“We believe that helping a community thrive begins with a local focused investment in children and their families, and there is no better place for consistent connections than school.”
For our specific efforts in Hagerstown, Maryland, Bester Elementary School and E. Russell Hicks Middle School are our strategic partners with a focus to create a pipeline of support and resources that can be streamlined with the needs identified by school personnel and neighborhood residents. Current efforts include:
South End 21: Afterschool Programs
A 21st Century Community Learning Center program funded by a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the Maryland State Department of Education.
BCOH provides the South End 21 after-school programming at no cost to students or families through MSDE: 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant. Programming is provided at Bester Elementary School and E. Russell Hicks Middle School; Monday through Friday with bus transportation. Opportunities include academic and home work support as well as fun enrichment groups like graphic design, sports, dance, and robotics.
2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR UPDATE:
Due to the current coronavirus pandemic and the current closure of Washington County Public Schools, programming is occurring virtually.
Interested in after school programming for your student; click here to complete our interest form: https://besterhope.org/programs/school/afterschool-interest-form/
READY TO REGISTER? Download our student registration form: SE 21 Registration 2020-2021 PDF. Completed forms can be returned to your school (Bester Elementary or E. Russell Hicks Middle School), emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, dropped off at our office located at 356 Mill St. Hagerstown, or mailed. For additional questions, please contact our Director of Education, Denise Kuhna, at 240-513-6370.
Bester Health Center
Free acute medical services for all Bester children
GOAL: To target holistic health and reduce overall absenteeism, the Community Free Clinic of Washington County in coordination with Meritus Medical Center has partnered with Bester Elementary to meet the acute health needs of Bester children by providing a School-based Health Center.
The specific goals of the project are to: 1) improve access to quality health care and services; 2) build healthy communities; and 3) improve health equity.
Bester Health Center allows students a no cost resource at school to access a health professional who can assess their immediate symptoms and health families decide the best course of action. The provider is able to prescribe medication, provide free treatment of minor illness and injuries, and refer to other health options. The health center also strengthens the focus on health promotion and disease prevention by hosting health education sessions for students and caregivers. The effort is made possible by the the US Department of Health and Human Services Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program, and steered by representatives from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Washington County Public Schools, Meritus Medical Center, Community Free Clinic and San Mar.
To register your Bester Elementary School student to access the Bester Health Center: https://besterhope.org/bester-health-center-consent-form/
Pipeline of community support
Pursuing the community school strategy, with successful integration of community partners into the existing school programs will also allow the pathway for other community members and organizations to find meaningful ways to contribute to needs identified by school personnel and Bester families.
A Social-Emotional curriculum integration
Through a partnership with The Center for the Collaborative Classroom (CCC), Bester Community of Hope has provided Bester Elementary School teachers toolkits to add resources to daily class meetings focused on building kindness, emotional intelligence, communication and social skills. Implementation in other school systems who have utilized this social and emotional learning model have seen dramatic positive outcomes in not only behavioral and disciplinary statistics, but overall academic success. CCC continues to be involved as a consultant helping to continue to refine the work and move the effort forward.