April | This is how I…Garden

Plants Plants Plants!

Thursday, April 8th 1:30pm-2:30pm

Students will learn about some of the tasty fruits, vegetables, and spices we eat–what do they look like as they grow? We’ll find out! We’ll also demonstrate some fun and simple ways to garden indoors and in containers.

Visit to the Freetown Farm

FRIDAY, April 16th 2pm
Please RSVP by April 9th

We will visit Freetown Farm, the last remaining farm in Columbia, MD, where lots of learning about nature take place! This organic farm is on historic land that was once home to a large community of free African-Americans that started in the mid-1800s. This area is also considered to be part of the Underground Railroad! We will be led through the organic farm by its director and have hands-on experience with the spring crops.

Prepare and Present

Thursday, April 22nd 1:30-2:30pm
Prepare a dish of your choosing that contains a plant as one of its ingredients and bring it to show the other students. Share how you made the dish and talk about the plant(s) that are in your dish.
Be creative and have fun!

March is all about entrepreneurship!

Group Meeting:

At this meeting, we will review the concept of entrepreneurship and business planning. Come prepared to share a business idea that you would like to develop or if you have an existing business, be ready to share about your entrepreneurial endeavors and how you plan to grow. Activity: Students will create a simple business plan and pitch.

Club Day 3/18:

Centuries Club: Spotlight on notable African American entrepreneurs and their products and services.
Maker’s Club Activity: Marketing 
For Maker’s Club, students will create a logo and marketing campaign for their product.

Experience 3/25:

We are looking forward to our entrepreneurship market day on Thursday, March 25nd at Meadowbrook Park’s Parking Lot. Please bring something to “sell.” In the past, we have had students sell t-shirts, hair bows, necklaces, lemonade, snacks, bookmarks, and stem kits.

Location: Meadowbrook Park Parking Lot- 5001 Meadowbrook Ln, Ellicott City, MD 21043
1:30 – 2:30 pm
Must wear a mask, we suggest having hand sanitizer with you as well.

February Events

Happy February, GPCH Friends!

This month we will turn our attention to leadership with the celebration of Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, and performance art through our programming.

Please take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the Centuries of Excellence: Black History Student Exhibition. This special event will allow your child to showcase themselves in Oratory, Dance, Music, or Art. In addition, it is an opportunity to involve your family and friends in supporting your student and our homeschool community.

Also, we anticipate great fun in our study of leadership in our meetings this month. We look forward to your participation!


Ja’Near Garrus

Group Meeting 2/11

Starts at 1:30 pm
The activities will focus on leadership: How to be a leader, characteristics of a good leader, and how to effectively communicate. We will end the meeting with a Valentine’s Day craft.

Club Day 2/18

Starts at 1:30pm

Centuries Club: Leaders in Black History and HBCUs

Maker’s Club: Rube Goldberg Project | Student Presentations

Please be prepared to show your section of the Rube Goldberg machine that includes your assigned materials

Experience 2/22

January Events

Welcome back, GPCH Friends! I hope that you have enjoyed Christmas and the New Year with your families and were able to unplug and refresh.

We have come to our annual STEM month! January’s activities are all about Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math! We will integrate these concepts throughout our activities and focus on INVENTING. Great activities are in store and we are excited to see how the students interpret what they are learning into their own projects. 

Also this month, we are starting a new Oratorical program. Students 3rd-8th grade will have an opportunity to learn oratory skills by reciting one of the speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. culminating in a video presentation that will be part of an Oratory Festival. Don’t forget to sign up by this Friday!

Wishing you a wonderful year,

Ja’Near Garrus

During the month of January, we will learn the Engineering Design process (Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve/Reflect) and create an invention to enter into the Rube Goldberg 2021 Machine Contest* which is an international competition. The goal is to create a machine that shakes and pours a box of NERDS candy for the final step.

Activities will include an introduction to the Engineering Design Process, simple machines, and learning about the inventor, Rube Goldberg.

For Centuries and Maker’s Clubs, students will learn about African-American Inventors like Madame CJ Walker, Lonnie Anderson, and Patricia Bath and will continue to design and build their Rube Goldberg Machine.

Our month will conclude with our annual GPCH STEAM Fair! We will start with our Rube Goldberg project check-in before starting the fair presentations.

During our virtual science fair, children will present on a science topic of their choice or conduct a demonstration to show the group.

Older students should use the scientific method or engineering design process as a guide for presenting their information.

Presentations may be live, pre-recorded, PowerPoint, a project board, or other mediums of choice.

December Events

Happy December!  What an eventful year 2020 has been and despite it all, we are blessed and thankful to celebrate the birth of our Savior!  This month’s activities promise to be festive and fun.  Please note the dates, activities, and times on your calendar.

Exciting news!  Our Festival of Trees Christmas tree sold!  Thank you all for your contributions to the ornaments and tree skirt.  Job well done and great teamwork.  Our efforts will benefit the families and community that Kennedy Krieger serves.

Finally, there are 2 events that you must RSVP for, the Annual Mom’s Tea and the Kwanzaa celebration.  We are looking forward to your participation in both.

Ja’Near Garrus

December 10th: Group Meeting

Songs and Crafts! Students will discuss scripture, listen to music, and make Christmas crafts! 

