The Ravens have made a major commitment to helping Baltimore City Public Schools student achievement and well-being through sports.
The Ravens have given $600,000 over three years to fund the InSideOut Initiative, which promotes sports as a human growth experience by providing professional development for coaches and athletic directors.
"We are pleased to support this important initiative," said Ravens President Dick Cass. "As our players can well attest, participating in sports builds character only when the coaches have been trained properly, and that is what this initiative will achieve."
The group, which is co-founded by former Baltimore Colts defensive tackle Joe Ehrmann (1973-1980), aims to transform the "win-at-all-costs" sports culture into an education-based sports model. It doesn't just focus on football, but all the school sports.
"The goal of high school athletic programs is to win, but not the purpose. The purpose is the human growth and development of students and connecting them to caring adults in their learning community," Ehrmann said.
"For this to be accomplished, we must align the school community around this shared purpose and hold our educational system accountable to the transformative power of what sports can and should provide our students."
The Ravens' commitment is part of a larger partnership that also includes Under Armour and the Fund for Educational Excellence. It's a community-wide approach to provide support for student-athletes and staff development in high schools across Baltimore City.
Under Armour will outfit all student-athletes and coaches with on-field apparel (more than 500 coaches and 5,300 students across more than 15 different sports), and provide funding to upgrade City Schools' athletic and activity facilities.
Implementation of this city-wide initiative is being led by the Fund for Educational Excellence – a nonprofit organization working to improve student achievement in Baltimore City Public Schools. The InsideOut Initiative officially launched last summer at the Under Armour Performance Center.
"Successful schools provide opportunities for students to explore their interests, with enriching activities both in and out of the classroom. They also create positive cultures where students have the confidence to explore those opportunities," said Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, City Schools' chief executive officer.
"This investment will help equip our students and coaches with the skills and confidence they need to develop as leaders in our city, for our city. We are so thankful to these partners for stepping up in this major way."