News Archives 2nd Half 2019
Halstead Academy Joins the Student Support Network, November 2019
The Student Support Network is delighted to welcome the Halstead Academy Network to the Student Support Network!
The lead volunteers of the Halstead Academy Network are Ashlee Alem and Mary James, who will work with school staff to fulfill student needs and stock and organize the room for students, now known as the Care Closet.
Important Grant Received From Divinity Lutheran Church, November 2019
The Student Support Network has received a grant of $12,000 from Divinity Lutheran Church in Towson to support food programs at Parkville High School for two years. We are deeply grateful to the Endowment Committee and members of Divinity Lutheran for this extremely generous support, which will help hundreds of students at risk of hunger and food insecurity at the high school. The funds will be used to purchase food for the offices of the three Student Resource Officers at Parkville, who all distribute food to hungry students. The Officers have reported improvements in discipline, attendance, and trust in school staff after the Network began purchasing food for their offices. Through this grant, the Network will be able to increase funding for their efforts in 2020 and 2021. Thank you, Divinity Lutheran Church!
Student Resource Officer at Parkville High School
The Network Announces A New Partnership With Pressley Ridge, October 2019
The Student Support Network has begun a partnership with New Pathways Pressley Ridge, a non-profit assisting disconnected youth trying to stay in school and successfully move into the workforce. Pressley Ridge received a grant for housing and support from a case manager for unaccompanied homeless students attending local Baltimore County schools, including Parkville High School. The Network will provide food for the first few weeks before food assistance becomes available, and then as needed from the Pantry for these homeless students.
Kyle Beliczky, Youth Housing and Community Services Coordinator, New Pathways Pressley Ridge
Gearing Up For The Thanksgiving Event At Owings Mills Elementary, October 2019
Susan Katz, Nora Linstrom, and Vicki Almond, the Lead Volunteers for Owings Mills Elementary, have been busy getting local businesses involved with helping students at our newest Network school!
The Costco in Owings Mills has donated funds for the Thanksgiving event at the school.
Sprouts has also donated a gift card, and 25 bags of food for families.
Photo: Rachael and Brian, Membership Division at Costco with the gift card donation to the Owings Mills Network
Loch Raven High School Class of ’79: Go Raiders! October 2019
Many thanks to Crystal Legaluppi and the Loch Raven High School Class of ’79 – as part of their recent reunion, they donated a check for $200 and boxes of donations for Loch Raven High School for the “Loch Raven Haven” – greatly appreciated! Crystal brought the check and the donations over to our storage space at St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church.
Laurie Speaks At Pine Grove Elementary School’s 50th Reunion, October 2019
Laurie was invited to speak at the celebration of Pine Grove Elementary School’s 50th Reunion on October 4, a celebration of the continuous engagement of current and former students, parents, and educators with this school. Christina Pumphrey, our Network Lead Volunteer for Pine Grove Middle School, was also there – her daughters attended Pine Grove Elementary.
Left to right: Laurie Taylor-Mitchell, Michele Guyton, State Delegate District 42B, Chris West, State Senator District 42, County Executive John Olszewski, and Kathleen Causey, President, Board of Education of BCPS.
Christina Pumphrey with her daughters and Laurie at the event.
Photos courtesy of Brian Glock
The Network Congratulates Christina Pumphrey, October 2019
Our Network Lead Volunteer for Pine Grove Middle School, Christina Pumphrey, has been chosen by Superintendent Williams to serve on the Parent Advisory Council. Christina will work with the Council to provide parent input on system-wide initiatives throughout BCPS. Congratulations!
Photo: Christina in “The Grove”
Laurie Presents Information On Poverty in BCPS To The Lilacs Group, September 2019
Many thanks to Terri Seitz Parrish and other members of the Lilacs (Ladies in Life & Christian Service) Group for the opportunity to present information on poverty and hunger in BCPS at their September meeting, and for all of the donations to the Network (photo only shows a few) – a wonderful group of compassionate and energetic women devoted to helping others! The Lilacs are longstanding supporters of the Network.
Dumbarton Middle Network Receives An Important Donation, September 2019
Special thanks to Jeremy Talman and the Maryland DC Wireless Association (MDDCWA) for a very generous donation benefiting the Comfort Closet at Dumbarton Middle School. Network Volunteer Shannon Carney says the $2,000 donation will go towards the most high-demand toiletry items to supplement donations already received directly from the local community (shampoo/conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, laundry pods, etc). In addition, it may cover other costs that always come up throughout the year — field trips, white shirts & bow ties for concerts, gym uniforms, etc., — for students at Dumbarton who otherwise would not be able to afford these additional expenses.
The Network Receives A Grant From The Matthews Children’s Foundation, September 2019
The Student Support Network has just received a grant of $1,000 from the Matthews Children’s Foundation, administered through Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens. This grant will be used to purchase school supplies for our Network schools; several programs at our schools request many school supply kits every year. We are grateful to Amy Shimp and Cheryl Percy for their assistance in applying for this grant.
