We are collectively living through one of the most sweeping health crises in our history. This issue of Transformation shares how The Children’s Guild Alliance has relied on empathy and action to persevere during these challenging times.
The holidays are difficult for many of our families, especially this year. We introduce our Holiday Gift Catalog and invite you to help us spread joy with an array of gifts from school supplies and daily essentials to gift certificates or a special experience such as a trip to the beach.
We are thankful for the success of our virtual Kids First Celebration and congratulate our 2020 Sadie Award recipients Guy and Nupur Parekh Flynn. We also congratulate the recipients of our 2020 Monarch Award, the highest honor bestowed upon our staff. Their dedication has been truly inspirational during a year of unforeseen stress and change.
Our staff continue to amaze us with their creativity and commitment. From virtual pep rallies to flexible mental health services, we are educating and caring for the whole child. We also welcome new staff members hired to build a more inclusive school culture.
Learn how The Guild is making the most of grants and special funding to launch preschool programs in Annapolis and College Park. We have also received grants to fund our community-building efforts during distance learning and support our ongoing food distribution program in Annapolis.
This issue of Transformation highlights how The Guild has transformed its approach during COVID-19 to meet the needs of our students. As you read these stories, join us in celebrating learning, giving, and putting “kids first”.
The Children’s Guild Alliance experienced a year like no other in its 67-year history. Our amazing team responded to the COVID-19 crisis with extraordinary compassion, energy, creativity, and commitment. Through these difficult and challenging times, we pulled together and accomplished more than we ever could have imagined.
We invite you to take a moment to read this year’s annual report and celebrate the many ways The Children’s Guild Alliance supported children this year.
Annual report highlights:
- The heroic efforts of our staff members during the pandemic.
- Our rapid transition to distance learning through the distribution of more than 1,000 Chromebooks so our students could continue learning even though in-person teaching stopped on March 13, 2020.
- The opening of food distribution centers in our schools and the delivery of more than 10,000 pounds of food to our students and their families in Annapolis, Washington, D.C., and the surrounding communities.
- Our launch of teletherapy to provide social and emotional support for 2,550 students and their families in more than 90 schools.
- An agreement with Steve Wozinak’s Woz U and Infosys, the seventh largest tech employer in the U.S., to provide nontraditional apprenticeships as an alternative to college.
This is just a sampling of the milestones achieved in 2019-2020. We could not be more grateful to our students, families, staff, and friends for making this school year a success. Together we are transforming the way America cares for educates its children.
Andrew Ross will step down as president and CEO of The Children’s Guild Alliance on June 30, 2021, after 26 years. The Children’s Guild Alliance, a nonprofit organization based in Baltimore, serves children, families and child-serving organizations.
When Ross joined The Children’s Guild, the organization had two special needs schools, one group home and a $6 million budget. Today, with a $82 million budget, the organization serves close to 6,000 children through two special needs schools, four charter/contract schools in Anne Arundel County and Washington, D.C., three therapeutic group homes, a treatment foster care program and a behavioral health program that serves students in 90 schools in Baltimore, Howard, Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, and Cecil counties.
Ross was instrumental in the development of TranZed Apprenticeships, the TranZed Academy for Working Students and the Transformation Education Institute that holds national conferences and programs for child-serving professionals throughout the year.
“Among Dr. Ross’ greatest contributions was the introduction of Transformation Education to The Guild and caring for the whole child. Transformation Education puts the needs of the child ahead of the needs of the adult and creates a culture for learning to meet the individualized learning styles of each child in creative, attractive environments,” said Chris Zimmerman, chair of The Children’s Guild Alliance board of directors.
Most recently, Ross launched Kids First, a national campaign to transform the way America cares for and educates its children. Effective July 1, 2021, Ross will become senior advisor to the Kids First campaign, which will work nationally to create the cultural awareness, teacher preparation and political will to put kids first.
Ross said, “Until June 30, I will continue to support the deployment of the new initiatives in The Guild’s strategic plan to include a preschool in College Park and Monarch Academy Annapolis and the expansion of our special education schools to serve more students with autism. I will also continue to support our work on diversity, equity, inclusion and Kids First. In addition, I will be preparing the organization for a seamless transition to a new president and CEO.”
The Children’s Guild Alliance retained Koya Leadership Partners, an executive search firm, to implement a national search for Ross’ replacement. Zimmerman will head the search committee, which will work to hire the new CEO by March 2021.
“It has truly been an honor to have led The Guild over the past 26 years. Life has taught me that this change will result in great opportunity and growth for the organization and for me,” Ross said.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought many challenges to life as we know it. Our new issue of Transformation highlights how The Children’s Guild Alliance has responded and continues to put kids first during these unprecedented times. We share stories about our staff and how they developed new ways to deliver education, services, and operations. Learn how our educators adapted to distance learning and connected with students and personalize their virtual learning.
Join us as we reimagine The Kids First Celebration as a virtual event and redirect the funds raised to support our Chromebook campaign. Learn about our new Chromebook initiative established to provide every student with the technology they need to access online learning.
Of special interest is our recent launch of food distribution centers in Annapolis and Washington, D.C. Recognizing the impact of the pandemic on food insecure communities, we have pivoted our services to ensure the families and communities we serve continue to be fed.
We invite you to read this issue of Transformation and support and celebrate the very real ways The Children’s Guild Alliance is stepping up during these difficult times to meet the needs of the whole child.