BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens and its players are contributing nearly $200,000 to Baltimore City Public Schools towards the cost of upgrading HVAC units at Lakewood Elementary School. The units are expected to be operable in January 2019.
As part of its Social Justice Program, the Ravens have pledged to match player donations in efforts to support social justice initiatives and engagement in the Baltimore community.
This is the first funding distributed from the players’ pledge through the social justice fund and continues the Ravens’ commitment to making a difference throughout Baltimore.
In the spring of 2018, the National Football League announced that each team would match player contributions up to $250,000 annually for the purposes of establishing a fund to support community improvement, social justice, and law enforcement relationships.
Ravens President Dick Cass, General Counsel Brandon Etheridge, Long Snapper Morgan Cox, Linebacker Matthew Judon, Defense Back/Linebacker Anthony Levine, Wide Receiver Chris Moore, Linebacker C.J. Mosley, and Defensive Tackle Brandon Williams joined congressman Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh, and Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Sonja Brookins Santelises to announce the contribution.
Lakewood Elementary, located in eastern Baltimore, is an early education school servicing pre-K and kindergarten students. Lakewood’s enrollment consists of 40 percent special needs, and 65 percent of the students qualify for free and reduced meals. The new HVAC system will help control the climate throughout the entire school.
"As professional football players, we understand the importance of being leaders in a community that proudly supports us," said Cox. "The Ravens’ Social Justice Program aims to take action in areas of need for the Baltimore community. At Lakewood Elementary, 40 percent of the student body has special needs, and 65 percent of the students qualify for a free lunch. There have been times where these children have had to go to school in the summer and winter months without reliable air conditioning or heating, and we see this as a great opportunity to provide them with the optimal learning environment that they deserve. This is the first of many projects in which we are excited to participate alongside our Organization and Mr. Steve Bisciotti."
“I thank the Baltimore Ravens for their continued leadership in the Baltimore community and for their steadfast commitment to our young people," said Cummings. "This type of public-private partnership shows that it takes a village to solve the complex problems facing our students and faculty. Providing our children with a safe and comfortable environment in which to learn should be a priority for us all, and I urge other companies to join the Ravens in their effort to help Baltimore City students succeed.”
“The Ravens have been an incredible partner for the district over the years, supporting numerous schools and students from pre-K to high school," added Santelises. "This donation from the players and the Ravens organization comes at just the right time, as we continue work to make sure our schools are ready for the colder weather. Our Lakewood students will be off to a better start in their school careers, now that their pre-K and kindergarten classrooms will be healthy and comfortable.”
Publication date: 12/5/2018