Harford loves The Ravens

Fourth-grader Brooke Schmidt is geared up and ready for a Ravens Super Bowl win in her cheerleading outfit during Thursday's North Bend Elementary School Ravens pep rally. (MATT BUTTON | AEGIS STAFF / February 1, 2013)

Purple fever has been sweeping into every corner of Harford County, and schools around the area have proved no exception.

The John Carroll School, for one, is closed Monday, so any Ravens fans there have an even bigger reason to celebrate.

Archbishop of Baltimore William Lori was visiting there Tuesday, prompting the Super Bowl-related closure.

"The Archbishop has a practice when visiting high schools to grant a day off with the permission of the administration," archdiocese spokesman Sean Caine said. "It was left up to the administration to choose when that day off would be taken and they chose Monday."

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Even in schools that are not taking the day off, excitement about Ravens being in the Super Bowl has been building, with teachers and administrators more than happy to fan the flames.

Schools like Emmorton Elementary in Bel Air and North Bend Elementary in Jarrettsville were holding pep rallies filled with purple pride, while others are decorating with Ravens signs and purple everything.

"I think we are really proud of Baltimore and really proud to be part of Baltimore sports in general," Emmorton Elementary Principal Peter Carpenter II said, noting Buck Showalter of the Orioles as well as Ray Lewis with the Ravens.

"It's really created a heightened sense of pride in our city and I think it's a healthy pride," he said. "We wanted to make sure we capitalized on that."

Emmorton was planning a pep rally for Friday with "all kinds of cool stuff," including cheerleaders from Harford Technical High School and a cheer performed by each grade level at the elementary school.

Students were also planning to dress up as Ravens players for the rally, Carpenter said.

Outside the building, the school marquee announces "We Believe" with a purple Ravens "believe" sign. Inside, wreaths have also been hung in the hallway.

"We have done a lot of things this week," he said. "We declared it Purple Week, so everyone's been wearing purple all week."

The school has also used the hype around the Super Bowl as a learning opportunity.

Carpenter said a different player has been highlighted every day during the morning announcements, including talking about the player's college and community contributions.

"We want the kids to see that these guys really do a lot for their community," he said, noting the school's theme has been "Hard Work Pays Off."

The school acquired a photo of each of the six players that includes a character trait each one exhibits, Carpenter said.

Each grade level made a purple pennant to go with that, which covers the entire front window of the school.

"Some of our youngest students may not have realized the connection between the football player and their college education and how they connect to the community itself," he explained. "We wanted them to see that connection, that hard work pays off."

Carpenter noted: "When you work hard in school, it pays off big time for you."

Whether the Ravens win or lose, come Monday morning, the principal will be using the victory or loss as a lesson during a regularly-scheduled "good news" assembly.