For FY22: The Learning Beyond the Classroom (LBTC) Judy Center team implemented several new protocols to begin quarter four. A new procedure was executed to identify families in need of services and establish Pathway plans. In addition, increased outreach was conducted to create awareness for Learning Beyond the Classroom events. Attendance more than doubled in the fourth quarter due to an increase in outreach, as well as flexible summer schedules for families. LBTC continues to plan programs around the whole family with a focus on learning activities aligned with Maryland Early Learning Standards. Family service coordinators continue to address specific family needs on an as-needed basis. LBTC continues to build awareness for PK/K registration, Early Head Start & Head Start registration, summer programming, child care provider openings, and local community resources.
For HFY1 22:
The Learning Beyond the Classroom program continues to offer in-person events with COVID protocols in place. Due to the increase in COVID cases within Garrett County, participation has been down when comparing data to previous years. The LBTC program continues to focus on the whole child. This outlook makes the entire family a vital part of the program. The staff continue to utilize the Life Skills Progression Scale to monitor impact among participating families. There is also an increased effort to create more awareness of school readiness skills with new and exciting activities!
The goals of the Learning Beyond the Classroom program remain the focus of services and outreach. Through the mobile platform, the bus continues to reach families that would be excluded from school-based events due to transportation issues. With continued community teamwork and partnerships, the LBTC program continues to meet the unique needs of families including food security issues, early childhood developmental concerns, health/vision/dental screenings, and school readiness. The bus returned to in-person programming in May at all locations.
For HFY1 21:
Despite the virtual platform, the Learning Beyond the Classroom program has still been able to provide families with opportunities to hone in on school readiness skills, promote family engagement, and make an impact on reducing childhood hunger. Virtual playgroups are provided weekly and made readily available to families through the use of the program's social media pages. The LBTC program has successfully managed and implemented a Drive-by Giveaway event to gain short face-to-face interactions. The Drive-by Events occur on Wednesday of the third week of the month at the following locations:
- Friendsville Fire Hall 9:30 am-11:00 am
- Grantsville Senior Center 12:30 pm-2:00 pm
- Overlook Judy Center 9:30 am -11:00 am
- Overlook Judy Center 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
During these events, families stay in their vehicles and are supplied with a bag of healthy food, books, a learning activity, and craft. The Learning Beyond the Classroom program continues to be offered at no cost to the family. Communication lines remain open between the program and families via phone, email, and social media. Because of limited face-to-face contact with families, pathway planning was not possible at this time.
Wrapping up the fifth year, the Learning Beyond the Classroom program had to finish out the year with a different model than in the past. Due to COVID-19, events became virtual experiences. The renovated classroom on wheels had to remain parked during the months of March through July, but services and outreach continued. School readiness totes were delivered to children ages birth to age 5 and five weekly virtual playgroups were readily available to families online. Families were given access to two trained family service coordinators during the COVID-19 lockdown connecting families to local resources. Because the bus could not be used, this affected every performance measure in the 3rd quarter as nothing was done but planning during that period of time. The 4th quarter totals were mostly virtual with doorstep dropoffs of food and educational packets.