Gilman's philosophy emphasizes a commitment to the community and service to others. Part of the Lower School Character Development Curriculum is community outreach. At each grade level there are specific age appropriate activities and school-wide projects.
Donald Bentley Food Pantry
The Lower School supports the Bentley Food Pantry, which is a living memorial to Donald Bentley, a 1988 graduate of Gilman who was tragically murdered on the streets of Baltimore. Conceived and operated by students, the Bentley Food Pantry has been supported by contributions and fundraisers from Gilman and other area schools. The Lower School continues to be a large contributor.
Once a month the boys are asked to bring cans or boxes of nonperishable food to school to be donated to the project. Added fun: boys are asked to bring in items according to a theme, such as items that are purple (grape jelly) or begin with the letters RAVENS (rice, applesauce, vegetable soup for example) or orange or begin with the letters ORIOLES, or a specific kind of food, like soup or dessert mixes.
The Lower School participates in the schoolwide "Lunches for the Homeless" program. Once each month, a certain grade will be assigned to supply food and prepare lunches as a classroom activity with student, faculty, and parent involvement. The lunches are donated to Manna House.
Thanksgiving Food Drive
A tradition in the Lower School has been the Thanksgiving Food Drive, when boys in each homeroom will be asked to bring in a certain type of food. This food is donated to a food pantry.
Each January, the Lower School holds a Read-a-thon to support a faculty-selected organization involved in illnesses or disabilities that affect children. Each student is encouraged to participate. The Read-a-thon emphasizes the reading process, learning about the disease or disability, and community service. Students solicit sponsors for the amount of time they read or are read to. In the past the Read-a-thons have benefited the March of Dimes, Autism Research, Cystic Fibrosis, Juvenile Diabetes, the Juvenile Asthma Association, the Johns Hopkins Hospital Children's Center, the Baltimore Regional Burn Center Foundation, Maryland Special Olympics and American Heart Association.