Wednesday, November 30, 2011

City Springs Steppers and Hampstead Hill Drum Line Perform at Field Dedication

City Springs School's Drug Free Soul Steppers and Hampstead Hill Academy's Drum Line performed at yesterday's dedication of a newly renovated City Springs Football Field. Several Ravens, along with city officials, Living Classrooms and former Baltimore Colt Joe Ehrmann attended.

View the video at

Sunday, November 20, 2011

City Schools, Civic Works, and Collington Students Spruce Up Ravens Playground

Recently we noticed that the mulch at Collington Square School's Ravens Playground was getting a little low. I emailed Blaine Lipski (Baltimore City Public Schools Executive Director of Facilities) to see if he had any mulch and before you can say "exemplary North Avenue employee" Mr. Lipski had a truckload of free mulch scheduled to be delivered on Friday November 18th.

When the truck arrived Friday morning we had plenty of manpower, but were short a few wheelbarrows. Civic Works, Baltimore’s urban service corps and an AmeriCorps program, saved us with a last minute loan of three wheelbarrows and a dozen shovels.

Then the hard work began... About 10 Collington 8th graders worked tirelessly for hours to move a four foot high pile of mulch from the sidewalk to the playground. Spirits were high as we shoveled the mulch, pushed wheelbarrows up the hill, and spread the mulch over the playground. Principal Etta Johnson pitched in with the shoveling and rewarded the students with a pizza lunch.

History of the Ravens Playground

On June 11, 2007 over 300 volunteers turned out to build the Ravens playground at Collington Square School. The project was made possible by a partnership between the The Baltimore Ravens, KaBOOM!, the Baltimore Curriculum Project, and Collington Square School. Over $100,000 was contributed by The Ravens to build the customized playground.

View a video of Build Day at:

Thank You!

We'd like to thank:
  • The Ravens for giving us this playground, which continues to be a source of joy for our students;
  • City Schools, Blaine Lipsi and Pete Jessup of for providing the free mulch;
  • Civic Works for donating the tools and wheelbarrows;
  • Principal Johnson for coordinating the students and pitching in with the shoveling; and
  • all of the 8th graders who worked so hard.
- Larry Schugam, BCP Executive Vice President

About our Partners
Baltimore City Public Schools' mission is to accelerate student progress through effective implementation of the Master Plan, focusing on quality instruction, managing systems efficiently, and sustaining a culture of excellence.

The Baltimore Ravens have a strong commitment to the community. In addition to appearances by Ravens players, coaches and staff, the team assists hundreds of charities and non-profit organizations through in-kind donations of team memorabilia.

The Baltimore Ravens All Community Team Foundation serves as a separate non-profit entity of the team's community outreach efforts. In addition to Ravens appearances and in-kind donations, the foundation provides support to Baltimore area non-profit organizations. Ravens players are also active in the community through individual foundations of their own.

Civic Works transforms the lives of Baltimore area youth through community service and skills development. Their key program areas include community improvement, workforce development, education, and green programs.

KaBOOM! is a national non-profit dedicated to saving play for America's children. Our mission is to create great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities. Ultimately, we envision a place to play within walking distance of every child in America.

Ravens Center Andre Gurode Provides 500 Turkeys to Collington Families

Baltimore Ravens Center/Guard Andre Gurode and
BCP Executive Vice President Larry Schugam

On Friday November 18th Baltimore Ravens Center/Guard Andre Gurode distributed 500 turkeys to the families of Israel Baptist Church and Collington Square School. Mr. Gurode signed with the Ravens on 9/5/11 and previously played for the Dallas Cowboys. He is a five-time Pro Bowl performer (2006-10) and two-time All-Pro (2007, 2009)

Melanie LeGrande (Ravens Director of Community Relations, Executive Director, RACTF); Heather Darney (Ravens Community Relations Manager); and Larry Schugam (BCP Executive Vice President) were on hand to help Mr. Gurode pass out the turkeys.

In addition to Mr. Gurode, several other Ravens players including Ray Lewis, Jameel McClain, Ray Rice, Ben Grubbs, Lardarius Webb, and Ed Reed were in the community last week to extend a helping hand in Maryland’s fight against hunger.

There are 466,000 people in the state who are food insecure, meaning they are unsure of where their next meal is coming from. Each year, the Ravens organization and its players commit to making a difference by feeding Maryland families.

We would like to thank Mr. Gurode for his generosity. Thank you also to the Baltimore Ravens and Melanie LeGrande (Executive Director, RACTF/Director of Community Relations) for always supportng BCP's neighborhood charter schools and school communities.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

AARP Experience Corps Literacy Festival at City Springs

AARP Experience Corps Baltimore City’s 3rd Annual Literary Festival took place on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at City Springs School and Langston Hughes Elementary School.

Many of the City’s 300 older adult volunteers who help children in 22 City schools will be there to complement what they do every week to get young people excited about reading and math. Sponsored by the Maryland Governor’s Office of Service and Volunteerism, the day’s festivities include literacy games, guest readers, dancing, music, book give-a-ways, refreshments, and more.

“We hope to get children and families excited about reading through this fun and free event,” says Brandi Roberts from AARP Experience Corps. “Our volunteers make a real difference every week all year long with kindergarten through third grade classroom teachers; this offers them the chance to reach out beyond the classrooms and into their communities.”

