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Ravens Host Annual Signature Project at The Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary School

The Baltimore Ravens participate in their 2024 Signature Project.
The Baltimore Ravens participate in their 2024 Signature Project.

The Ravens, alongside the Heart of America Foundation, hosted their annual Signature Project on Wednesday. The volunteer project is an important day for the entire organization, a chance for players, executives and staff members to give back to the community.

This year's Signature Project took place at The Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary School #122 in Baltimore City. Built in 1926, the school has a rich history as the first elementary school built for African American children by the Baltimore City Board of Education and is now a historical landmark.

"Creating environments that nurture and inspire our city's children is an important commitment," Ravens President Sashi Brown said. "We're honored to join this historic school community to help enrich the lives of its students and provide the educational setting they deserve."

The nearly 200 volunteers worked to renovate the gymnasium, classrooms, teachers' lounges, hallways, playground, and outdoor courtyard. They also spread mulch, planted trees, and painted numerous areas, while current players built bikes for the students. One of the biggest projects was the renovation of the Theresa Marshburn Center, a community center connected to the school.

The Ravens Foundation, Inc. funded the entire day, which ended with the students returning from a field trip to the surprise of their new-look area.

"It is so special because the community that I serve is often overlooked and marginalized. And these children are invisible to a lot of people," Samuel Coleridge-Taylor principal Bettye Adams said. "So, what this has done and what the Ravens and Heart of America have done is they have put them in the spotlight and made them visible."

Over the years, the Signature Project has helped the community in many ways. There have been playground builds, donations to renovate high school fields, renovations to Boys & Girls Clubs, and more.

Heart of America worked with the Baltimore County Public School system to identify potential signature projects, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was presented to the Ravens Foundation as a choice for this year's location.

"We loved the history of it," Vice President of Community Relations/Executive Director, Ravens Foundation Heather Darney said. "The fact that it's been around for a really long time and it's important to the city.

"We always try to look at a school [where] we're seeing an investment from the school system. Like, 'You care about this school, we care about this school. It's not going to go anywhere.'"

The day was capped with a ribbon cutting ceremony in the community center. Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott spoke to those in attendance, along with Brown and Adams. They all echoed the importance of the Baltimore community, and Wednesday's Signature Project helped enrich that.

"The environment of a building matters," Adams said. "Now when the children come in and see all the upgrades and the nice touches, they know somebody loves them, other than principal Adams. They know there's a whole community rooting for them."

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