2015: My Brother’s Keeper

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The Hope Returned 2015 fundraiser benefited My Brother’s Keeper, a community center dedicated to improving the Irvington community in Baltimore, Maryland.

The organization empowers residents through providing social services that allow them to build on their strengths, improve their lives, and transform their community.

Bringing Hope to Irvington with MBK

Beechfield Elementary Middle School serves some of the poorest children in Irvington. With a variety of troubles happening at home, it can be hard for students to achieve their fullest potential in the classroom:

  • Ninety-four percent of Beechfield students (Pre-K through 8th grade) are eligible for the federal government’s free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch program.
  • Poverty is often linked to chronic absenteeism, and Baltimore City schools struggle with both.
  • During the 2013-14 academic year, nearly 20% of the youngest students at Beechfield Elementary (Pre-K through 4th grade) were chronically absent – meaning they missed 20 or more of 180 school days.

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Hope committee chairperson Sharon Campbell organized a campaign where Hope Returned and MBK worked with Beechfield staff to carry out an effective strategy for improving attendance. This strategy involved engaging students, parents, educators and community members in activities that offer recognition for good attendance. MBK provided concrete rewards for students, including special certificates, embossed bracelets, vouchers for school supplies, pizza and ice cream parties in school, and fun field trips outside of school. The program impacts more than 400 students.

This program helps to create an environment that encourages students not only to attend school, but also to stay in school and graduate. We hoped to provide the students with something to strive for in an academic environment where hard work and achievement led to success. We are thrilled to report that this program has generated wonderful results.

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Together we can support and instill an excitement for learning in these young children. We believe that in promoting a positive learning environment will improve and brighten their futures. To support this year’s project with My Brother’s Keeper, please visit our Donation page. Thank you chairperson Sharon Campbell, and well done!