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Village Learning Place Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Education, Libraries, Youth Development

Mission: The mission of the VLP is to promote literacy, cultural awareness, and lifelong learning through access for all ages to information, resources, and educational programs. The VLP’s vision is to be a model library, a leader in providing high-quality educational programs, enrichment opportunities, and informational resources in Charles Village and throughout Baltimore City. The VLP will strengthen the surrounding neighborhood by serving as an anchoring institution, a symbol of local pride, and a gathering place for a diverse community. We promote a learning-oriented culture that is friendly, welcoming, and supportive of the success and well-being of every person.

Results: In 2007, the Village Learning Place was named as one of the nation’s select 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) through the Maryland State Department of Education. This competitive, three-year federal grant has allowed us to launch a community-wide initiative, called Let’s Invest in Neighborhood Kids (LINK). In 2008, Charles Village was named one of the 10 Great Neighborhoods in America by the American Planning Association, which cited the neighborhood’s “strong and dedicated activist community, economic and social diversity, and memorable character” in its award. The VLP is proud to call Charles Village home and to partner with its neighbors in building and maintaining a strong community. In 2010, the VLP’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant was renewed for three more years, a recognition of outstanding growth since 2007 and a vote of confidence in our future. With this support, we are able to expand our LINK program to serve preschool and high school students, providing “cradle to gown” programs for our kids.

Geographic areas served: Charles Village, Baltimore, MD

Programs: 2nd Wednesdays, Baltimore History Evenings, Grace Darin Memorial Lecture Series, LINK (Let's Invest In Neighborhood Kids) After School and Summer, Pre-GED class, Read Between the Wines, Senior Tea, Tots Tuesdays, Spaghetti Disco

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Ammanuel M.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Village Learning Place has been a longtime supporter to Charles Village and the surrounding north east Baltimore community, providing vital services and educational opportunities for children and families. As it strives to meet the needs of today's challenged families, it does so with the intention of always learning how it can be more effective and grow in its understanding of how to be more equitably sensitive and engaged with the community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The VLP is a wonderful community resource with multiple benefits for the community and beyond. Formerly this building was a branch of our local public library system. When they decided to close this branch, It was transformed by our community into the Village Learning Place.

After many meetings with community residents and others, of which my husband and I were highly involved, we came up with a design to proceed. The main floor was kept as a library but special features were added while continuing to maintain the inner beauty of the building during restoration. The basement was initially transformed from a storage space to a space for after school programs for children, including a coffee bar run by children. This space was later expanded to accommodate the many programs that we offer.

The exterior was transformed into a beautiful walled garden with large raised beds for an herb garden and a large fountain, and additional large areas for garden beds , and for meetings and social events for both adults and children. Benches and seating areas abound.

One program that I started and have continued to run for many years is our 2nd Wednesday program. This is a series of free talks , concerts, and special events, for adults, that takes place every 2nd Wed of each month. The event occurs either in the garden, or interior, or a combination of both, and includes a refreshment period to enhance the social interaction of people who attend.

I hope that with your help, we can continue to get the support and funding to continue to run this very special part of our community.

Greg B.6

Board Member

Rating: 5

I love the way VLP is integrated into its neighborhood, how it acts as a partner with other organizations, and how it serves children and families. This is a great example of a grassroots organization making a real difference where it matters most.

1 Jennifer D.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

All three of our children have attended LINK at the VLP. The after school programming was engaging and also did a fabulous job at reinforcing what they were learning at school. The teachers were great at helping the students complete homework and get the extra help needed in areas where they fell behind. Every student needs access to high quality after school programming like this.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Village Learning Place is a constant presence in our community. Many who send their children to the after-school program, that the VLP offers are dual working or single working parent families. LINK, not only is a dependable and safe place for our children but offers the children engaging and enriching academic and social opportunities. With past and pending school budgets cuts, our children are not getting the individualized attention needed to help learn some of the Common Core concepts. The LINK after school program fills in these gaps. With the experienced LINK Teachers and engaged College Work Study Students, our children are able to get the attention and concept reinforcement they need to not just pass the test but to know the material. The VLP LINK program, I think, is a bit of a hidden unappreciated gem. There are still many who don’t know about it and all that it doesn’t to help our community, families, and children. However, if the program ceased to exist, our schools, families, and neighbors would feel the impact in many different ways.

