Meet these 3 School Communities

October 22, 2019

BCF is making a commitment to support the neighborhoods around three specific city schools. These school communities bookend a main corridor in West Baltimore. 

#1 Dorothy I. Height Elementary School 

Dorothy I. Height Elementary School, a newly constructed 21st Century School that houses a Judy Center (see page 4), was formed through a merger of John Eager Howard School, serving mixed-income Reservoir Hill, with Westside Elementary, whose families largely come from the predominately low-income Penn North and Parkview/Woodbrook neighborhoods. Research shows that all children benefit from racial and socio-economic diversity in the classroom, but the advantage for low-income children is significant. The vision is to make the school a robust community hub for all of its surrounding neighborhoods, i.e., a place that appeals to all of Reservoir Hill’s micro-communities (North/Lakeside, Southeast, West, and the Community Core), and feels equally inviting to the former Westside families. 

#2 Calvin Rodwell Elementary/Middle School

Calvin Rodwell Elementary/Middle serves an area overlapping five distinct neighborhoods: Howard Park, Grove Park, West Arlington, Forest Park, and Reisterstown Station. Calvin Rodwell has long held its own as a solid school in a pretty good neighborhood, but it is currently both undergoing reconstruction as a 21st Century School and a merger with Grove Park Elementary. The intersection of Liberty Heights and Gwynn Oak experienced its first boost of physical infrastructure investment when ShopRite anchored the area with a desperately needed grocery store less than 10 years ago. The new school construction is re-energizing the community, along with stirrings happening at the Ambassador Theatre right across the street. This community is ready for the world to know that it has what it takes to be a premier area of town.

Liberty Elementary School

Liberty Elementary’s catchment area touches all five member communities of the Forest Park Alliance and includes the neighborhoods of Dorchester and Callaway-Garrison. The school has a great reputation within the school system, among partners citywide and especially with local residents. The school houses a high-performing Judy Center, but is not on the list for 21st Century School construction, despite being fully enrolled and in an aging building. Over the years, school leaders and their community partners have been very forward thinking—and always able to mobilize people around their vision. Whether efforts are led by the school or residents, this community has proven it is motivated, innovative, and driven to protect what it boasts is the “jewel of Baltimore”—just as the generations before have done.

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Building Stronger Neighborhoods Regionwide

Building Stronger Neighborhoods Regionwide

We have a nearly 30-year history of offering grants to resident-led groups and community projects in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. These grants give residents the resources they need to accomplish a small project, get more people involved, and encourage the next generation of neighborhood leaders. We also fund programs that support the development of leaders of all ages who are working to improve their neighborhoods and schools. Our support is intended to help identify, activate, inform and network leaders. And finally, we believe when schools and neighborhoods team up to improve their school and community, meaningful and lasting change can be made. We are interested in funding proposals in which the students and adults in schools collaborate intentionally with community residents, neighborhood associations, and other individuals, groups, and institutions in the area surrounding a school.

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Place-based Grantmaking in Selected School Communities

Place-based Grantmaking in Selected School Communities

We have allocated funds for two geographical areas that bookend a crucial corridor on the Westside of Baltimore City: Howard Park /Forest Park area (served by Calvin Rodwell Elementary Middle School and Liberty Elementary), and Reservoir Hill/Penn North area (served by Dorothy I Height Elementary). In these three schools and their surrounding neighborhoods, we will support projects and activities designed to make the communities safe, clean, green and vibrant; and improve the quality of the schools. Some projects may be neighborhood-focused, some school-focused and others collaborative projects between the schools and their respective communities.

Early Learning & Judy Centers

Early Learning & Judy Centers

High quality early childhood education has a lifelong effect on students. Through our Early Learning grant program, we are interested in system-wide early childhood education proposals that will help Baltimore City and County's youngest learners, and their families, get the start they need. Nonprofit organizations that offer programs and/or services to Judy Centers are encouraged to contact the centers directly to explore partnership opportunities.

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John A. Gilpin


Director of Planned Gifts
410-332-4171 ext. 132

How Can We Help?

Kate Sam

Communications Officer
410-332-4171 ext. 181

How Can We Help?

Cathy Brill

Executive Director
Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation