Although teachers are sometimes reluctant to use community resources in caring for school-age children, students can benefit from various types of activities offered by these resources. If the process is well-organized and parental consent is received, teachers will be able to make a significant contribution to children’s development (Click & Parker, 2011). This paper aims to provide a list of some community resources available to educators in Maryland.
The state of Maryland is home to numerous active living centers and retirement communities, which can serve as a source of older volunteers for care programs. The involvement of seniors in child care programs allows older people to exchange their life experiences and skills with children, contributing to children’s development (Click & Parker, 2011). Some examples of centers from which seniors can be recruited include Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville, K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons at Kent Island in Chester, and Bedford Court in Silver Spring. Older people residing in these communities lead an active lifestyle and engage in various activities, so they are likely to volunteer and set a good example for children.
Maryland also has many community resources that allow children to explore the world and learn something new. For example, the National Aquarium in Baltimore provides age-appropriate educational programs for students studying at schools located in Baltimore and beyond. It allows students to develop “STEM-powered skills” and “respect for the aquatic world” (National Aquarium, n.d., para. 1). Further, the Maryland Science Center, located in Baltimore, offers children great opportunities to explore science. Maryland school children are allowed to visit the center free of charge to receive learning experiences that cannot be gained in a classroom.
Moreover, the Science Center has an outreach program, sending its educators to schools for conducting lessons. Another community resource is the Discovery Station at Hagerstown, which provides students with STEAM-based learning experiences and especially welcomes school and childcare groups on Wednesdays.
Museums are also part of Maryland’s community resources available to caregivers. For example, the Baltimore Museum of Industry provides hands-on learning experiences to preschool children and schoolchildren from the first to twelfth grade. The museum’s programs explain to students the process of food production and the ways of communicating with light and sound and present them with engineering challenges, among other activities.
Another museum available to Maryland students is the Baltimore Museum of Art, which welcomes school tours. There is also the African Art Museum of Maryland, located in Columbia, where students can get acquainted with African art and learn to make some art pieces, such as an adinkra cloth. Finally, educators can take schoolchildren to the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, located in Hagerstown. Apart from learning examples of fine arts, students will be able to participate in the Saturday Morning Youth Program offered by this museum, where they can learn to create art.
The Baltimore City Fire Department is also a valuable Maryland community source. The department offers an outreach program under which it engages with children in the classroom and educates them about fire dangers and ways of correcting them, and the impact of fire on the community (Baltimore City Fire Department, n.d.). Finally, caregivers may take schoolchildren to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, located in Dorchester County. The refuge welcomes students and offers opportunities to experience the natural world and develop an understanding of the environment.
To sum up, there are many various community resources available to educators in Maryland, which include museums, science and development centers, aquariums, and other facilities. They provide opportunities for exploring the world and learning useful skills. When deciding on the use of community resources, caregivers should eliminate possible barriers. For example, they should inform parents, take small groups of children with them, use public transport, and choose nearby locations.
Baltimore City Fire Department. (n.d.). Public education. Web.
Click, P. M., & Parker, J. (2011). Caring for school-age children (6th ed.). Cengage Learning.
National Aquarium. (n.d.). Education. Web.