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Living Classrooms is ‘Changing the Game’ When Baltimore City Schools are Closed

For Immediate Release

October 16, 2017

Living Classrooms is ‘Changing the Game’ When Baltimore City Schools are Closed

Healthy Cities Game Changers Initiative Offers Safe Space for Health, Wellness, and Play

Living Classrooms Foundation has partnered with Morgan Stanley to provide local Baltimore families with wellness, nutrition, and sports programming as part of Morgan Stanley’s Healthy Cities Initiative. 1 in 4 children in Baltimore faces food insecurity and many students receive their only meals of the day at school. During the academic year, Baltimore City Public School students experience 25+ weekdays when schools are closed. This creates a critical need for healthy meals, supervised activities, and an opportunity to use that time to affect positive health outcomes for students and families through engagement in meaningful, quality physical education and nutrition programming.

Living Classrooms’ Game Changers Initiative will educate 300 of the most at-risk children, youth, and families living within an impoverished area of East Baltimore with quality programming during Baltimore City school breaks throughout the 2017-18 school year. The initiative will officially kick off on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at UA House at Fayette, a community center operated by Living Classrooms. The program will provide all students with a healthy meal as well as hands-on nutrition education, cooking lessons, yoga and meditation, art, sports, and dance. Activities will be led by Living Classrooms staff, various local nonprofit partners, volunteers, and Morgan Stanley employee volunteers.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Living Classrooms as part of Healthy Cities Baltimore to give local students the resources needed for a healthy start to life,” said Joan Steinberg, Global Head of Philanthropy, Morgan Stanley. “Thanks to collaboration with partners like Living Classrooms, we’re able to further our impact for children in underserved Baltimore neighborhoods.”

The Game Changers Initiave is a part of Morgan Stanley Healthy Cities, which is designed to fuel innovation by coordinating the wellness, nutrition and play resources that can strengthen a child’s healthy start to life. Launched in 2014, Healthy Cities and has delivered programming in Chicago, IL; Newark, NJ; Oakland, CA; London, UK; Cleveland, OH; Houston, TX, Mumbai, India, New Orleans, LA and Baltimore, MD. For more information about Healthy Cities Baltimore, please visit www.morganstanley.com/about-us/giving-back/healthy-cities/baltimore and follow #HealthyCities.

Living Classrooms’ Healthy Cities Game Changers Initiative is designed to expand the scope and scale of Living Classrooms’ existing initiative to bring nutrition, fitness, and wellness education to a targeted area of East Baltimore known as the Baltimore Target Investment Zone (TIZ).

Living Classrooms’ TIZ initiative is a strategic comprehensive community effort to disrupt the cycle of generational poverty that concentrates core education, workforce development, and health and wellness programs within an impoverished area of East Baltimore. The TIZ is home to 35,000 people, including 9,100 students in 18 schools, and over 2,500 public housing units that span 122 acres, including Pleasant View Gardens and Perkins Homes. It encompasses the neighborhoods surrounding Patterson Park and Johns Hopkins Hospital, Oldtown/Middle East, the Fayette Street Corridor, and McElderry Park. These neighborhoods struggle with low educational achievement, high poverty and unemployment, high-density crime and recidivism rates, and chronic health problems.

“Having access to a place where their children can go and not just be safe, but also fed a nutritious meal and engaged in meaningful academic and athletic activities when schools are not in session, is quite literally a “game changer” for many of the families that we serve in the Baltimore Target Investment Zone, especially for those who may not otherwise have a plan for their children’s care” said James Piper Bond, President and CEO of Living Classrooms Foundation. “We are grateful to Morgan Stanley to have this opportunity to empower our students to make smart choices about their own wellness.”

The Healthy Cities Game Changers initiative will improve health outcomes in Living Classrooms’ Baltimore Target Investment Zone (TIZ), an area of highly concentrated poverty, by capitalizing on out of school time with exemplary programming and healthy meals.

Note to Media: Media are invited to attend the kickoff event on Thursday, October 19th between 11:00am-12:00pm. Please notify Michelle Subbiondo in advance if you plan to attend.

Contact: Michelle Subbiondo, msubbiondo@livingclassrooms.org, (410) 685-0295 x240
Steven Drake, sdrake@verizon.net, (301) 680-0585 (on-site)

About Living Classrooms: Since 1985, Living Classrooms Foundation has worked to strengthen communities and inspire young people to achieve their potential through hands-on education, job training, and health and wellness programs, using urban, natural, and maritime resources as “living classrooms.” Our effective programs serve over 25,000 individuals annually in Baltimore and Washington, DC and the surrounding metropolitan areas, and have a special emphasis on serving disadvantaged and at-risk youth and adults. More information: www.livingclassrooms.org.

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Posted on: 17 Oct, 2017

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