The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and The Johns Hopkins University, today, hosted the grand opening of the Weinberg Early Childhood Center, an innovative space – and the first of five such centers that will be created in Baltimore City – designed to care for infants and educate children up to age 5.
In unveiling the Early Childhood Center, the Weinberg Foundation, and its many partners, also recognized the Foundation’s latest school libraries created as part of the Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project.
The Weinberg Early Childhood Center, located in the Henderson-Hopkins School in East Baltimore, is a 30,000 square-foot-facility that will focus on children, birth to age 5, their family, and community. The Center will include a family support center and health and wellness suite ensuring that the young children there will have the support and services they need to reinforce the development of their language, literacy, and math readiness skills.
The Weinberg Early Childhood Center on the campus of Henderson-Hopkins School is a state-of-the-art facility that will pursue the most effective evidence-based approaches to learning to meet the needs of all students, their families, and an East Baltimore Community that is the subject of an ambitious revitalization effort.
Weinberg Foundation capital support for the Early Childhood Center alone totals nearly $10.8 million. The Center is the result of a University-community partnership involving the Weinberg Foundation, The Johns Hopkins University School of Education, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Maryland Family Network, and the YMCA of Central Maryland.
The opening this month of the library at Henderson-Hopkins and three others in Baltimore City Public Schools, also marks the latest chapter of the Baltimore Library Project. The Library Project is a multi-year, collaborative effort to design, build, equip, and staff new or renovated elementary/middle school libraries in high-poverty neighborhoods where many students face academic challenges. The Weinberg Foundation has committed a total of $10 million to build or transform 24 public school libraries in an effort to strengthen academic achievement among students.
In addition to the morning celebrations, the Weinberg Foundation partnered with Maryland Food Bank and the Heart of America Foundation to provide a mobile food pantry for students and families at Henderson-Hopkins this afternoon. The pantry utilized a client choice approach where families could select the items they wanted to receive. Every student in the school had the opportunity to go home today with 25 pounds of food – including fresh produce.
These initiatives reflect a total Weinberg investment in Baltimore City Public Schools of more than $26 million. Such efforts coincide with Baltimore City Public Schools’ work to provide its school communities with modern, high-quality school buildings, an effort that will result in $1.1 billion in renovations and new construction in the coming years.