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Living Classrooms’ Project SERVE Partners with Waverly Main Street for Great American Cleanup Kick-Off Event

Media Release - Monday March 20, 2017 - Today, on the first day of spring, Living Classrooms will be partnering with Waverly Main Street for the inaugural event of this year’s Great American Cleanup as part of the Keep Maryland Beautiful initiative of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

Living Classrooms’ Project SERVE program is supporting Waverly Main Street in achieving its goals for the initiative Keep Maryland Beautiful and the Clean Up Green Up program. As part of this project, Project SERVE has been contracted for landscaping work in the area between Greenmount Ave. and Barclay Street, between 32nd and 33rd Streets. Work includes redesigning the schoolhouse garden by removing overgrown plant material, relocating existing sculptures, and installing new and healthy plants, as well as replanting greenery at the site of the 32nd Street Farmers’ Market and on 33rd Street’s median. The work being done by Project SERVE is part of a contract between Waverly Main Street and Natural Design and Landscaping, Living Classrooms’ newest business and job training initiative.

Last year, Living Classrooms partnered with Shaina Hardy, a horticulturalist and 25-year veteran of commercial landscape and maintenance, to form a new company that hires all of its employees directly from Living Classrooms’ Project SERVE (Service, Empowerment, Revitalization, Volunteerism, and Employment Training) program. The newly formed company named, Natural Design and Landscaping, is working with Baltimore-based companies to provide a valued service, both to the company and to Living Classrooms’ SERVE members who are gaining valuable skills while enrolled in the workforce development program. Members enrolled in SERVE will learn landscaping skills as well as traditional hard and soft job skills while performing contracted landscaping jobs around Baltimore City. Once graduated from the program, SERVE members have the opportunity to be permanently employed by the company.

Project SERVE works every day in Baltimore cleaning 4,000 properties and alleyways per/year to make City neighborhoods safer and healthier. Living Classrooms and Project SERVE have also partnered on the Maryland Business Recovery Storefront Improvement Program. The program assists businesses in updating their facades to improve the small business climate as well as the overall aesthetics of Baltimore City by engaging local architects through the Neighborhood Design Center. Project SERVE has already completed several jobs, including façade improvements on 407 W. Franklin Street on the west side of Baltimore’s downtown.

About Living Classrooms Foundation: For over 30 years, Living Classrooms has worked to strengthen communities and inspire young people to achieve their potential through hands-on education, job training, and health and wellness programs using urban, natural, and maritime resources as “living classrooms.” Our effective programs serve over 20,000 youth and young adults annually in Baltimore and Washington, DC and the surrounding metropolitan areas, and have a special emphasis on serving disadvantaged and at-risk populations. More information: www.livingclassrooms.org.

About Project SERVE: Living Classrooms’ adult community service and job-training initiative, Project SERVE (Service- Empowerment- Revitalization- Volunteerism- Employment Training), provides on-the-job training for over 100 unemployed and disadvantaged young adults annually, many of whom are transitioning from incarceration. Participants in Project SERVE spend 4-6 months in the program, involved in community revitalization projects while learning marketable work skills, professionalism, problem-solving, and social-skills training. Participants then transition into employment where they receive job retention support and aftercare from Living Classrooms. More information: https://livingclassrooms.org/ourp_project_serve.php.

Natural Design and Landscaping: dedicated to providing quality commercial landscape installation and maintenance, as well as proving workforce development and job training opportunities to Baltimore City Residents. https://naturaldesignlandscaping.com/

Contact: Michelle Subbiondo, msubbiondo@livingclassrooms.org, (410) 685-0295

Posted on: 22 Mar, 2017

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