The Baltimore Ravens will host their annual volunteer day on Wednesday (June 9) to establish new educational spaces at Baltimore City's Edgecombe Circle and Curtis Bay elementary schools. Fully funded by the Ravens Foundation, Inc., the $150,000 investment features multiple renovation projects at each school, with the goal of further supporting students and teachers as they return to the classroom following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event is coordinated in partnership with Heart of America, a national nonprofit focused on educational equity through space transformation and resource distribution.
Ravens executives, including team president Dick Cass, comprise the nearly 100 volunteers who will participate in Wednesday's renovations. The objective of this project is to create educational spaces that are safe, innovative and vibrant learning environments, helping students thrive in the near and long-term future.
Major components to these renovations include:
- Construction of an Outdoor Classroom (Edgecombe Circle)
- Outdoor classrooms expand access to in-person instruction, allow for social distancing and offer a change of scenery for students.
- Recent studies have found that students receiving instruction outside were more engaged in lessons and able to better retain information.
- Creation of Peace and Mediation Rooms (Edgecombe Circle and Curtis Bay)
- Mindfulness practices in schools have been found to vastly improve grades, increase executive functions and decrease stress, all while improving resiliency and optimism.
- Assembly of Educational Packs (Curtis Bay)
- Influenced by needs outlined by Baltimore City Public Schools officials, these packs will include age-appropriate, culturally relevant books, school and art supplies, STEM activity kits and personal protective equipment.
- Educational packs will be assembled for all students at Edgecombe Circle Elementary, Curtis Bay Elementary and Mary Ann Winterling Elementary (which was renovated as part of the Ravens Foundation's 2017 signature project).
The COVID-19 pandemic has created and exasperated economic hardship for many families, including those in Baltimore City. Through these restoration projects, the Ravens and Heart of America support Baltimore City Public Schools students, providing critical resources that help promote learning success.
In addition to these school transformations, this past March the Ravens made an additional investment of $200,000 to Baltimore City Public Schools to assist students, faculty and staff as they returned to in-person learning for the first time since the pandemic began.
Dick Cass, President of the Baltimore Ravens:
"It's imperative that we continue to invest in the well-being, education and future of children in Baltimore City. We believe this project will have a multi-layered effect, helping not only students during the upcoming school term, but also those who follow behind them in years to come."
Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools:
"We were thrilled to learn that the Ravens and Heart of America have collaborated to provide resources for our students and staff at Curtis Bay Elementary, Edgecombe Circle Elementary and Mary Ann Winterling Elementary. After months of isolation during the pandemic, our students will benefit immensely from the peace and meditation rooms at Curtis Bay and Edgecombe and the outdoor classroom at Edgecombe Circle. In addition, the student learning kits the Ravens are donating at all three schools will be invaluable in helping our young students recover and accelerate learning for the fall."
Monica McClain, Principal of Edgecombe Circle Elementary:
"As we rebrand ourselves, this is the ideal time to redefine our school program, which will include a renewed focus on socio-emotional health, similarly to student achievement and academics."
Past Ravens Foundation Signature Projects
This year's school transformation continues the Ravens' long-standing commitment to making a difference in the Baltimore community. Other recent signature projects funded by the Ravens Foundation include:
- KaBoom! Playground at Edgecombe Circle Elementary School (2020)
- Webster Kendrick Boys and Girls Club Renovations (2019)
- KaBoom! Playground at Douglass Homes (2018)
- Mary Ann Winterling Elementary School Renovation (2017)
- Two Baltimore Ravens Bookmobiles (launched 2016)
- Charles Carroll Barrister Elementary #34 Library Restoration (2015)
- City Springs Community Athletic Complex and Football Fields (2014)
- Baltimore City High School Uniform Donation with Under Armour (2014)
- Rowhome Build with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake (2013)
- "Ravens Field" Build at Park Heights Youth Development Park (2012)
- Three KaBOOM! Playground Builds (2007, 2009, 2011)
- Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School (MERVO) Stadium Renovation (2008)
- Lumsden-Scott Stadium Renovation (Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and Western High School) (2006)
About the Ravens Foundation, Inc.
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.
About the Heart of America
Heart of America (HOA) is focused on educational equity. Its mission is to transform spaces into modern learning environments and provide resources so students and communities can learn and grow. The goal of the organization's work is to ensure every student, regardless of zip code, has access to educational spaces and resources to ensure their academic success.
Please visit www.BaltimoreRavens.com/community for more information.