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AFT-Maryland Opens the World at Wolfe Street Academy Family Social Studies Night

Rain may have canceled Wolfe Street Academy’s Wolfe Fest, but it was not going to stop AFT-Maryland from distributing books to students as a part of the Reading Opens the World program. The state federation joined the south Baltimore school for their Family Social Studies Night. The event brought families into the school to inform parents about the curriculum students are learning. The night also served as a great way to connect the Wolfe Street school community with the larger south Baltimore community. Students presented displays of their work as well as made videos that families and loved ones watched demonstrating what they’ve learned in Social Studies this school year. AFT-Maryland was on hand with a beautiful display of books for families to take home. 

The books help students and families build home libraries with the goal of nurturing a love of reading. AFT-Maryland has been a leader across Baltimore city in distributing books to students that they can use as a launch pad for their own love of learning. AFT-Maryland President Kenya Campbell was concerned the rained out Wolfe Fest might have prevented the books from being distributed, but was grateful there were other options. “We were very excited to participate in Wolfe Fest this year and were eager for students to take home books to help build their home libraries. Although Wolfe Fest was canceled, we are grateful to Principal Gaither and Wolfe Street Academy for working with us to make sure their students have books to take into summer break,” said Campbell. “Summer literacy loss is something that educators are well aware of. Providing students with books before summer break is a fun way to get students engaged with reading so they can experience the wonder and joy that comes with getting lost in a good book,” Campbell went on to say. 

English as a Second Language (ESOL) Educational Associate and Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) Local 340 member Rachel Dorchak was the lead facilitator for Social Studies Night. She was excited about the event and eager to have parents and students in attendance. Dorchak noted one of the key purposes of the night for her was to “provide opportunities and activities for parents to do at home with their child so they can help support the curriculum we teach here at Wolfe Street.” AFT-Maryland’s presence was in line with the goals Dorchak had for this school year. “This year, one of my focuses was family engagement and involvement and having that support from the union, that they’re able to bring that in and not just support in a basic or general manner but really dive in to what we need at Wolfe Street which is resources for families… and it makes me feel very supported,” Dorchak said.

The community showed up to support the school for Social Studies Night. In addition to AFT-Maryland and the parents and families that were in attendance, Wolfe Street Social Studies Night also hosted Enoch Pratt Library and firefighters from the Baltimore City Fire Department. The night ended with raffles, games, photos, and food for all in attendance. 

Read more about the Reading Opens the World program at


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