This month, we kick off a web series to celebrate the many community partners who enable the work of our six Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) neighborhood conversion charter schools. Our partners range from regional powerhouses like Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, and Sinai Hospital to grassroots neighborhood organizations and smaller nonprofits. Each plays a huge part in the success of our students, faculty/staff, and families.
Of course, our overarching partner is Baltimore City Public Schools with whom we collaborate to offer BCP’s free public education. We have always been a proud part of the strong family of City Schools.
We’re delighted to celebrate the Baltimore Family Alliance!
What is the Baltimore Family Alliance?
In 2007 the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance (DBFA) was founded by a group of parents devoted to supporting Baltimore families living in and around the harbor. Realizing that their mission extends far beyond the geographical limits of the downtown area, in 2021, DBFA dropped “Downtown” from their name, clarifying their support of families across ALL of Baltimore City.
The purpose of the Baltimore Family Alliance (BFA) has always been about recognizing the critical role families play in the economic stability and growth of the city. BFA continues to dedicate itself to making Baltimore a city that all families love to call home through its work connecting, empowering, and advocating for families and children throughout Charm City.
The BFA connects communities through events, weaving an “urban village” of families and offering access to quality public resources. The BFA works with elected officials, business leaders, and grassroots community activists to represent the voices of its 3,000+ member families on issues that matter the most to Baltimore’s families like increasing accessibility of public transit options and working to create safer neighborhoods.
“Baltimore Family Alliance does phenomenal work informing families of important information, connecting families so they can create relationships, and keeping families here in Baltimore to raise their children.”
“Schools are the great unifying force for families with children. We do a lot of advocacy on the back end to make sure that families are heard from community and charter schools as well.”
How does Baltimore Family Alliance Support BCP?
Supporting City Schools, including BCP’s neighborhood conversion charter schools, has long been a hallmark of the BFA mission. BFA has supported families at Wolfe Street Academy, Hampstead Hill Academy, and Govans Elementary School through Back to School Supply Drives, PTO support, and Adopt-A-Family. More recently, BFA has expanded to also serve families at Pimlico Elementary/Middle School and Frederick Elementary School.
BFA’s Adopt-A-Family Program
The Adopt-A-Family program identifies families in need and matches them with families looking to give back. The first year of the program, in 2008, BFA supported 300 families. Last year, BFA matched 1,500 families across seven schools with donors to receive clothing, toys, and other support.
The Adopt-A-Family program supports our families at Govans, Frederick, and Wolfe Street Academy. Wolfe Street Academy is the longest site for Adopt-A-Family, and BFA supported 80% (n=175) of their families last year with holiday gifts.
Adopt-A-Family is one of Sandi McFadden’s favorite community partner events at Govans Elementary in her role as Govans’ longtime Community Coordinator. “Developing, nurturing, and sustaining partnership is a key strategy to community school success,” she explains. “One of my favorite partnerships is BFA’s Adopt-A-Family program. Without the support of this particular partnership, many of our families would not have Christmas. The generosity that people show brings tears of joy to our faces – I love working with BFA.”
BCP’s Director of Operations, Brianna Kaufman, has served as a BFA board member since 2019, representing the Upper Fells Point neighborhood. “I’m proud to be part of BFA’s board advocating for stronger, safer neighborhoods and services that enrich family life in Baltimore,” she says.
Thank you, Baltimore Family Alliance, for all that you do!
If you are interested in being matched with a family for this year’s Adopt-A-Family, visit Baltimore Family Alliance website to complete the interest form.
Learn more about the BFA at baltimore families.org