Nonprofit Brings Stability and Comfort to Local Communities Disillusioned by the Pandemic

Baltimore, Maryland – July 14, 2020 − The past few months have been extremely taxing for the nation! In fact, it is safe to say that nearly every individual, family and business has been affected in some way. Yet, for many who live in urban communities where struggle is perpetual, life has been nearly unbearable. With the wave of mandatory shutdowns, hospitalizations and the shortage of basic-life essentials, COVID-19 has created a domino effect of uncertainty.

When Baltimore City Schools were forced to close their doors, countless community partners stepped in to fill the void. Among them, Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center (LTYC). The locally based nonprofit agency specializes in providing teacher support in the area of arts education. As impact of the shutdown became widespread, LTYC immediately acted to implement programs that support virtual learning.

Sadly, there are children who rely solely on nutritious school meals for daily survival. In May, LTYC rolled out its Spring L.O.V.E. ( Lifting Others Visualizing Elevation ) Drive. (Click recap video here.) In collaboration with Park Heights Renaissance and Empowerment Temple Church, the event distributed boxed meals to hundreds of families and LTYC met the need of providing learning packets to students who were without electronic devices or Internet access. Thanks to the generosity of LTYC’s L.O.V.E. Drive, many families received the help they so desperately needed.

Now that summer has arrived and the spread of the Coronavirus is still a major concern, many camp organizers have elected to suspend programs leaving working parents very few options for childcare. To answer this crucial need, the organization has rolled out two summer pilot programs. Starting July 13, 2020, LTYC LEARN, a component under the LTYC umbrella, will kick off its Virtual Arts Camp for students in grades 3-8! This 5-week, online program will feature LIVE virtual classrooms where students will create their very own portfolio, attend virtual field trips and actively engage in fun, home-based projects. The LTYC LEARN Visual Arts Camp is designed to ignite creativity and inspire kids of all ages to reimagine learning through visual arts. It is a judgment free zone where students are encouraged to share ideas, explore creative opportunities and collaborate with a diverse network of learners from all walks of life! As an incentive, every student will earn a digital badge at the conclusion of each session. This unique feature celebrates achievement and is complimented by an electronic portfolio of evidence. This avenue allows future teachers, colleges and even employers to virtually view the student’s generated work.

LTYC will also offered virtual distance learning programs across the state of Maryland and D.C.. This component, which can be a supplement or stand-alone opportunity, invites students to journey beyond the classroom right in the comfort and safety of their own homes through exploration. Through virtual field trips, students will be exposed to various places in the world through gallery walks, theatre tours and much more!

With everything going on in the world, LTYC is committed to providing the city’s children with fun, educational programs to enrich their lives. “We’ve been serving the community for 16 years,” says founder, Dr. Dermell Brunson. “We know what the needs are and are doing everything in our power to help fill the void during the pandemic.” A few months ago LTYC donated $1,000 to the Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund, which supports BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists and arts administrators impacted by COVID-19. In this same vain, LTYC along with a team of organizations, artists and educators joined together to develop the concept of the Baltimore Arts Passport. This initiative is a booklet of readings, visuals and prompts exploring the arts reaching over 10,000 students this summer in Baltimore. In addition to contributing content for this project, LTYC is also a sponsor.

LTYC summer camps are offered Monday – Friday with afternoon sessions available. Expert artists, certified practitioners and professional educators host classes. Programs run through the end of summer and registration is currently under way! Visit www.ltyc.net today!

To learn more about LTYC or summer camp opportunities, visit us online at www.ltyc.net . The site is updated daily. To interview the organization’s founder, Dr. Dermell Brunson contact Nicole Kirby at 301-440-6542.