The Heart of the Schools' program has awarded more than 100 principals with funds raised from the community to meet the unique needs of each school.


Harford Heights Elementary School’s Community Walks

“Community Walks” at Harford Heights Elementary School give families and neighbors a chance to connect. With support from the Heart of the Schools program, the initiative was introduced by principal Danielle Tillman-Cromartie when she joined the pre-k-5 school in 2017.

George Washington Elementary School’s Orchestra

Thanks to $2,112 in funds provided by the Heart of the Schools program, George Washington Elementary School launched its first string orchestra in 2018 with the purchase of 18 violins. Introduced by principal Bridget Wrightson, the addition offers students an outlet to develop their musical talents.

Hazelwood Elementary/Middle School’s “Pretty Brown Girls” After-School Club

At Hazelwood Elementary School, members of the “Pretty Brown Girls” club have their sights set on future success. Made possible by a $4,769 grant from the Heart of the Schools program, the after-school club was founded in 2017 by principal Amanda P. Rice in efforts to boost self-esteem and strengthen academic performances of girls grades three through eight.

The Belair-Edison School’s Music in the Hallways

In 2017, Belair-Edison School principal Tiffany Halsey introduced a unique alternative to the traditional, buzzing school bell. Funded by a $4,800 grant from the Heart of the Schools program, new speakers installed throughout the middle school building signal the change of classes with the sounds of Beethoven, Chopin, and Mozart.

North Bend Elementary/Middle School’s Book Nook Artwork

When creating new “book nooks” for students, North Bend Elementary/Middle School principal Patricia Burrell didn’t cut corners. In 2018, a $4,473 grant from The Heart of the Schools program was used by the school to fund murals painted in the style of popular children’s books, which serve as the backdrop of each cozy reading space.

Hamilton Elementary/Middle School’s “Learning in a Box”

With a $4,400 grant provided by the Heart of the Schools program, Hamilton Elementary/Middle School principal Natasha Pouncey introduced “Learning in a Box” this year to pre-k and kindergarten students. Each box purchased from the nonprofit Improving Education contains an age-appropriate book, Play-doh, and other items aimed at making remote learning enjoyable for youngsters.

Garrett Heights Elementary Middle School’s Outdoor Classroom

This year, Garrett Heights Elementary Middle School expanded its outdoor learning space, thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Heart of the Schools program. After school hours, parents and students can schedule a visit to explore the classroom’s latest additions, like a native species garden, which was introduced by principal Keisha Matthew-Traynham to offer immersive instruction throughout Covid-19 and beyond.