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School partnership will go forward despite setback

A recent op-ed on the Guilford Elementary/Middle School vegetable garden focused on one project that didn't meet expectations ("Harvest of disappointment," Nov. 23). Yet discussions have already begun about how to incorporate the garden into the curriculum next spring, and we hope that this still can happen.

The op-ed also failed to mention the many partnerships that are helping the long-struggling school improve. At the school, there are a number of great partnerships working under the auspices of the Greater Homewood Community Corporation.

Generous Guilford neighborhood donors made possible significantly improved facilities this year, including a renovated cafeteria, entrance courtyard and improved science and art rooms that have vastly improved the learning environment with bright colors and new science lab equipment.

Loyola and Towson university education students work with children after school to improve math achievement and volunteer in classrooms during the school day. A Johns Hopkins faculty member will be providing advanced training to the faculty to improve the quality of teaching.

Ten immensely dedicated neighborhood residents volunteer weekly to tutor children in reading and math. And this year there is a full after-school program instead of just a collection of clubs and programs.

Ensuring that every child in every neighborhood has a great school is important and complex work. Guilford, like most Baltimore City schools, struggles to serve an overwhelmingly low-income student population with too few resources. Not every project will take off and soar, but it is essential that we learn from both the successes and the failures and continue to try new approaches to move our schools forward.

Karen DeCamp, Baltimore

The writer is director of neighborhood programs for the Greater Homewood Community Corporation.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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