Summer Camp 2015!

So What Else is pleased to announce the kick off of our summer camp day programs on Monday June 22nd! During our camps youth will get to explore and discover through hands on learning, outdoor play and creativity building. Activities throughout the camp will include sports, game and play, healthy cooking lessons, yoga and dance, expressive arts, environmental education, Eco/green art and STEM learning. All students will also participate in our pay it forward mission! We will have on site community service stations for the kids to have a chance to learn about and participate in giving back.  All of our programs are free of cost for youth and families.

This summer we are serving…

…over 30 kids from the CPDC community in Silver Spring MD.

…over 60 kids from the White Oak Community in MD.

…over 60 kids from Kingman Boys and Girls Club in DC.

…over 400 kids from the Pg County Community Services Foundation Community Centers located in Pg county, Montgomery County and DC.

Check out some pictures from last summer!

Higher Achievement Baltimore

Our Big Idea class with Higher Achievement Baltimore ended on a FANTASTIC note! Our students decided to make t-shirts to be displayed at the Higher Achievement showcase at the end of the year. The t-shirts represented that, “ALL LIVES MATTER”. The students put the changes they wanted to see in their community on the back of their t-shirt.

This semester has been filled with many challenges and obstacles that our students had to face, but overall the kids realized that the Big Idea is that they do have the POWER to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in their community. It was a wonderful honor to be able to work with these amazing and creative students. We wish them nothing but success for their future!

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi


Bottle Brick Bench Success with Green Path Academy

We are pleased to announce the 2nd bottle brick bench in Maryland is finished! Big thank you to our Green Path Academy Staff who worked so hard with Roland Park County School to build this beautiful bench. Students worked with our environmentalists to construct Baltimore’s first ever bottle brick bench. One way to teach communities about the environment and zero waste is through the fun activity of making bottle bricks. We encourage bottle bricking as a skill that people take home with them, which in turn will significantly reduce our landfill waste, and turn it into a resource that can be used in the community. Building a bench with bottle bricks is a great way to encourage the community to come together, and use their “trash” for something useful and beautiful. These benches always include a truth window, a window to see the inside of the bench is made of trash. Bottle bricking is the ultimate form of recycling and a great education topic. It gets us as a community thinking about how much plastic waste we generate each day, and questioning why do we need all this waste anyway? It offers us a useful way to reuse this resource and turn it into a community gathering space.

If you are interested in learning how to build a bottle brick bench with your community, come to our 10 day workshop at Sandy Spring Friends School Campus. During this workshop we will be sharing the skill of organizing and building a bench on your own with your community. This workshop is for any leader, environmental educator, teacher or passionate parent who wants to spread the skill of bottle bricking and bench building in your community, park or school.

Sara’s Hope Shelter Birthday Party Program

On Monday, May 4th, 2015, we had the amazing opportunity to once again serve the awesome kids of Baltimore!

We were joined by So What Else Staff and a few local volunteers to celebrate the May birthdays at Sarah’s Hope Shelter for women and children.

The kids were able to celebrate themselves and their peers and create homemade paper for Mother’s Day cards. Happy birthday!

Newsblast 4-24-2015

We have a lot of bigger volunteer events coming up in the next couple weekends (Pitch Hit & Run, KaBOOM, and Launch Sports Performance in particular). A lot of these are only a couple hours, and we’d really love to see some of our providers more involved and out at these events– bonus points if you bring your kids out! Talia is taking project lead at one of our events this weekend and she’ll (hopefully!) be bringing some of her Clemente kids along with her. Thank you, Talia!!

Please let us know if you’re able to make it out and we can get that setup and ready to go. Thanks!


A big welcome to two new providers, Yvette Downs and Phil Silberman! Yvette has taken over two theater classes at Strathmore, and Phil has kindly stepped in to lead an Olympiad program at Neelsville Middle School. The kids have loved having you there the past couple weeks, and we welcome you to the So What Else team!

