25 Oct, 2017, 06:00 ET
BALTIMORE, Oct. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, today will host a celebration marking the grand opening of the 14th library renovated as part of the Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project. The newly renovated space is located at Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School, where today's official celebration will take place:
- 1425 E. Fort Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21230
- Doors open at 10:00 a.m.
Featured speakers include—
- Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh
- Dr. Sonja Santelises, CEO, Baltimore City Public Schools
The Baltimore Library Project is a multi-year, collaborative effort to build or transform up to 24 Baltimore City Public School libraries in selected elementary/middle schools where existing funds can be leveraged. Of the total $30 million invested by all Project partners, the Weinberg Foundation has committed $10 million as part of this effort to strengthen academic achievement among students. As of today, 14 new spaces serving 6,000 students—or 10 percent of the total number of students, pre-kindergarten through grade eight, in all of Baltimore City Public Schools—have been built or completely renovated.
Each new library is well-equipped, well-staffed, and well-resourced, including beautiful design, new furniture and graphics, and the latest technologies. The new spaces also feature an "Enoch Pratt Parent Place" for parents/guardians, and informal reading areas, as well as separate areas for study and research, instruction, and group discussion.
"We have always intended that these libraries would not only improve academic achievement but also engage the entire family and community more directly in the schools, and through partnerships and extracurricular programs," said Rachel Garbow Monroe, Weinberg Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer. "We hope that the Foundation's $28 million commitment over the past four years to Baltimore-focused education funding, including out-of-school time and summer programs like SummerREADS, has done just that." Monroe added, "This year alone, SummerREADS served more than 300 students and recorded the highest attendance to date."
In addition to this morning's event, Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School will be hosting a community celebration for families this evening where the Heart of America Foundation will be giving tours of the renovated library. Later this fall, the school will receive a mobile food pantry, coordinated by the Maryland Food Bank, that will provide 25 pounds of food, including fresh produce, for members of the school community.
In addition to the newest library renovation at Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School, the following 13 libraries were built or completely renovated by the Baltimore Library Project during its first five years: Arlington Elementary/Middle, Commodore John Rodgers Elementary/Middle, Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School, George Washington Elementary, Hampden Elementary/Middle, Harford Heights Elementary, The Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary, Moravia Park Elementary, Morrell Park Elementary/Middle, Southwest Baltimore Charter, Thomas Johnson Elementary/Middle, Westport Academy, and Windsor Hills Elementary/Middle schools. Next year's library renovation will take place at James McHenry Elementary/Middle School.
Please follow all Baltimore Library Project developments at www.baltimorelibraryproject.org and on Facebook and Twitter at #libraryproject.
Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project Partners:
The Abell Foundation
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Art with a Heart
The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers
Baltimore Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Baltimore City Public Schools
Baltimore Community Foundation
Baltimore Education Research Consortium (BERC)
The Baltimore Sun Media Group
Barnes and Noble
Bogdan Computer Services
Digital Harbor Foundation
Dyslexia Tutoring Program
Enoch Pratt Free Library
Fund for Educational Excellence
The Heart of America Foundation
Ironmark (formerly CPS Gumpert)
Maryland Book Bank
Maryland Food Bank
Maryland State Department of Education
Office of Mayor Catherine Pugh
Parks and People Foundation
Raising a Reader
United Way of Central Maryland
Wells Fargo Banking Corporation
About The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States, provides approximately $100 million in annual grants to nonprofits that provide direct services to low-income and vulnerable individuals and families, primarily in the United States and Israel. Grants are focused on meeting basic needs and enhancing an individual's ability to meet those needs with emphasis on older adults, the Jewish community, and the Foundation's priority communities of Maryland, Northeastern Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Chicago, New York, rural communities in the United States, and Israel. The trustees, some of whom also serve as executive officers of the Foundation, are Chair Robert T. Kelly, Jr., Donn Weinberg, Alvin Awaya, and Fay Hartog-Levin. Rachel Garbow Monroe serves as the Weinberg Foundation's President and Chief Executive Officer. For more information, please visit www.hjweinbergfoundation.org.
Media Contact: Craig Demchak, 443-738-1159
SOURCE Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
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