Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance is holding their 5th Annual School and Children’s Programming Fair. Don’t know about it? It’s an opportunity to meet with representatives from local schools, early learning centers and children’s programs. You can hear directly from teachers, administrators and program directors as they answer your specific questions in order to help you make the best decision for your child’s educational and extracurricular needs.

Beth Laverick, a Baltimore parent and marketing director for Waterfront Partnership, shares why this is a MUST attend event for area parents. Many thanks to Beth for sharing her thoughts!
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DBFA is hosting their 5th Annual School and Children’s Programming Fair tomorrow from 9am to 12pm at Francis Scott Elementary School. It is an amazing resource and I HIGHLY encourage everyone to take a few minutes out of their day to attend. I promise you that you will be so glad you did! For those expectant parents or parents with newborns – you are probably thinking that you have years and years before you even have to start thinking about preschools. Well, I don’t want to scare anyone, but the earlier the better!!!

I’ve attended the DBFA School Fair for the past two years. The first year, I found out about a new preschool, Streetlite, which was opening its doors in a few months. I was able to meet the Director and one of the teachers and put my name on the list right then and there! At the time, I had my 1 year old son on the Bolton Hill nursery school list and was #48 for 12 spots. I was looking for a play-based preschool and they were few and far between! Streetlite has been such a great experience for my son and now has a ridiculously long wait list. I put my daughter on it when she was 3 months old to ensure that she had a spot in the 2 year old room! I am so glad that I found out about it before everyone else did and he was able to start the day (well the day after) he turned two.

The following year I attended the DBFA School Fair, I discovered the “Discover with Me” 3-year old Montessori based program at Thomas Johnson Elementary School. Both the Principal and Assistant Principal were at the table with tons of information on the school and were able to answer my endless questions. Who knew that a non-zoned, non-need-based and FREE program existed?!?!

After visiting the TJEMS table, I stopped by the Streetlite table to say “hello” to the Director and told her how excited I was about the “Discover with Me” program and how I wished I could make it work, but since both my husband and I work F/T I didn’t think I could swing it. Well, she said, “What if we picked up Connor and brought him back to Streetlite?” She went over and met the Principal and asked if it would be possible and luckily, it was! Who knew they had a church van and would be willing to do pick-up??

Only 12 “Discover with Me” spots existed at the time (they’ve now added 12 additional spots), so I raced back the next week to attend a tour and get my son’s name on the list. It has been an AMAZING experience for my son, Connor. There are 7 kids in his class with one fabulous teacher and assistant teacher and he is learning so much every single day. He came home and recited the pledge of allegiance, recognizes all of his letters, can do simple math, know all the days of the week and months, and even knows about the President of the United States. At this rate, I am going to have to go back to school to keep up with him! TJEMS also has a brand new state of the art library that they attend weekly along with music class and computer time!

I just wanted to share my experience and again, encourage EVERYONE to go! For new and expecting parents day care centers normally attend and again, it never hurts to stat your search early. I would be sitting here stressing over the lottery or be #1001 on some wait list if it wasn’t for this fair.

A HUGE thanks to DBFA for hosting this phenomenal event and for all of their hard work that goes into it! They truly make living in Baltimore City with kids better and better each year!