We’d like to feature Barbi Lopez and the fabulous work she’s been up to with her students all over D.C. and Montgomery County!! Last Saturday she spent the day with her students from the Shady Grove Girls’ Home, first at the 2015 MS Walk and then at a Youth Empowerment Forum at Anacostia Museum. Her day with the girls truly embodied the So What Else mantra of giving service and leading our kids to Pay It Forward. Thanks for all your AWESOME work Barbi!!

Our new programs at DC Prep have been going swimmingly; thanks to Rachael and Jonathan for spearheading Taste and Move and Olympiad down in DC!

The building of Baltimore’s first-ever bottle brick bench has officially begun! Volunteers came out on Saturday to get the foundations dug and ready, and all this week and next, Roland Park Country School students will be building the bench by their playground with the help of The Harvest Collective. We will be updating pictures to our FB page, and invite any providers out to help on the final build day, scheduled for May 9th.

Upcoming Events White Oak Mulching

Date: Saturday May 2, 2015
Time: 10:00AM – 3:00, lunch included!
Location: White Oak Recreation Center (1700 April Lane, Silver Spring MD 20904)
Details: White Oak Recreation Center is starting a youth gardening program and is looking for volunteers to help set up the area with light landscaping and mulching.

Pitch, Hit, & Run in Takoma Park with Pyramid Atlantic Sports

Date: Sunday, May 3rd 2015
Time: 12:30pm – 5:30pm
Location: Ed Wilhelm Field | 2 Darwin Avenue, Takoma Park, MD
Details: This grassroots program is designed to provide youngsters with an opportunity to compete, free of charge, in a competition that recognizes individual excellence in core baseball/softball skills. This event will give the competition a “creative flavor” by providing free art activities for youth that will include screen-printing of team logos and bracelet making from old baseballs. Pyramid Atlantic is looking for TEN VOLUNTEERS to help support the various athletic activities, art projects, and set-up/break-down. The event lasts from 2-5pm but volunteers are needed from 12:00-5:30. This opportunity is a great one for high school and college student group volunteering! Please email if you’re interested.

Sarah’s Hope Birthday Party

Date: Monday May 4, 2015
Time: 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Location: 1114 Mount Street, Baltimore MD 21217
Details: We will be having a May birthday party at Sarah’s Hope this coming Monday at 7pm. The center is full with 50 school-aged children, so we’re looking for people to lead games and activities. There will be cake, games, and arts & crafts as we help celebrate the May birthdays of the shelter.

Roland Park Country School Bottle Brick Build

Dates: May 9, 2015
Time: 10:00AM – 3:00PM
Location: 5204 Roland Avenue, Baltimore MD 21210
Details: The Harvest Collective needs help on May 9th at the Roland Park Country School bench builds! The Roland Park Country School invites community volunteers to come out for the day and help finish off the mosaic work and put the finishing touches on the completed bench.

KaBOOM! Playground Build with MoCo Coalition for the Homeless

Dates: May 20, 2015
Time: 7:45AM – 3:00PM
Location: Seneca Heights Apartments | 18715 North Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg MD 20879
Details: The Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH) needs 75 volunteers to participate in a “one day build” to build a KaBOOM! playground for the Seneca Heights Apartments, where 17 formerly homeless families and 40 single adults live. They require 75 volunteers on Wednesday, and we hope to supplement the volunteers they bring to the table to get them to 75!

Launch Sport Performance Fundraiser

Date: Thursday May 21, 2015
Time: 5:00PM – 8:30PM
Location: 2600 Tower Oaks Boulevard, Suite 101 | Rockville, MD 20852
Details: Launch Sport Performance is hosting an open house event honoring So What Else on Thursday, May 21. We’d like to invite you out to their 11,000 sq. foot state-of-the-art facility for an evening of drinks and h’or d’oeuvres, as well as a meet and greet with Olympic athletes, Jordan Zimmerman and other Nationals players, a former NBA player, and other local professional athletes. LSP is an incredibly valued partnership of ours and they are aiming to raise $25,000 to fund several weeks of our summer camps, so we would really love to see anyone who can make it out to come out in support of this event!