations that want to scale or expand programing. This grant is open for both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Projects must address important social issues at the national or global level. 
The Ford Motor Company Fund (Ford Fund) Ford Motor Company Fund (Ford Fund) is offering grants to USA nonprofits for programs and projects related to education, automotive safety, and community needs. Priority is given to the support and development of organizations that promote diversity and inclusion.
Under ArmorRollinghttps://uagrants.comThe Heart of the School Fund is a year-round program delivering grants to Baltimore City Public School principals for school enhancement projects. It provides support in areas such as professional development, musical instruments, new technology, school events, trips, acquiring vital resources, and more. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Each month grants and resources are listed in this section. Some are all year or rolling deadlines and others have a deadline to apply. Please carefully look through this list to find the resources you need. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Please click here for information on COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Baltimore City. This page is managed by the Baltimore City Health Department and will be updated as information changes.  

Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
For all schools and communities serving immigrant populations please use the Cities   Bi-weekly update on the office of Immigrant Affairs (MIMA)website at 

The Baltimore City Children’s Cabinet
The purpose of the Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success helps to supply tools of the city government that will improve outcomes for children and families. Information for family aid, community action, energy assistance and more can be found. Click here 

Early Childhood Development and Education
The child care scholarship program provides financial assistance with childcare costs to eligible families in Maryland. You can find licensed child care providers for younger children and school-age youth up to age 13—and the state has childcare scholarships to help cover the costs. 

Baltimore City Public Schools and Baltimore City Recreation and Parks will host in-person Student learning center spaces to engage in distance learning for students in grades K – 5. Baltimore City Public Schools are working hard to help families secure the devices and Wi-Fi access students need to fully take part in virtual learning. Find more information on resources click here. 

Herbert J. Hoelter Vocational Training Center
Supply vocational services and support services to veterans, returning citizens and economically disadvantaged individuals. Please reach out to for more information.  

The Center for Urban Families Programs BOOST
Free GED prep classes in collaboration with Baltimore City Community College (BCCC). Classes will be offered virtually using Zoom. Interested individuals need to register in advance and take the placement test online (a computer or tablet with Google Chrome will be required for the placement test, but phones can be used for the class). Please note that the assessment test can take up to four hours, so plan accordingly. Contact or call 410 367-5691 for more information.  

Ending the Silence – NAMI Baltimore
NAMI Baltimore offers free, hour-long Ending the Silence presentations to schools, which help jumpstart conversations about mental health. Interested schools can choose from 1 of 3 presentations tailored to either a parent, staff/faculty, or student audience. If you are interested in learning more, please click here for more information, or email Program and Outreach Coordinator Nova Getz at  

Library Resources
Resources are found in this link such as Prenatal Storytime, sidewalk service, and mobile hotspots. In person services will resume on March 8, 2021 More information can be found at 

Art with a Heart
Art with a Heart has a leadership program for teens in tenth and eleventh grade. They are currently recruiting for the next cohort of that program. More information and applications can be found here. Applications are due March 19th. 

MAEOE Green School Program – apply this year!
Is it time to renew your green school award? Is this the year you apply for the first time? Check out the requirements to apply and the application guide (and a one page summary) which has been changed slightly to accommodate distance learning. Please contact Joanna for support as you cultivate green culture at your school. The Intent to Apply is due Dec 18 and the final application is due Mar 17. 

Masonville Cove virtual field trips for K-12
Located in South Baltimore, Masonville Cove is the nation’s first Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership, home to a green building nature center and beautiful waterfront public trails. Browse their virtual field trips which cost $50 per class. Topics include: Introduction to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed; Roadways to Waterways – Runoff Pollution; Water Quality with Macroinvertebrates; and Critter Encounters. There is also a $250 per class option, plus fees for student activity kits. Contact Valerie Bandell for more information and to schedule. 

