The Ravens announced Monday a donation of nearly $200,000 to Baltimore City Public Schools for upgrades to heating and air-conditioning units at Lakewood Elementary School in East Baltimore.
As part of the NFL’s revamped social-justice program, the Ravens have pledged to match player contributions up to $250,000 annually in efforts to support community improvement, social justice and law-enforcement relationships. This is the first such funding distributed from Ravens players’ pledges.
The HVAC units in Lakewood Elementary are expected to be operable in January. The early-education school has an enrollment consisting of 40 percent special-needs students, and 65 percent of the students qualify for free and reduced-price meals.
Ravens team president Dick Cass, general counsel Brandon Etheridge, long snapper Morgan Cox, outside linebacker Matthew Judon, defensive back-linebacker Anthony Levine Sr., wide receiver Chris Moore, inside linebacker C.J. Mosley and defensive tackle Brandon Williams joined U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and Sonja Brookins Santelises, the CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, to announce the contribution.
"As professional football players, we understand the importance of being leaders in a community that proudly supports us,” Cox said in a statement. “There have been times where these children have had to go to school in the summer and winter months without reliable air-conditioning or heating, and we see this as a great opportunity to provide them with the optimal learning environment that they deserve.”
The lack of air conditioning in city schools has been criticized over the years as the hot summer days at the beginning of the school year have led to closures and early dismissals.