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Learning Beyond the Classroom(Garrett County FY18 and Beyond) - Annual

What Works

What works for the Learning Beyond (LBTC) the Classroom program:

  • The bus attracts the attention of the community while encouraging participation
  • Participation has exceeded the original target measure for the last three years
  • The manner in which services and activities are provided allows for greater access to residents in remote locations of Garrett County

What We Do

The Learning Beyond the Classroom Bus Provides:

  • Each child/family served by the LBTC bus receives a bag with healthy food items at each stop
  • School readiness lessons for children ages 0-5 which include gross motor activity, storytime, and a thematic lesson closely tied to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten curriculum standards and measured by the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment
  • Landon's Library provides books each month to children from birth through their first day of kindergarten, the first county-wide effort of its kind in the State of Maryland
  • The LBTC bus provides families with internet service to pay bills, search for employment, and connect to services
  • The WGW Community Youth Cup Foundation helps provide resources to promote childhood literacy and reduce hunger
  • Garrett Technologies donates essential hygiene items that are distributed to families in need
  • Maryland Extension Office provides families with ideas for healthy meals and nutrition
  • Community resources are available throughout the year, at each stop to engage families with valuable resources


The partners involved with the Learning Beyond the Classroom program include the Garrett County Local Management Board, Garrett County Public Schools, which partners collaboratively with Early Childhood Education through Overlook Judy Center and Head Start/Early Head Start programs, Department of Social Services, Garrett County Community Action Committee, Inc., Towns of Kitzmiller; Friendsville; Bloomington; Grantsville; Avilton Community Center; Glades Pavilion at Glades Apartment Complex in Oakland; Crellin; and Pleasant Valley Community Center.   Additional partners include the University of Maryland Extension Office, Priority Partners, The Ruth Enlow Library, The Dove Center, Mountain Laurel Medical Center, Andrew S. Woods Memorial, Samantha Funding the Arts, WGW Community Youth Cup, Garrett County Health Department, and Landon's Library.

Program Summary

The Learning Beyond the Classroom program is a mobile outreach initiative targeting children and families with limited access to food, transportation, and early care programs.  The program meets Garrett County residents "where they are" through a retired, hollowed-out school bus that has been transformed into a mobile classroom. The bus is fitted with everything necessary to function as a classroom, lending library, and food bank, while promoting socialization through recreational playtime!  It also assists families in making valuable connections to community resources. The goals of the Learning Beyond the Classroom program are driven by the needs of the population of Garrett County and include increasing school readiness for children ages 0-5, fine arts programs, and food initiatives for families in need. The mobile classroom visits ten (10) sites throughout Garrett County during the third week of every month. These sites have been determined to have a high percentage of children ages 0-5 not currently enrolled in an early childcare program.

Target Population

The target population for the Learning Beyond the Classroom (LBTC) program includes ten (10) rural areas in Garrett County that have limited access to food, transportation, and early care programs.  The population is identified based on low-income housing environments and proximity to food sources.  Most of the participants of the program live ten miles or more from the nearest grocery store and have limited transportation resources.  Flyers and information about the program are distributed by partners which include Garrett County Community Action, the Department of Social Services, Garrett County Health Department, The Ruth Enlow Library, and the WGW Community Youth Cup Foundation.  Reducing Childhood Hunger is the program priority defined by the Governor's Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services and served by the Learning Beyond the Classroom program.  The program is also promoted through Facebook and on the platform.

Data Discussion

For FY23:  The Learning Beyond the Classroom (LBTC) program has made a great impact throughout Garrett County during the 2022-2023 program year.  Over 114 families with children birth through five (5) years of age have participated in LBTC events.  In the fourth quarter alone, 159 children live in homes with an increased level of food security due to the resources provided.  Thanks to partnerships with Garrett County Growers and Hilltop Fruit Market (new), families receive fresh food items and non-perishables at each stop.  In addition, all remaining items are added to the LBTC Food Pantry allowing families access to food items as frequently as needed.  

LBTC is powered by community partnerships!  Community agencies were present at 14 events in quarter four including the Garrett County Health Department, Priority Partners, Child Care Choices, Mountain Laurel Medical Group, Aetna, Head Start, and Ann Collins Family Child Care.  There were 262 engagements between partners and participants to create awareness in the community.  Both parents and grandparents expressed gratitude for the valuable connections.  

For HFY1 23:  The Learning Beyond the Classroom (LBTC) Judy Center team eagerly and energetically began the 8th year of programming on the bus!  Offering a variety of community resources at each stop has given participants an opportunity to expand their knowledge of what is available in Garrett County.  With joint efforts from Garrett County Judy Center, Garrett County Health Department, Maryland University Extension Office, Local Management Board, and numerous other partners, the bus is able to reach the most vulnerable and disadvantaged families to begin addressing areas of need.  A continued increase in school readiness focus has been key to programming with all activities based on Maryland Early Learning Standards and the four KRA School Readiness domains.    



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