School Media Centers Open with Fanfare
September 23, 2013Location: Baltimore, Maryland
A large crowd, including Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, joined officials from
Baltimore City Public Schools and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg
Foundation to celebrate the grand opening of Arlington
Elementary/Middle School's new library.
The warm reception also included heart-felt speeches from the
school's principal and members of The Harry and Jeanette
This library is the latest of several projects jointly funded by
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and their partners,
Baltimore City Public Schools and the State of Maryland through
their Qualified Zone Academy Bonds program. These innovative
projects are a collaborative effort to design, build, equip, and
staff renovated school libraries in high-poverty Baltimore City
"These spaces mean that you expect our children to succeed, and
expectations do, in fact, become behavior," Governor O'Malley said
to the community members, school staff, and alumni who filled the
media center. "[You] saw the kids who came here and sang for us
…and had that sense that when they were created God intended
nothing but the very best for them."
Mayor Rawlings-Blake noted the city's recent successes in
increasing "elementary school reading grades, and we've increased
the graduation rates, as well, but our recent success, we know,
not a cause for celebration. It's a charge to all of us to
redouble our effort."
Including the media center at Arlington, JMT has served as
program and construction manager on five library projects, and JMT
considers it an honor that the officials of The Harry and Jeanette
Weinberg Foundation have requested that JMT manage all future
projects as The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation extends the
program's reach. The new media center at Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Elementary School, also part of the Baltimore Elementary and Middle
School Library Project, opened the same day as the center at
Arlington Elementary/Middle School.
Arlington Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore's Park Heights
neighborhood serves more than 500 students, pre-K through grade 8,
and benefits from a partnership with Park Heights Renaissance,
bringing services and support into the school. A new partnership
with Johns Hopkins University is bringing new and inventive science
lessons to the school.
Each library is designed with flexible and durable space with
new technology and features, including flexible book shelving,
e-readers, computers, an "Enoch Pratt Parent Place" for parents and
guardians, informal reading areas, and separate
study/research/discussion areas for students.