AARP Experience Corps is an award winning program that places people over 55 in elementary school classrooms. These AARP Experience Corps members tutor and mentor the students, providing homework help and serving as consistent role models. Independent research shows that Experience Corps boosts student’s academic performance and enhances the well-being of older adults.

We'd like to thank AARP Experience Corps for bringing this wonderful event and their dedicated volunteers and staff to City Springs School.

View photos of the festival at:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Baltimore Orioles Host Holiday Party for City Springs Students

The Baltimore Orioles have invited 100 City Springs School students and teachers to attend their Annual OriolesREACH Holiday Party on December 13th at Dave and Buster's. Each child will receive a delicious meal, a game card, and have the opportunity to meet Santa Clause along with many current and former Oriole players.

City Springs School and the Baltimore Curriculum Project would like to thank the Baltimore Orioles and Matthew Death, Baltimore Orioles Programs and Promotions Coordinator, for this wonderful Holiday gift.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wolfe Street Triumphs at Chess Tournament

Wolfe Street Academy won the elementary unrated team division at The Maryland Chess Association (MCA) tournament on Saturday, October 29th at Poly/Western High School. This was MCA's first scholastic chess tournament ever in Baltimore. Over 175 players competed with teams coming from as far away as Virginia and Delaware.

Baltimore Kids Chess League players collected 15 trophies. Organizers from MCA were impressed with the turnout and plan on holding another event in Baltimore next year.

The following Wolfe Street students took home trophies:

Eduardo Guzman - 2nd place
Robin Lopez - 3rd place
Jose Portillo - 4th place
Malacai Davis - 6th place
Jose Orellana - 8th place
Eric Vasquez - 10th place

Congratulations to the Wolfe Street team on their success!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

BCP Schools Rally to Transform Baltimore

On Thursday November 3, 2011 groups from three BCP Schools - City Springs School, Collington Square School, and Hampstead Hill Academy - joined groups from over 30 City schools for a rally to fix school facilities at War Memorial Hall.

Students decried the deplorable conditions of some of their school facilities. Students, parents, and teachers urged elected officials to support the Transform Baltimore campaign and adopt the Greenville Plan, a $2.8 billion bond financing strategy that was used successfully in Greenville, S.C. to renovate 70 schools.

Using the roughly $61 million that is currently available in annual funds for city school facilities, Baltimore could borrow approximately $1 billion to fix or rebuild half of the City's schools over the next few years. The $61 million a year would be used to pay back the loan.

Read more in:
The Baltimore Sun - Baltimore students lead rally for better school facilities
Baltimore Brew - Baltimore students protest “shameful” conditions in their schools

Learn more about the Transform Baltimore campaign at:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hampstead Hill Academy Pre-K Students Get New Learning Space « CBS Baltimore

Thank you Andrea Fujii of WJZ for the wonderful coverage and video of Hampstead Hill Academy's ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday! View the article and video here: Hampstead Hill Academy Pre-K Students Get New Learning Space « CBS Baltimore

Help Wolfe Street Academy kids feed the hungry & veterans

Children at the Wolfe Street Academy, Gough and Wolfe streets, are feeding the hungry and veterans on Friday, Nov. 11, and need things to serve. Nonperishables may be dropped off before Nov. 11: single servings of raisins or dried fruit; peaches, pears, mixed fruit, applesauce, pineapple, etc.; juice boxes; cookies; Rice Krispie treats; brownies; crackers; chips; popcorn and corn chips.

The children also need jars of peanut butter, jelly, mayo, mustard, whole wheat bread, large brown lunch bags, napkins, plastic utensils, paper towels, paper tablecloths, and rubber gloves, all sizes.
Perishables, drop off November 9-11: drop off lunch meats, cheese slices, lettuce, tomatoes, baby carrots, cucumbers, grapes, oranges and apples.

Volunteers are needed to help prepare and serve. For info email Suzanne Bailey, or call Maura Farrall, 410-396-9140.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hampstead Hill Academy November Newsletter

HHA Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - 11/5/2011
(left to right) City Councilman Jim Kraft, HHA Principal Matt Hornbeck,
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, BCP President Muriel Berkeley
and City Schools CEO Andres Andres Alonso

Read Hampstead Hill Academy's November 2011 newsletter at:

This edition features:
  • Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Pre-Kindergarten Addition
  • Senator Barbara A. Mikulski Tours HHA
  • American Education Week Events
  • International Night

Hampstead Hill Academy Ribbon Cutting Ceremony 2011

On Friday November 4, 2011 Hampstead Hill Academy held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the much-anticipated $1.2 million pre-kindergarten addition. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Schools CEO Andres Alonso, City Councilman James Kraft, Hampstead Hill Principal Matt Hornbeck and BCP President Muriel Berkeley participated in the ceremony

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Student Ben Simon Donates School Supplies

We would like to thank middle school student Ben Simon for donating 5 bags of school supplies to our schools. Ben collected the supplies as part of a middle school project. Ben and his family were nice enough to drop off the supplies last weekend.

We'd also like to thank Melanie C. LeGrande (Executive Director, RACTF/Director of Community Relations, Baltimore Ravens) and Bridgett Coates (Founder, Exposure BBC) for helping to coordinate the donation.