Press Release

December 5, 2011

BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today joined Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Andrés A. Alonso and leaders of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to celebrate the launch of the multi-million dollar, multi-year Baltimore Elementary/Middle School Library Project.

This initiative, involving more than 15 community and government partners, will coordinate with Baltimore City Public Schools to design, build, equip, and staff new or renovated libraries in selected elementary and middle schools where existing federal funding can be leveraged. In the first year of this effort, the Weinberg Foundation is committed to providing up to $1 million in library funding.  The combined direct and in-kind contributions of the Foundation’s many partners bring the total value of this project to $3.78 million.

“I want to commend the Weinberg Foundation for its commitment to Baltimore City’s children,” said Senator Cardin. “Reading is the key to future success and the Weinberg Foundation and its partners, through this project, will better equip Baltimore City children with the reading and learning skills they need to succeed in school and in the workplace.”

Each library will feature new equipment, reading materials, and furniture including e-readers (Nooks), a bank of computers, and a “Parenting Corner” for parents and guardians to visit the library and share time with their child.

“The Elementary/Middle School Library Project will not solve all the ills of this economic world,” said Rachel Garbow Monroe, Weinberg Foundation President. “But the Weinberg Foundation and its many partners believe it is a critical starting point; the first page in a story of meaningful, lasting  change encouraging an increased focus on reading and helping young people to break the cycle of poverty.”