Today (Monday, June 6), the Baltimore Ravens are hosting their annual organization-wide volunteer day to establish new educational spaces at Baltimore City's Franklin Square Elementary/Middle School. Fully funded by the Ravens Foundation, Inc., the $200,000 investment project features multiple renovations with the goal to provide inspiring and engaging learning spaces in Baltimore City.
At the end of the 2022-23 school year, Steuart Hill Academy will permanently close, and students will rezone to Franklin Square Elementary/Middle School as part of Baltimore City Public Schools' "Merging School Initiative." By combining these two programs, students will have the opportunity to attend a more prosperous school that will offer a robust and diverse educational program. This project will place the combined school on a path toward greater long-term stability. By investing in the Franklin Square building, the Ravens and Heart of America will help two school communities come together as one dynamic institution for all students in the area.
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 Sashi Brown, along with players and staff, comprise the nearly 200 volunteers who will participate in Monday's renovations. The objective 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:
- 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.
- New mobile furniture provides the flexibility of multiple configurations and is easily stackable when open space is needed. The room's color palette is both relaxing and neutral with tones of blue and grey.
- The lounge has been designed to allow hard-working educators an opportunity to relax and unwind. The accent color has been selected by the staff, and the room has a comfortable sofa, lounge chairs, plants and large nature graphics with messages to create a sense of well-being.
- The cafeteria is an energizing mix of the school's and Ravens' colors, along with graphics and uplifting messages with bursts of brightly accented walls. Warm saturated colors complement the cool white tiles to create a space that fosters collaboration and a strong community feeling.
- The hallways are bright, yet light and airy, and promote wayfinding by highlighting entryways with saturated bands of color. These elongated spaces have added visual interest from graphics and murals at focal points.
Assembly of Educational Packs
- Influenced by needs outlined by BCPS 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 Franklin Square EMS and Steuart Hill EMS.
Sashi Brown, President of the Baltimore Ravens:
"An investment in our schools is an investment in our children's future – and that of our community. We're honored to help bring these important upgrades to Franklin Square Elementary/Middle School, because every child deserves a safe, welcoming and engaging learning environment. This project will provide immediate and long-term educational opportunities for many children in Baltimore."
Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools:
"We thank the Heart of America Foundation and the Baltimore Ravens for continuing to champion projects that contribute to the vibrancy and function of our schools and communities. The Franklin Square beautification project is the latest example of our continued partnership. We are thankful for their support."
B. Eric Roberts, Principal of Franklin Square Elementary/Middle School:
"This is such an exciting time in the life of our school! We are extremely grateful for this donation of materials, technology and volunteerism from the Baltimore Ravens and Heart of America. This investment in our school will advance our efforts of ensuring that our scholars and teachers have access to first-class learning environments and recreational spaces."
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:
- Heart of America – Edgecombe Circle EMS & Curtis Bay ES School Renovation (2021)
- KaBoom! Playground at Edgecombe Circle Elementary School (2020)
- Heart of America - Webster Kendrick Boys and Girls Club Renovations (2019)
- KaBoom! Playground at Douglass Homes (2018)
- Heart of America - 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.