FOH wins $15k grant from Johns Hopkins to replace Hampden Elementary School playground

We have great news! The Johns Hopkins Neighborhood Fund has awarded us a $15,000 grant for the Hampden Elementary School playground replacement project! With this grant and funds pledged by the Friends of Hampden and other sources, we now have around $40,000 in our playground account.

Initial estimates for resurfacing the play area and replacing the equipment total approximately $75,000 – $170,000 (depending on many factors such as demolition, labor, and design). Our organization is actively seeking additional private and corporate donors, as well as further grant funds, for the project.

In addition, we are currently looking for community members to join the playground committee to help steer this project to completion. Please contact us at info@friendsofhampden.org to get involved!

Here is some background on the playground project: Daily use of the current playground by students and the community over the past 12 years has taken its toll on the existing equipment and play surface. It may not be apparent at first glance, but a growing list of health and safety concerns exists, including:

  • Broken and missing pieces of the equipment that have resulted in several injuries to date
  • Standing water around and under the eroding play surface that presents potential health hazards such as mosquito larvae and bacteria growth
  • Equipment that does not serve the needs and diverse abilities of all Hampden #55 students

Preliminary plans for the new playground include:

  • State-of-the-art equipment, designed for 21st century play
  • Rubberized surface and drainage remediation
  • Inclusive design elements to serve all ages and abilities

Click here to donate and help us reach our goal! To get involved in fundraising efforts or to host an event to benefit the cause, please contact us at info@friendsofhampden.org.

FOH approves small grant applications for Hampden #55 teachers

Friends of Hampden #55 solicited small grant applications, for a maximum of $500 each, from teachers at Hampden Elementary/Middle School in February. We are happy to report that we have evaluated the applications and will be distributing nearly $2000 across six projects including:

  • Creating a classroom garden (Kindergarten)
  • New classroom supplies including clip boards, headphones, and chairs
  • Interactive textbooks for Special Education students and English language learner
  • VEX Robotix kits for learning engineering design processes

Thank you to all the teachers who submitted applications this year! And thanks to all the parents whose donations make these projects possible!

If you would like to support your local public school, please consider making a donation today!

Looking back at 2018

As we close out 2018, we’re sending out a huge thank you to all of our volunteers and donors. None of what we do to support Hampden Elementary/Middle School teachers and students is possible without you. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Here’s a quick look at what we’ve accomplished together this year.

Special initiatives funded by Friends of Hampden in 2018:

  • Grants for teachers for classroom projects, including creative end-of-year advanced learning projects; two force probes and a voltage sensor for Middle School Physical Science units; portable sensory wiggle cushions, dry erase paddles, and sight word journals; P.E. equipment such as free weights and stretch bands; classroom reading nook with book bins for students; and Scholastic DynaMath subscription.
  • Piano procurement and tuning for the Chorus
  • Young Audiences music residency 
  • Teacher Appreciation breakfast
  • Spring clean-up, plantings, and outdoor beautification
  • FutureMakers pop-up STEM lab (spring 2018 visit)


Looking Ahead to 2019:

FOH plans to expand its grant offerings to HEMS teachers, bring back the Young Audiences music residency, and continue to support additional music programming such as the Baltimore Opera Workshop.  The organization also will continue to apply for grants and seek donations to replace the playground, and to cultivate corporate and community relationships that support continued improvements to our neighborhood school.

To accomplish these goals, your continued support is crucial. Become a sustaining monthly donor, or make a one-time donation today.

Help contribute to FOH bake sale during Mayor’s Christmas Parade!

Friends of Hampden will be hosting a fundraising bake sale during the Mayor’s Christmas Parade this Sunday, Dec 2nd.  We are looking for donations of baked goods to sell from about 1 pm to the end of the parade, approximately 4 pm. We are also asking for a few volunteers to help staff the bake sale during this time. 

What we need: Pre-packed baked goods for sale.  To streamline the process during the parade, I suggest packing an appropriate amount of your baked goods in a baggie to sell for either $3 or $5 dollars.

Where and When:  Bring your baked good between 12:30 and 1 pm. The table will either be set up on Chestnut Avenue just adjacent to the school or the Church on the Avenue. We will send out an update once the location is finalized.

If you are unable to drop off at the parade location, donations can be dropped at Amy Rial’s house (email for contact info). 

Questions – send an email to Amy: rialster@gmail.com

Please Sign up using this link:
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040d4eacab2ba64-mayors

Friends of Hampden begins Flock Party annual giving campaign

Thanks to your past generosity, the Friends of Hampden #55 has been able to fund STEM programming and classroom grants, bring music workshops to students, and support greening and environmental efforts at the school. This year, we continue our mission of funding beyond-the-classroom enrichment activities and beautification efforts for the students of Hampden Elementary/Middle School. Why? Because it’s important for creating the best experience possible for our students!  

We hope that you will join us by upping your monthly donation by $10 or more so that we can not only continue to fund our current initiatives but also expand our support during this continued era of education budget shortages.  

As always, your donations are tax deductible and your support is what makes our all-volunteer organization possible!

All donors will receive a flamingo pinwheel to add to our “flock party” on the school grounds, as well as a FOH bumper sticker.

Refocusing efforts to replace playground at Hampden #55

As a new school year begins, the Friends of Hampden School #55 has some exciting updates to share.

Over the past 4 years, Friends of Hampden #55 has helped to fund a recess monitor, S.T.E.A.M. enrichment programming for students, and small grants for teachers at Hampden Elementary/Middle School. We’re thrilled to report that many of our previous funding priorities no longer require supplemental funding from the organization.

This year, we’re refocusing our priorities and tackling our biggest funding challenge yet: replacing the school’s aging playground.

Daily use of the playground by students and the community over the past 11 years has taken its toll on the existing equipment and play surface. It may not be apparent at first glance, but a growing list of health and safety concerns exists with the current playground, including:

  • Broken and missing pieces of the equipment that have resulted in several injuries to date
  • Standing water around and under the eroding play surface that presents potential health hazards such as mosquito larvae and bacteria growth
  • Equipment that does not serve the needs and diverse abilities of all Hampden #55 students

Preliminary plans for the new playground include:

  • State-of-the-art equipment, designed for 21st century play
  • Rubberized surface and drainage remediation
  • Inclusive design elements to serve all ages and abilities

Initial estimates for resurfacing the play area and replacing the equipment total approximately $170,000. Our organization is actively seeking private and corporate donors, as well as grant funds, for the project.

For more information and to donate, visit www.friendsofhampden.org. To get involved in fundraising efforts or to host an event to benefit the cause, please contact us at info@friendsofhampden.org.