Register now for virtual experiences at the National Aquarium in Baltimore!
It is back! The National Aquarium’s Read to Reef book club, in partnership with Enoch Pratt Free Library, begins March 1st. It is simple to take part, Baltimore’s children in 5th grade and younger visit their local library, read five aquatic-related books, and earn FREE admission to the Aquarium! Visit [] and enjoy reading!  

As you shore up your plans for the 2020-21 school year, we are pleased to offer an exciting array of education programs to you and your class—virtually! Age-appropriate options are now available for students in grades Pre-K through 12. Maryland public schools that typically enjoy free MSDE Aquarium field trips may enjoy access to our new Maryland: Mountains to the Sea virtual program and our Shark Virtual program is free for the first 2,000 Baltimore City Public Schools or Title 1 school students registered. More information.  

Baltimore Community Tool Bank
The Baltimore Community Tool Bank is a Southwest Baltimore nonprofit that lends tools to communitybased organizations. We also have an environmental education program centered on stormwater management in a hyper-urban setting. Our rain gardens and stormwater factory provide a real-world application of sustainable practices that protect the Chesapeake Bay. Our free virtual field trips can be tailored to any grade level or curriculum and include:
The value of native plants and the harm of non-native plants
The value of pollinators and supplying habitats for them
The value of repurposing/reusing stormwater and the ecological harm of stormwater runoff in the region
The value of repurposing usable material and the value of recycling unusable material
Tool literacy demonstrations and activities 

See this video of a field trip at the ToolBank. Contact Tim Sharp to schedule your visit.  

Water Bill Assistance Application in Multiple Languages!
You can now complete the BH2O water bill assistance applications in dozens of languages by clicking the Google translate “Select Language” icon in the top right corner of the website. 

Would you like to connect to resources in Baltimore City? Please click the link below. 

Additional Resources for Food Access   

  • MEALS FOR IN-PERSON LEARNERS: All students who have returned to school buildings for in-person learning will be offered free breakfast, lunch, snack, and supper daily. For students not learning in person, free meals are available at Grab & Go sites. See below/visit for more info on Grab & Go sites. 
  • GRAB & GO MEALS: For students not back in school buildings, our 83 Grab & Go sites continue to serve free meals for students Monday-Friday, 8am-2pm. Adults may pick up meals for children and may receive 2 days’ worth of meals (8 meals total/child) per visit. Grab & Go site lists are here and menus are here. 
  • MIXED PRODUCE BOXES: Free 20-25-lb produce boxes are available at 25 of our school meal sites on Thursdays until Spring Break. Produce box site lists are here. These boxes are funded by Baltimore City and free to anyone who visits a site, regardless of whether they have children. 
  • CITY-WIDE RESOURCES: The City of Baltimore continues to coordinate produce box and mixed box distribution city-wide, as well as free home delivery of grocery boxes. All this info is available here. 
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): For benefits, families may apply here or check eligibility here. Residents may also call the DHS Call Center at 1-800-332-6347 (TTY 1-800-735-2258), from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. The latest on Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is available here. 
  • FARM TO SCHOOL: BCPSS Farm to School staff are here to support with nutrition- and garden-related programming! Classes may take a digitized field trip and/or request (all free) Facetime the Farmer sessionshands-on learning kitsseedlings for gardens and classrooms, 2nd grade take-home seed kits, and support with school gardens (email For the latest (+ animal vids, math challenges, etc.), follow us on Facebook @friendsofgreatkidsfarm; Instagram @friendsgkf; Twitter @friendsGKF. 
  • QUESTIONS? Email Anne @

Carrie Murray Nature Center 

Baltimore City Recreation and Parks’ own Carrie Murray Nature Center in Leakin Park is offering free virtual field trips for students in grades 4 – 8 as part of Every Kid Outdoors program (formerly Every Kid in a Park). A trip includes a pre-visit video, a live chat with Q&A from student-generated questions, and optional classroom activities. Topics include: Using the Stream ValleyAnimal Adaptations; or a topic of your choice. Contact Sarah Lank to discuss further. And check out other Every Kid Outdoors program from the National Park Service to Fort McHenry and Hampton National Historic Site.