What We Do
- We support early literacy through an on-campus, preschool reading program. See WJLA TV coverage of Primeros Passos here.
- We support literacy and mentor elementary through middle schoolers
- 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 are proud to be one of six programs nationwide named a Program of Distinction by Generations United, a national organization that seeks to advance opportunities for intergenerational collaboration through programs and public policies.
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).
- 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)
- Numerous congregations
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.