The Weinberg Foundation, and its more than 30 Library Project partners, hosted a celebration today marking the grand opening of the 14thlibrary 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 took place. Featured speakers included Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and 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)
- JMT Construction
- JRS Architects
- Kirk Designs
- Maryland Book Bank
- Maryland Food Bank
- Maryland SPCA
- Maryland State Department of Education
- Office of Mayor Catherine Pugh
- Operation Warm
- Parks and People Foundation
- Raising a Reader
- Reading Partners
- United Way of Central Maryland
- VPC Incorporated
- Wells Fargo Banking Corporation
- Young Audiences