Programs – The Ark

Program Overview

The Ark is the only preschool program of its kind in Baltimore. We can serve a maximum of 20 children at a time. Our children are from families who are homeless or in early recovery from addiction.

The Ark is open year-round, from 8:30 am until 2:45 pm each weekday. During that time, we provide a short-term pre-school program that promotes children’s development in all areas, emphasizing language and social skills. Through our collaboration with Baltimore City Child Care Resource Center, we provide Head Start Service to our children and families.

Children receive:

  • individual care and attention
  • early childhood education designed to promote their development
  • nutritionally balanced meals and snacks

a safe and calm place where they can play and socialize

Parents become partners with program staff in meeting the needs of their children and families.
Our goal is to support children’s continuing development and to transition children to permanent programs in the community as their family situations stabilize. Children are referred to The Ark from a number of family shelter programs, including the YWCA, the Salvation Army, Karis House, and Christ Lutheran Church. Some families are referred by treatment programs; others hear about us from parents who have used our services.

Program Services

All children must have had a recent physical before enrolling at The Ark. Thanks to our partnership with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, free physicals can be provided, on-site, for children who need them.

Each child is screened with the Brigance Preschool Screen within the first two weeks of enrollment. If developmental delays are detected, we refer children for evaluations and necessary services through Head Start.

Children are served a nutritious breakfast, lunch and a snack each day. Dental care is also part of our routine, including a regular tooth-brushing time.

We deliberately limit the number of children we serve to keep a favorable staff-to-student ratio – allowing us to provide intensive, individual attention to each child.

We do provide transportation to and from The Ark for children who are living in shelters.

During a typical day, students will enjoy:

Circle time
We lead the children in chanting nursery rhymes, singing songs, or repeating words and rhymes. All these activities are designed to strengthen their language skills. We may also play games in which students identify objects, or lead exercises with such themes as days of the week, months of the year, and weather.

Center time

We use the Creative Curriculum to support our children’s development and to monitor their progress.

Computer time

The Ark owns two computers loaded with learning games. They are available to the children on a daily basis during center time.

Arts and crafts

Art materials are available to the children in the classroom to use in their own creative way. The teaching team also initiates special art projects related to classroom themes.

Outdoor play

When weather permits, the children play outside in our play yard or take walks in the community.

Field trips

We also try to broaden the students’ world by taking them to places like:

Patterson Park
Port Discovery
Fort McHenry
Druid Hill Park

Monthly Parent Meeting
Once a month, parents are invited to attend a meeting to focus on topics of interest to parents of young children such as language development, supporting their children’s creativity, discipline, or dealing with stress. Refreshments are provided and parents have an opportunity to socialize.

Location and Hours
Center Hours
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Program Hours
8:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Center Location
1200 E. Fayette Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Map Of Location

Further Information Contacts
Nancy E. Newman
LCSW-C, Director
1200 E. Fayette St., Baltimore, MD 21202
410.522.1026 (phone)
410.558.0344 (fax)
Yolanda Miller
Parent Involvement Specialist

Danesha Monroe
Family Services Coordinator
BCCCRC Head Start Program
410.685.5150 x258

Please contact if would like to add your organizations link to this section.
Baltimore City Child Care Resource Center (BCCCRC)

2007 Directory of Md Emergency Shelters and Transitional Housing Programs (.pdf file)

Baltimore City Department of Social Services

Baltimore City Public Schools

Homeless! in Baltimore, MD
Local discussion group about homelessness

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