We support early literacy through a program that teaches parents how to build their child’s vocabulary
We mentor elementary school children at two local schools
We mentor middle schoolers through collaborative art making and conversation
We engage with high schoolers through Courageous Conversation workshops that tackle issues of discrimination and prejudice
We offer weekly conversation programs for adult English language learners who want to improve their speaking skills
We provide educational opportunities to GBCI volunteers and Asbury residents who want to learn about the issues and concerns of our Gaithersburg neighbors
We support our neighbors in their efforts to create a safe and secure community
Who We Are
The Gaithersburg Beloved Community Initiative (GBCI) is a collaboration of many community partners and individuals committed to supporting children and youth and working toward a just and equitable greater Gaithersburg community.
We have a dedicated Board of Directors, a Director, and more than 100 volunteers who participate in our programs or help in various ways. We welcome new volunteers—both inside and outside of Asbury—all the time. And if you just want to stay informed, you can sign up for membership (no fee or commitment).
Our partners include:
City of Gaithersburg
Identity, Inc. (an agency serving Latino youth and families)
Montgomery County Public Schools
Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services
Wesley Theological Seminary
Action in Montgomery
JCA Heyman Interages Center
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL)
How We Got Started
Inspired by a sermon by Marian Wright Edelman on the occasion of Martin Luther King’s birthday in 2011, Rev. Hal Garman, a retired United Methodist minister, wondered out loud what he could do as he and his wife drove the 25 miles back to their new retirement community, Asbury Methodist Village. Hal’s wife Jan said, “Why don’t you do something to help youth in Gaithersburg?” That spark ignited a multicultural, interfaith, intergenerational project that has not stopped growing.
Volunteers are always welcome! If you’re interested in helping us to do more good through our programs, please email Michele Bulatovic, Director, at email@example.com.