The James Center collaborates with a diverse group of partner organizations in both long-established partnerships and in evolving affiliations.
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
Since 2005, Garrison Forest and Johns Hopkins University have partnered to offer the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program to Garrison Forest students. Through WISE, talented students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), public health, public policy, and the intersection of the arts and humanities with STEM fields are selected through an application process to spend a semester as an integral part of a Hopkins research lab. WISE students spend two afternoons a week immersed in hands-on research with faculty mentors at:
- The Whiting School of Engineering
- The Bloomberg School of Public Health
- The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
- The Institute for Policy Studies
- The Sheridan Libraries
- Jpheigo, a Johns Hopkins-affiliated organization that develops low-cost, hands-on solutions that strengthen international health care services for women and their families
- School of Humanities and Social Sciences/School of the Sciences: Four GFS students participated in SU Animal Assisted Therapy service learning class in summer 2010. Two students have taken an on-line Forensics class offered by the University.
- Student Teachers: 15 Stevenson students will spend some mornings during the winter/spring 2012 in classrooms in the Lower School.
Eleven student teachers from Goucher College spent time in the GFS lower school during the fall of 2011.
BALTIMORE LEADERSHIP SCHOOL FOR YOUNG WOMEN
Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women (BLSYW) is a Baltimore City girls public charter school that opened in fall 2009. BLSYW is currently for grades 6 – 8 but will be adding a 9th grade in fall 2012. Through the James Center, GFS has collaborated on jointly planned professional development:
- In October 2010 the GFS middle school faculty and the BLSYW faculty met with educational psychologist and author Dr. JoAnn Deak at GFS. Dr. Deak addressed the topics of adolescent girls, brain-based teaching and learning, and social/emotional development. Afterward the faculties discussed how to use current brain research with their teaching.
- In October 2011 GFS faculty visited BLSYW for a joint professional development workshop led by Lamar Shields, Director of the Urban Institute and centered around an all school read “Mind Set”.
- Plans are underway for a joint student government workshop
MIDDLE GRADES PARTNERSHIP
The Middle Grades Partnership (MGP), a fund of the Baltimore Community Foundation, is a private/public school collaboration involving 18 public and private schools in the Baltimore region. For the past five years, GFS has participated in MGP, a program which brings Baltimore independent schools and public schools together in genuine, two-way partnerships to provide comprehensive summer and academic-year learning opportunities for promising Baltimore City students. MGP aims to prepare students to thrive in rigorous high schools, colleges, and beyond and, ultimately, to provide a core of leadership for Baltimore.
MGP classes at GFS are taught by a team of teachers from all three schools with support from GFS student mentors and MGP alumnae now in high school. Activities that meaningfully connect GFS middle school students with MGP students for shadow days and other sharing experiences also are an element of our program. To read more about Summer 2011, click here.
Junior Achievement of Central Maryland's (JA) “JA in a Day” and “BizTown” programs introduce Lower School students to a variety of economic concepts designed to connect the dots between what our girls learn in school and the “business of life”: economic concepts (earning, saving, managing, investing, giving), work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial decision-making.
JENKINS FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
Garrison Forest Upper School students apply for the competitive, GFS-funded Jenkins Fellowship summer service immersion projects. The student-chosen projects are sponsored by an array of organizations, including:
Hands Across the Americas (Peru)
God’s Economy (Malawi)
Putney Student Travel (Senegal)
Landmark Volunteers (Chappaqua, New York)
Cosmic Volunteers (Ghana)
American Jewish World Service (Honduras)
House of Ruth Maryland (Baltimore, Maryland)
Projects Abroad (Romania & Moldova)
Camp Civitas (Williams, AZ)
Casa Rosada (Dominican Republic)
L’Ecole Maternelle Sidi N’Diaye (Senegal)
To read more about the Jenkins Fellows, click here.
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
- Confucius Classroom: GFS has been awarded designation as a Confucius Classroom school and a grant to support the program from UMD’s Confucius Institute. GFS is the only independent school in Maryland to receive this recognition. As such, GFS has instituted Mandarin language instruction in all three divisions and has dedicated funding from China’s Hanban Institute to increase programming in Chinese culture and language for the greater GFS community. The School’s relationship with the Confucius Institute has opened doors to an array of resources including summer travel opportunities to China for faculty and students, and professional development experiences for faculty and administrators.
- Hanban China Bridge Camp In the summer 2011, 10 GFS students and 2 teachers traveled to China to participate in the Hanban China Bridge Camp. This camp is part of a school-wide GFS program to share China’s rich culture, language, and history. The camp is offered for 2012 as well.
SANDTOWN HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
The Garrison Forest faculty have sponsored Habitat for Humanity houses in Sandtown since 2004.
WINGSPAN/NATIONAL COALITION OF GIRLS SCHOOLS(NCGS)
Garrison Forest School is one of four girls’ schools nationwide involved in a pilot project focusing on partnerships between girls’ public and private schools. The goal of the collaboration is to model and inspire other girls schools in the establishment of public/private girl to girl experiences.
ANIMAL BEHAVIOR/EQUINE SCIENCE
Beginning in 2011-12, Garrison Forest now offers a courses in Animal Behavior/Equine Science as an Upper School Elective through its Science department. The course is taught by Emily Dewey, GFS Assistant Polo Coach and nationally recognized Polo player and coach.
9th GRADE SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT
As part of their regular curriculum, the 9th Grade students have evaluated their own learning/reading styles and developed tutoring skills. They are now providing regularly scheduled reading support to elementary school children with reading challenges at an overcrowded Baltimore County public school in Owings Mills. These experiences inform them in a hands-on, real-life way. When they return to the classroom to evaluate their texts, they are able to coalesce their experiences as learners and teachers. This is a pilot program by the GFS English Department as a potential model for other departments.
SERVICE LEAGUE AFFILIATIONS
Since World War II, Garrison Forest's student-founded Service League has been organizing and overseeing the School's community service outreach. Service League, GFS's longest, continuously running student organizations, annually partners with numerous regional, national, and international non-profits, as well as creates its own projects.
2011-12 Service League affiliations include:
- Baltimore Student Congress of Service
- Baltimore Humane Society
- Donald Bentley, Jr. Food Pantry
- Candygrams (in support of House of Ruth of Maryland)
- Empty Bowls
- Equine Service Club
- Global Philanthropy
- Invisible Children
- Jeans for Teens
- Lijiang Ethnic Orphan School (China) As part of service learning and cultural exchanges GFS students have done 2 service trips to the orphans school and Lijiang has visited GFS. A number of GFS students have applied their experiences on these trips in their Chinese language classes.
- Kids Who Care Camp
- Micro-Loan Project
- My Sister's Circle
- My Sister’s Place
- Our Daily Bread
- Paul’s Place
- Pencils of Promise
- Rebuilding Baltimore
- Red Cross Blood Drive
- Ruth’s Closet (House of Ruth)
- Sinai Hospital
- Women for Afghan Women
- And other organizations assisted by GFS divisions