Filed underIndependent Schools
At Gilman, boys at all ages participate in community service projects, collecting non-perishable food items for the Donald Bentley Food Pantry and toys and clothing to benefit Echo House, making peanut butter sandwiches for the homeless, shooting basket in Hoops for Heart, reading books to raise money for tsunami victims, supporting the annual American Red Cross Blood Drive, or participating myriad other activities throughout the school year. In the Upper School, each student must complete a minimum of 50 successive hours of consistent involvement in one community service project outside of Gilman as a requirement for graduation.
Donald Bentley Food Pantry
Throughout the course of each academic year, Gilman conducts various food drives to support the Donald Bentley Food Pantry, with major efforts at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Lower School has adopted the Donald Bentley Food Pantry as an ongoing community service project. The Bentley Pantry, founded by friend A.J. Julius ’91 and mother Ellen Bentley, memorializes alumnus Donald Bentley ’88, who was murdered in Baltimore.
St. Ignatius Loyola Academy
In reaching to the community beyond campus, Gilman teachers lend professional support to their colleagues in other schools. In one instance, Upper School history teacher Peter Julius spent the 2000-2001 academic year teaching at St. Ignatius Loyola Academy.
The mission of St. Ignatius mirrors that of Gilman: the North Calvert Street school strives to provide “holistic — academic, social and spiritual — middle school education to Baltimore boys from modest backgrounds, boys who otherwise would not access such an education” tuition-free. St. Ignatius boys often attend Gilman’s Upper School.
One of Gilman’s oldest community service projects, Green Grass, as its name implies, brings children from one of Baltimore’s toughest inner-city neighborhoods to play on Gilman’s green grass.
Coordinated by Anton Vishio, Green Grass pairs Gilman students with youngsters from Echo House Multi-Service Center, located in southwest Baltimore. Echo House services include job placements, a food pantry, and an after school program.
With their Gilman partners, the children enjoy many sports and activities that Gilman students take for granted as everyday occurrences.
Studies have shown that low-income children, no matter what their ability, experience greater learning loss over the course of the summer than their higher income peers when they do not engage in educational activities. Since 1977, Gilman School has worked to combat this problem.
The Baltimore Independent School Learning Camp, coordinated by Jane Bartlett, Lower School admissions assistant, brings 16 talented children entering each of the third, fourth, and fifth grades from Barclay, Roland Park, Edgecombe Circle, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary Schools for a four-week summer enrichment program at no cost to their families. Learning Camp presents an ongoing interdisciplinary curriculum, and many studies focus around the camp’s theme – “Baltimore: A Maritime Community.” Reading, math, computer, and foreign language are taught daily, and art, music, science, geography, and creative writing are taught at least once a week. The children have swimming lessons each week and play outside daily. Much of the program’s strength and success is that most children attend for three consecutive years.