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$1.6M Partnership To Boost Baltimore Schools, Teachers & Communities

BALTIMORE (WJZ)--In Southwest Baltimore there is a school that was among the worst performing in the city, but after partnerships with UMBC and private industry, they're now in the top third.

As Mike Schuh reports, their success has led to more good news.

On Thursday, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Baltimore City Public Schools and the Northrop Gruman Foundation announced a $1.6 million partnership to boost initiatives inside three Baltimore schools.

Officials say the $1.6 million initiative will boost science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education and support students at three city schools while providing adult educational opportunities for residents of the surrounding communities.

"We are very excited to join forces with UMBC and Baltimore City Public Schools in the establishment of this innovative educational initiative," said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation and Northrop Grumman vice president, Global Corporate Responsibility. "This partnership is an outstanding opportunity to involve Northrop Grumman employee volunteers who can share their mentoring expertise with students and adults in nearby communities, reinforcing the link of academics to the wide-ranging career opportunities available in science, technology, engineering and math-related professions."

Lakeland Elementary and Middle School will be the primary focus, with the development of a state-of-the-art STEM Center. The center is expected to feature science labs, digital video and sound studio, computer lab, parent resource room, and community meeting space.

Officials say these efforts will prepare students, parents and teachers for success in the evolving economy.

"We are excited to expand upon our partnership with Lakeland Elementary/Middle School by establishing a STEAM Center that serves the broader Lakeland community," said Rehana Shafi, director of the Sherman STEM Teacher Scholars Program at UMBC. "The impact of this partnership goes beyond institutional philanthropy. It provides meaningful learning opportunities for all partners, from Lakeland and UMBC students, to teachers and professors, to STEAM professionals."

The new initiative will also assist in the expansion of UMBC's Choice Program to serve students at Benjamin Franklin High School at Masonville Cove and Francis M. Wood Excel Academy.

Officials say the Choice program will help youngsters facing challenges at school and at home.

The program's 24/7 services include monitoring and ensuring school attendance, providing transportation to and from school, home visits and family support services, classroom coaching/speakers/specialists, and afterschool activities.

The Choice program has served more than 20,000 youth and their families from Maryland's highest risk communities for more than 27 years.

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