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Living Classrooms Opens Early Childhood Center to Serve East Baltimore Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 20, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT:
Christine Runion, Living Classrooms Foundation
Email: crunion@livingclassrooms.org
Office: 410.685.0295 x204

LIVING CLASSROOMS OPENS THE HARRY AND JEANNETTE WEINBERG EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER TO SERVE EAST BALTIMORE CHILDREN
Running three programs " Early Head Start, Head Start, and the Judy Center" the Early Childhood Center provides education to children between 0-5 years old and their families
When: Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 10 a.m.
Where: The Early Childhood Center, 100 N Chester St, Baltimore, MD 21231
Who: Leaders of Weinberg Foundation and other funders; Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Lillian Lowery; City Council President Jack Young; Baltimore City Councilman Warren Branch, Senator Bill Ferguson; The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Board Chair Ellen M. Heller; and Living Classrooms President and CEO, James Piper Bond, interested stakeholders, donors, and students.
What: Living Classrooms Foundation and the Commodore John Rodgers School, in partnership with the Y of Central Maryland, Kennedy Krieger Institute, and Maryland Family Network, will host the grand opening of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Early Childhood Center at Commodore John Rodgers on December 3rd - a center expected to serve more than 100 children and their families each year. The Center is one of five early childhood centers that are being created across Baltimore City, an initiative spearheaded by The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

The ceremony will include brief remarks by Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Lillian Lowery; City Council President Jack Young; Senator Bill Ferguson; Baltimore City Councilman Warren Branch; The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation; and Living Classrooms President and CEO, James Piper Bond.

The facility is the former site of the Ralph J. Young Recreational Center and is connected to Commodore John Rodgers Elementary/Middle School, a Title I school. Living Classrooms has led the effort to transform this facility into the Early Childhood Center. This project has received substantial capital and operating support from sources including The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Baltimore Community Foundation, Baltimore City Public Schools, Maryland State Bond Bill, and The France-Merrick Foundation. Many additional partners have committed operating support for the center.
The Early Childhood Center allows us to holistically serve children and their families and provide them with the tools they need to succeed, said Living Classrooms President and CEO, James Piper Bond.
The ages from zero to five are critical in a child's development and we are excited to be able to serve this age group. We are so grateful for all of our partners, operators, and donors who made today possible.

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Early Childhood Center at Commodore John Rodgers will expand the continuum of services and supports in Living Classrooms Foundation's East Baltimore Children's Target Investment Zone (CTIZ) to include the Early Childhood component. One of the goals of Living Classrooms Foundation's CTIZ is to improve school readiness for children from 0-5 years old, the most important years of early development. The Early Childhood Center targets parents and their children, coming from low-income families, from birth through age five who will be transitioning to East Baltimore K-8 schools.

# # #
About the Children's Target Investment Zone
Inspired by Geoffrey Canada's Harlem Children Zone, the Living Classrooms' Children's Target Investment Zone initiative is aimed at helping people in underserved communities break a cycle of poverty through education, workforce development, and health and wellness programs; as well as creating safer and cleaner neighborhoods. Living Classrooms has made a long-term commitment to this initiative with the intention of creating a sustainable pipeline of services for children, youth, and families from cradle to college/career. Living Classrooms has nearly a thirty year history of successful work in the community and facilitating private/public partnerships, and the existing infrastructure to make a positive impact on East Baltimore. Living Classrooms is focusing efforts on targeted communities in East Baltimore in need of school improvement, workforce development, and health and wellness education, which are core competencies of Living Classrooms Foundation. The communities being served include the Perkins Homes and Fayette Street Corridor neighborhoods and McElderry Park, which suffer from high poverty rates and struggling schools. Living Classrooms is collaborating with key partners in the community and with Baltimore City and the State of Maryland to deliver a range of services in the Children's Target Investment Zone area.

Note to Media
Arrangements can be made to take photographs and video and set up interviews with speakers. Please contact Christine Runion at 410-685-0295 x204 if you are interested.

Posted on: 25 Nov, 2014

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