A School that Builds with Community

When Teach For America alumnus Joe Manko became the principal of Liberty Elementary school in Baltimore, Maryland, he envisioned a school that worked “hand in hand with the community.” Rather than operating as an autonomous institution, Manko felt Liberty should be a place that was integral to the neighborhood and welcoming to its residents of all generations.

Today, thanks to over 1,800 hours of volunteerism each month, Liberty is able to provide extensive multi-generational after-school programming and wrap-around services—including a community run food pantry. This deep partnership with the community not only provides students and their families with access to a rich and holistic education but also enables a strong support system for all.

Watch the video above to learn how Liberty is redefining what it means to be a community school, and what collective leadership looks like in action—with parents, teachers and community members all working together toward a shared vision for their children, school, and community.