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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Living Classrooms Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Recreational Centers, Crime & Law, Education, Job Training, Rehabilitation Services for Offenders, Sports

Mission: Living Classrooms Foundation strengthens communities and inspires young people to achieve their potential through hands-on education and job training, using urban, natural, and maritime resources as "living classrooms." Living Classrooms has developed a distinctive competency in experiential learning -- literally learning by direct experience -- or what we call "learning by doing." Living Classrooms Foundation has been proudly serving the community for over thirty years.

Geographic areas served: Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia

Programs: We are serving some of the region's most disadvantaged communities, which have suffered from decades of low educational achievement, high poverty, unemployment, crime, and recidivism rates, gang activity, and chronic health problems. Using proven hands-on training methods in our established after-school and supplemental education programs, health and wellness programs, violence prevention and reduction initiatives, clean and green projects, and job training focused on teen and adult ex-offenders, we provide results-oriented programming that helps youth and families remove barriers to success and build a bridge to a successful future. These programs are an effective intervention for poverty, and help create systemic solutions to effect much-needed change in parts of Baltimore, DC, and surrounding areas. Living Classrooms operates six community hubs, a top-performing public charter middle school, an adult and workforce resource center, 4 historic sailboats used as "living classrooms," together offering after-school education, GED preparation, ESL classes, recreation, nutrition education, early childhood education, workforce development, entrepreneurial development, music education, STEM and environmental education, and mentor programs. Living Classrooms also operates Historic Ships in Baltimore and its 5 historic ships open for public educational tours, and Friends of Fort McHenry which works to introduce educational programs at Baltimore's historic Fort McHenry to local students.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Living Classrooms Foundation is an amazing foundation, which strives to help those in need in a multitude of avenues. Whether through workforce development/reentry programs, top charter schools education/turn around programs (Commodore John Rodgers), high school mentoring, shipboard education, health and wellness, among many other programs, Living Classrooms dedicates each and every day to making our kids a better versions of theirselves.

The staff at the community centers, along with the other departments are top notch. They are the ones who are facilitating the betterment of the city of Baltimore. If only there was a foundation like this in each city (Chicago, Phila, L.A., etc).

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Top charter school in the City. Top re-entry program in the state. This is a very strong organization that I choose to support. I'm happy to give Living Classrooms five stars- and more if I could!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Living Classrooms! They truly do great work for our community- and in an innovative, non-traditional, and hands-on way!! I have spoken to many people who have been through their programs whose lives have been changed. I'm very thankful for this organization.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I was a Rising Star honoree with Living Classrooms in 2014 and have continued to stay involved as a volunteer and donor ever since. I am continually amazed by the wide variety of programs offered to students of all ages, including not only after school programs, but workforce development programs. I admire their commitment to serve not only children, but adults and entire families too. I am excited to get more involved as an Associate Leadership Council member this year.

3 Krystle S.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Living Classrooms is an amazing organization that places solutions in the hands of the community residents.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Works with students who need it the most. Excellent behavior management, exciting hands-on STEM lessons. Offer even more programs for kids.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Living Classrooms Foundation gives youth daily opportunities to step outside their comfort zones by serving their community which shows how powerful and necessary their voices and input is to creating a dynamic community.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Helping to clean the Chesapeake bay, patapsco river, and Atlantic Ocean! They teach students about keeping the shire clean, salinity of water and all water testing! They're awesome!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Living Classrooms does a phenomenal job working with disadvantaged teens and adults in our DC-Baltimore region. I support them because they are transparent, accountable, and they get stuff done! I also have the honor of volunteering with them often and I'm continually impressed with how they are teaching young and older people skills to be successful and self-sufficient.

1 Laura330

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They did an excellent job coordinating volunteers for Fleet Week!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot find too many ways that they can improve. The staff is Hands-On, and treats my children like family like they are their own. We have limited resources that keep our kids educated and never bored. Watching them values and give them Insight on what it takes to succeed, while having fun.