The Baltimore Ravens unveiled the completion of a library renovation at Charles Carroll Barrister (CCB) Elementary School #34 in Baltimore City on Monday. The renovation was fully-funded by the Ravens Foundation, which continually works to help make Baltimore a better community.
Ravens president Dick Cass and QB Joe Flacco were joined by CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools Dr. Gregory E. Thornton to highlight the improvements made to the school's library over the past few months. The library features Ravens-themed design elements, including a stadium inspired reading room, as well as new paint, walls, lighting, ceilings and flooring. In addition to the renovation project, the school received new books and furniture, including tables, chairs, storage cabinets, shelving and a desk for its new full-time librarian. Each of the 370 students at CCB Elementary School #34 were also given Ravens backpacks and a book to take home.
In continuing with the Ravens' commitment to support education, the library renovation strengthens the availability of literacy resources among underserved youth.
"Research has shown that reading proficiency is directly linked to graduation rates, which is why we encourage a love for reading beginning at an early age," said Heather Darney, executive director of the Ravens Foundation. "Our hope is that all students will have access to the tools and inspiring space needed to develop a true passion for reading."
In addition to funding the library, several Ravens employees volunteered their free time to lend a hand with the renovation. On Aug. 28, in anticipation of the students' return to school, staff members teamed up to organize the library, set up the computer lab and assist with various projects around the school.
"We're so grateful for the commitment and involvement of the Ravens," said CCB Elementary School #34 principal David Wunder. "Their support of this library shows our students that some of their biggest heroes know the importance of reading and education. It also shows our whole community that one of Baltimore's biggest and most popular institutions is not only in our backyard, but in our corner."
CCB Elementary School #34 is located in the Washington Village neighborhood, affectionately known as "Pigtown," in the Southwest District of Baltimore City. Pigtown is an area in need of assistance, with approximately one-third of its residents living below the poverty line. Additionally, 95 percent of the students at CCB Elementary School #34 receive free and reduced meals. The Ravens have a history of supporting the residents of Pigtown, an area that sits in the shadows of M&T Bank Stadium, through the construction of houses alongside Habitat for Humanity, multiple tree planting service days and financial support of Paul's Place, a homeless shelter serving the neighborhood.
The library renovation is only the beginning of the Ravens' effort to promote literacy among local youth. The students at CCB Elementary School #34 will also participate in the Ravens Reading Challenge, where all students are asked to log their reading minutes over the next two months. The class with the most minutes will be joined by a Ravens' player in December to have a celebratory pizza party, presented by Papa John's.
About The Ravens Foundation:
The Ravens Foundation is committed to improving, encouraging and enabling the healthy development of youth in the Baltimore area, as well as other parts of the state of Maryland. The foundation focuses on programs that help youth, and in some cases their families, with various needs, including housing, hunger, education, athletics and mentoring.