December 12th: Annual Christmas Tea

Moms, join us for our annual Christmas Tea.  We are looking forward to lively conversation and games, followed by an ornament craft.  Have your favorite tea blend, sandwiches, and/or pastries on hand!


Dress: Festive

December 17th: Creativity in Worship

Centuries Club: Students will see examples of some of the various ways people worship God!

December 21st: KWANZAA Celebration

 Join us for a GPCH & GBCH Kwanzaa celebration on December 21st @ 1 pm! We will learn the Kwanzaa principles and table elements, participate in a naming ceremony, and finish the meeting with a festive Kwanzaa song. Each family should choose a Kwanzaa principle or table element to share with the group.

November Events

Happy November!  This month we will focus on the importance of serving and the many ways to serve.  We will highlight community service organizations and providers, enjoy a guest speaker, and get creative with ornament making.

Stay involved and we look forward to your participation!!

Nov. 5th: Many Ways to Serve! @ 1:30p

Bring a quote about service to the meeting and be able to share why you selected the quote and what it means to you. Other activities will include highlighting service organizations, a service-related game, and taking action on a community service project as a group.

Nov. 12: Club Day @ 1:30 pm

Centuries Club: African Americans in Public Health
The Club Day meeting will start with a guest speaker, Dr. Tramaine P. McMullen, MPH.  She will discuss with the students: what is public health, how does it impact our society, how do public health scientists serve others, and the careers available in the field.  She will also spotlight notable African-American Public Health scientists.  Students can ask questions during the last portion of the presentation.

Maker’s Club: Festival of Trees Ornament Making
Please stay tuned for the final details for this project and how you can help. Based on the students’ selection of tree design, parents will be sent a materials list in a separate email.  Each family will create a few ornaments based on the instructions to contribute to our tree. 

Pickleball Lessons

Last pickleball lesson this Friday for registered students!  Please arrive on time and be ready to have fun!
3rd Lesson:
Nov. 6th
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm  

Finally, please dress for the weather and parents, if you would like to watch, bring an outdoor chair.

October | This is how I…Vote!

Welcome to October!  

This month we will highlight the importance of government, leadership, and voting.  As a reminder, all events will happen at the same Zoom link.

Upcoming, we are already planning Christmas activities!  The group has been signed up to design a Christmas tree for the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Festival of Trees. The sale of this tree will benefit the programs at Kennedy Kreiger.  We are seeking design submissions from our students.  One design will be chosen to influence the direction of our tree. 
October 8th: Vote Our Own Adventure! @ 1:30p Students will share an imaginative experience where they work together to solve challenges. As the journey unfolds, they will learn the importance of laws and voting.
Picture credit- albiongould.com
October 15: Club Day | 1:30p-2:30p Centuries Club
We will learn about the creation of the United States Flag, with a focus on the Star-Spangled Banner Flag

Maker’s Club: Toothpick Tower Challenge
We are looking forward to learning about structure through this challenge. Will your design be able to stand the test?!?
October 22: Field Trip
Tree-mendous Trek
Howard County Conservatory | In-person OR Virtual option available
 Hike the woodlands of Mt. Pleasant farmstead viewing and identifying numerous plant and tree species with a naturalist. Along the way, your guide will point out animal habitats and (hopefully) their residents. Visit the newly renovated Hodge Podge Lodge of PBS fame, our beehives, “Champion” White Oak, and other fascinating trees. This walk is somewhat strenuous and requires good walking shoes.

Logistics- Our group will be broken into 2 groups with separate docents to keep the numbers extremely low and our families safe
Please wear a mask and walking shoes and come dressed for the weather.

Back-up weather day- 10/29
October Pickleball Lessons

Open to 5th grade and Middle School Students
Very limited space is available to ensure proper distancing and safety measures.

Series of 3 lessons:
October 16, 23, and 30
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

The lessons are scheduled for 1 1/2 hours at noon starting on Friday, October 16, 23, and 30th. Lynne Coburn, the Director of Pickleball at Coppermine Racquet and Fitness, will be the instructor for the series.  Racquets and balls will be provided.  Students will play on an outdoor court.

Parents, if you would like to watch, please bring an outdoor chair.

Students please wear tennis shoes, bring a bottle of water, and a mask. Parents will be asked to sign a waiver for participating students.

Sponsored by Mt Olive United Methodist Church
October 28: Hydroponic Gardening
Time: 1pm-2pm

GBCH and GPCH Students, learn how to garden year-round with hydroponics!  Master Gardener, Carol Jones, will be teaching this lesson.  

What is Hydroponics?  a form of gardening that uses no soil, but instead grows plants in a solution of water and nutrients. A hydroponic system can grow plants and vegetables faster and year-round.

More details to come!
Sponsored by Mt Olive United Methodist Church
Call for Submissions!   Students, we invite you to submit a Christmas Tree design idea for GBCH’s submission to the Festival of Trees by Kennedy Krieger.  

The selected design will inspire the direction of the real Christmas Tree’s decorations and ornaments that we will make as a group.   Note: the GPCH tree will be 4′ high.

Deadline:  October 15, 2020

Please do not put your name on the front of the drawing.
Parents, no helping!  We want to see student ideas.

Please email submissions to greaterpurposehomeschoolers@gmail.com under the Heading: Festival of Trees Submission.