Mission Statement: Living Classrooms Foundation strengthens communities and inspires young people to achieve their potential through hands-on education and job training, using urban, natural, and maritime resources as “living classrooms.”
Founded in Baltimore in 1985, Living Classrooms Foundation has grown into an educational and economic force that combines one of the city’s most cherished assets – its beautiful and historic harbor – with some of its most overlooked – the thousands of bright, ambitious children and young adults who are struggling to succeed against terrible odds. What began with one program in one city has grown into dozens of programs across a region that now encompasses Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland.
Living Classrooms has developed a distinctive competency in experiential learning — literally learning by direct experience — or what we call “learning by doing.” These experiences take place at many “living classrooms” on our various campuses, including maritime museums and ships, and in neighborhood and community settings. We apply our “learning by doing” approach in three focus areas:
Educating students through our own charter middle school and K-8 school
HANDS-ON EDUCATIONAL ENRICHMENT
Educating students through after-school and supplemental education programs, through environmental, maritime heritage, and health and wellness experiences, with special emphasis on serving students who live in high-risk environments.
Educating the general public, and students in particular, about the significance of the region’s maritime heritage and its role in shaping who we are as a community and nation
Eliminating barriers to success for young adults and families through community development, workforce preparation, and life skills training
While each of our program areas is distinct, in combination they create a powerful synergy. Our maritime heritage sites create opportunities for employment training. Our education programs use our environmental and maritime resources as living learning laboratories. Our employability programs create stronger communities that are better prepared to exercise environmental stewardship.
We dedicate ourselves to transforming the lives of those we serve.
We will become a national model for community engagement and student achievement because we will constantly produce quality programs and learning opportunities with consistent, reliable, and predictable results.
Our Core Values
We believe that every individual who steps through our doors has the ability to learn and the potential to be great. It is our responsibility to nurture that ability and help them achieve that potential.
We believe that communities must be heard, actively involved, and engaged from the very beginning. We will listen, we will keep families, stakeholders, and constituents involved in our planning and programming, and we will keep communities engaged.
We believe that respectful service, a great attitude, and follow-through on commitments will be the foundation upon which we hold ourselves accountable to our supporters, our constituents, and the community.