Yesterday, SAFE Center, a rec center devoted to out of school time learning for young people in Franklin Square, officially opened its doors. Van Brooks, a current OSI-Baltimore Community Fellow, founded SAFE—Safe Alternative Foundation for Education—to use programmatic community outreach to convey the importance of an education to young people in West Baltimore. The center, created in response to a lack of such spaces for youth in the neighborhood, will host programming in three key areas–physical fitness, literacy, and S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, art, and math)—which will be subject to the approval and buy-in of the youth who frequent the center.
“We have our first group of students going to the horse farm, while the others will be working with our volunteers and exploring the resources and programs that the center has to offer,” Brooks wrote in an email announcing the opening. “We’re anticipating a full house.”