City businesses volunteer to spruce up schools

Mayor's office continues campaign to paint, clean buildings

February 04, 2005|By Jessica Bylander | Jessica Bylander,Baltimoresun.com Staff

More than 300 volunteers from the Baltimore business community took part in painting and cleaning projects within a dozen city schools today as part of an initiative known as the "Believe in Our Schools Challenge," the mayor's office said.

One month ago, Mayor Martin O'Malley and CitiFinancial challenged more than 100 local companies to participate in the challenge, a cooperative effort to address the facility needs in the city's public schools.

Students will return to class on Monday after a three-day break to freshly painted hallways, stairwells, gymnasiums and classrooms. City school classes had been canceled Wednesday through today this week for teachers' professional development days.

Since last June, "Believe in Our Schools" has enlisted the support of 6,000 volunteers from more than 140 businesses, civic organizations and faith-based institutions and has completed work worth more than $5 million for city schools, according to the mayor's office.

The campaign aims to encourage businesses and organizations to establish long-lasting partnerships with individual schools that will extend beyond the planned volunteer activities. Together, they have contributed supplies and expertise, volunteered time, and provided financial support, O'Malley's office said.

Volunteer groups contributing today included: American Trading and Production, Baltimore City Golf Corp., Baltimore Development Corp., Bank of America, CitiFinancial, DAP Inc., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Kramon & Graham, Harbor Bank, Legg Mason, Living Classrooms, March Funeral Homes, Marriott Hotels, MBNA, Mercy Hospital, PMI Architects, Sherwin Williams, Tremont Plaza Hotel, Velocity Realtors, Verizon and Weyerhaeuser.

The projects were taking place at Elmer A. Henderson Elementary, Graceland Park O'Donnell Heights Elementary, Mount Royal Elementary, Sharp Leadenhall Elementary and William Pinderhughes Elementary schools; Calverton Middle, Highlandtown Middle, Mount Royal Middle and William H. Lemmel Middle schools; and Carver Vocational Technical High, Dunbar High and Francis M. Wood High schools.

For more information on the "Believe in Our Schools" campaign, or to learn how to get involved, contact the mayor's Office of Community Investment at (410) 396-1654, or visit www.baltimorecity.gov and click on "Believe in Our Schools."

February 4, 2005, 1:00 PM EST

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