Laura J.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Village Learning place is such a great organization. They have so much to offer to not only the Charles Village community, but communities all over Baltimore. They have many events, such as Senior Tea, 2nd Wednesday, Tots Tuesday, Baltimore History Evening, Parents Night Out, and a few more. They also have an after school program and a summer camp. They also have LINK Leaders Program for the Middle and High School kids during the school year and summer. They cater to all ages, young to old. They also have are own library. It is not as big as the Enoch Pratt Library, but they have a great selection of books. You are sure to find a book that interest your taste. If you have an event, such as a wedding, birthday party, engagement party, baby shower, etc they offer space to rent out for a fee. I had my daughter 5th Birthday there and it was great. They have a beautiful garden with an array of cooking herbs and vegetables when they have produced. My kids have attend many events and are students that attend the after school program and have gone to camp. They love it. Sometimes it is hard to get them to leave at the end of they day. They learn, but have fun. Over all the Village Learning Place is a great non profit. I would tell everyone about it.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a single mom, the Village Learning Place is a major life savor for my 2 daughters and me. It is a great place to have in the Charles Village community. Not only is it a library, it is place where you can use a computer. You can use the computer to work on your resume, apply for a job, print something out. It is a a place where you can go just to stay warm on a very cold day or dry on a rainy day. You can also check out books. They also offer an afterschool program and summer camp, both which are free of charge. When school is out or there is a snow day, they offer a fee for service schools out camp. These are all great if you have to work. We have work study workers, which are students from JHU and Morgan State. They also have different events, such as senior tea, 2nd Wednesday, Parents night out, Baltimore history night, and tots tuesday. If you need a venue to host your wedding, wedding reception, 1st birthday, sweet 16th, annual holiday party, meeting, fundrasier, etc., the Village Learning Place is perfect for that. I had my daughters 5th Birthday here. She even asked this year if she could go back for her 6th birthday. They also have a beautiful garden, herb garden, and vegetable garden in the back, which is beautiful in the spring and summer. They also have a few fundraisers trough out the year, such as Read Between the Wines, Spaghetti Disci, and Holiday Artisan Market. All which go to support the VLP. The VLP caters to not only the Charles Village neighborhood, but all of Baltimore. No matter what your age is, nationality, where you come from, etc. the VLP has something for everyone. It is a great place. My daughters and I love the VLP. The staff is awesome. You can always count on the VLP to do the job. I highly recommend the VLP.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The village learning place provides a great place for the little ones to explore in a safe environment. Their winter bazaar and halloween night events are great for children between the ages of 4-14.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Village Learning Place provides essential resources for our community, from the library itself, to educational programming for families, to aftercare during the school year. It's evident how personally committed the staff, board, teachers, and volunteers all are to the mission of the organization, and to supporting greater Charles Village as a healthy, vibrant Baltimore community.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Village Learning Place (VLP) is a valuable resource to our Charles Village, Waverly, Harwood and Old Goucher communities. Through the library, after-school education/enrichment programs, and adult education services, the VLP is a vital, stabilizing force in our city and community. I have volunteered at the VLP and been a donor to the VLP for over 15 years and I would not continue to provide financial supported if I didn’t believe that every dollar was wisely and usefully spent on the important programs and services the VLP offers.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Village Learning Place (VLP) is one of my favorite nonprofit organizations in Baltimore. They are a critical resource, providing education and other types of support services and activities for children, adults and seniors. More importantly, they do so with flair! Their programs are very high quality, and their staff are consistently highly creative, which makes the programs/activities even more entertaining! I have volunteered with the VLP in multiple capacities (teaching GED classes, staffing booths at fairs, helping plan and implement special events, etc.), and have always felt that my time was being used productively, and I always have fun! From their after school program, to their GED classes, Spaghetti Disco, Adultlescent Trivia Nights, Senior Teas, active library, and more, the VLP is a shining gem of Baltimore's Charles Village community.