Photo, left to right: Amy Shimp, General Manager of Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, Laurie Taylor-Mitchell, President, SSN, Jess Wodarczyk, Executive Director, SSN, and Al Fritz, Matthews Cemetery Products, representing the Matthews Children’s Foundation
Another Local Business Commits Its Support To the Network, Fall 2019
A Great Start For The New School Year, September 2019
The Jewish Volunteer Connection donated 75 backpacks with school supplies to Owings Mills Elementary! In addition, funds from the Network provided pencil pouches for the entire school, and notebooks for the entire fourth grade.
Backpacks were picked up at the JVC office by Nora Linstrom (left) and Susan Katz (right), Lead Volunteers for Owings Mills Elementary School
Andre’a Butler, Assistant Principal at OME, receiving the backpacks at the school
Linden Heights United Methodist Church Supports Network Schools, August and September 2019
The Student Support Network is grateful to the Mission Committee and congregation of Linden Heights United Methodist Church in Parkville for their continuing support of Pine Grove Middle and Parkville High Schools. The church will have donation drives benefiting these schools in their local community. This month, they are collecting on behalf of teachers – items such as pre-sharpened pencils, earbuds, sketchbooks for art, dividers, fidget/stress balls, hand sanitizers, boxed tissues, Clorox wipes, and labels for the front of binders. In September, they will be collecting on behalf of students: hair brush and combs, deodorant, shampoo (small or medium), toothpaste, individually wrapped toothbrushes, face/body wash, lint rollers, snack bars, fruit cups, peanut butter, cheese crackers, canned tuna or chicken, boxed tuna with crackers, microwave shelf stable dinners, baked beans, cereal cups, and canned items with self open lids.
Owings Mills Elementary School Joins the Student Support Network, August 6, 2019
We are delighted to announce that Owings Mills Elementary School has joined the Network – our first elementary school, and our first school in the Northwest area of the County. We met again with the wonderful staff and lead volunteers to sign the paperwork and see the new “Kindness Closet” in the school.
Front, left to right: Susan Katz, Nora Linstrom, lead volunteers, and Jenny Conrad, Assistant Principal. Back: Vicki Almond, lead volunteer and Network Board member, Laurie, and Scott Conway, Principal. Photos taken by Jessica Duvall Wodarczyk our new Executive Director.
Why The Work Of The Student Support Network Is So Vital, August 2019
We have recently updated the statistics on our Network schools with the new addition of Dumbarton Middle School, and with Owings Mills Elementary School, which will join the Network in August.
*SNAP is the acronym for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; these students live in families at or below 130% of the federal poverty level, which in 2019 is an annual income of no more than $33,475 for a family of four people.
Loch Raven High School
Enrollment: 870 students
268 students qualify for Free Meals, 31.3% of all students
111 students depend on SNAP benefits*
18 students currently identified as homeless
Parkville High School
Enrollment: 1937 students
870 students qualify for Free Meals, 47.9% of all students
301 students depend on SNAP benefits
200 currently identified as homeless (up from 143 since 1/31/2019)
Pine Grove Middle School
Enrollment: 921 students
361 students qualify for Free Meals, 38.6% of all students
180 students depend on SNAP benefits
15 students currently identified as homeless
Loch Raven Technical Academy
Enrollment: 769 students
413 students qualify for Free Meals, 54.9% of all students
195 students depend on SNAP benefits
20 students currently identified as homeless
Dumbarton Middle School (July 2019)
Enrollment: 1,188 students
223 students qualify for Free Meals, 18.7% of all students
79 students depend on SNAP benefits
26 students currently identified as homeless
Owings Mills Elementary School (joining August 6, 2019)
Enrollment: 784 students
505 students qualify for Free Meals, 64.5% of all students
244 students depend on SNAP benefits
18 students currently identified as homeless
Total numbers for Network Schools
2,640 students live in severe poverty (qualify for Free Meals in school)
1106 students depend on SNAP benefits (extreme poverty)
297 students currently identified as homeless
In 2018, the Network funded over 10,000 visits and requests for assistance at Network schools, with over $123,000 in monetary and in-kind donations.
Maryland Presbyterian Church Reaffirms Commitment to SSN Students, July 21, 2019
Maryland Presbyterian Church helped the Student Support Network get started in 2016 (when we were in only one school, Loch Raven High School). Their Mission Committee there has also conducted drives for donations to the Network, and is doing one again in July and August. Laurie spoke to Mission Committee members and also to the congregation in their “Moment for Mission” on July 21. We are grateful to MPC for their ongoing support!
Photo Left to right: Dot Attwell, Rosemary Plummer, Laurie Taylor-Mitchell, Mary Jo Zimbro, and Leslie Erickson
Linden Heights United Methodist Church Continues to Support Network Schools, July 2019
The Student Support Network is very grateful to the Mission Committee and congregation of Linden Heights United Methodist Church in Parkville for their continuing support of Pine Grove Middle and Parkville High Schools. The church will have donation drives in August and September benefiting teachers and students at these schools in their local community. We are grateful to have them as another church partner supporting students in need!
Dumbarton Middle School Joins the Student Support Network, July 2019
The Student Support Network is delighted to welcome Dumbarton Middle School! Volunteers and staff have been developing Dumbarton Middle’s Comfort Closet throughout 2019 and officially joined the Student Support Network in July.
The lead volunteers of the Dumbarton Middle Network are Shannon Carney and Lisa Mathias, who will work with school staff to fulfill student needs and stock and organize the room for students, now known as the Comfort Closet.