Learning Beyond the Classroom

Last Updated on Jun 15, 2016 at 8:24am |

In Garrett County, “Learning Beyond the Classroom” mobile classroom is being developed and implemented that will allow the school system to reach out to children and their families in a way like never before.  Through collaboration and cooperation, a retired school bus has been purchased that has been turned into a classroom.  The bus is being hollowed out and fitted with everything necessary to function as a classroom, lending library, and a food bank.  
 
The goals for this Learning Beyond the Classroom are driven by the needs of the population in Garrett County, and include increasing school readiness for children ages 0-5, providing fine arts programs, and providing feeding programs for families in need.  The mobile classroom will visit ten sites throughout Garrett County during the third week of every month.  These sites have been determined to have a high percentage of children ages 0-5 that are not currently enrolled in an early child care program.  The project has partnered with local facilities (fire departments, apartment complexes, churches) in each community to provide restroom facilities, as well an area for program expansion.  At each site, there will be school readiness lessons, nutrition and cooking activities, literature and art experiences, as well as valuable play experiences for children.  The activities are based on thematic concepts which are tied to increasing the level of school readiness of children who are participating in the program.  There is no cost to have children participate in this endeavor.
 
       
 
On the third full week of each month and beginning June 20th, the Learning Beyond the Classroom bus will use the following schedule:

Monday: Grantsville Senior Center from 9:30 – 11:00 and Avilton Community Center from 1:30 – 3:00.
Tueday:  Friendsville Park from 9:30 – 11:00 and McHenry’s Mountain Village Apartments from 1:30 – 3:00.
Wednesday:  Bloomington Fire Department from 9:30 – 11:00 and Kitzmiller School building from 1:30 – 3:00.
Thursday:  Oakland Lions Club Pavilion at the Glades from 9:30 – 11:00 and Loch Lynn Church of God from 1:30 – 3:00.
Friday:  Pleasant Valley Community Center from 9:30 – 11:00 and Crellin United Brethren Church from 1:30 – 3:00.

 
This project would not be possible without the support of various partners.  The WGW Foundation (Samantha Funding the Arts, Landon's  Library, and Andy S. Woods Memorial Scholarship), Garrett Technologies, Maryland Extension Service, Garrett County Health Department, Garrett County Judy Center, Ruth Enlow Library, Maryland Food Bank, Local Management Board, and Garrett County Public Schools have developed a collaboration to make this project possible, with each partner offering its resources and expertise.  All of the partners are united in the common goal of learning beyond the classroom in a way that benefits families in Garrett County.  
 
A special recognition also goes to the 10 locations for allowing Learning Beyond the Classroom to utilize their facilities for parking and use of restrooms. Without these locations, the program would not be able to venture into the selected areas of Garrett County.
 
A special kickoff event will be held at the Oakland Country Club on Saturday, June 25th, at 12:00 noon.
 
Additional information can be found at “Learning Beyond the Classroom” on Facebook.