Under Armour, Baltimore Ravens, InSideOut, and Fund for Educational Excellence join together to enrich Baltimore City Public Schools’ athletic programs
BALTIMORE, MD (Feb. 22, 2018) — Under Armour, the Baltimore Ravens, the InSideOut Initiative, and the Fund for Educational Excellence are partnering with Baltimore City Public Schools(City Schools) as part of a community-wide commitment to student achievement and wellbeing. The commitment from these organizations will provide substantial support for student athletes and staff development in high schools across Baltimore City.
The collaboration focuses on multiple investments in City Schools that are aligned with the school district’s focus areas of student motivation and well-being, rich and varied programming, and staff leadership.
Under Armour will outfit all student athletes and coaches with on-field performance apparel and provide funding to upgrade City Schools’ athletic and activity facilities. Under Armour’s commitment includes new uniforms for over 500 coaches and 5,300 students, across more than 15 different sports. Annually, City School students will have the opportunity to participate in the development of the “Baltimore Student Athlete” t-shirt, where they will be able to create a shirt that is designed and constructed at UA Lighthouse in Baltimore.
“Our investment in Baltimore City student athletes and their coaches represents the hope and belief we have for both the young people of Baltimore and the City’s future,” said Stacey Ullrich, Senior Director Global Philanthropy at Under Armour. “We know that sports has the power to unite, inspire, and ultimately change the world, and we believe every young person should have the opportunity to experience the life-changing power of sports. We are proud to build a powerful collaboration based off of what we heard from student athletes and one that we believe will continue to strengthen the health and wellness of the city we call home.”
Professional development for athletic directors and coaches will be led by the InSideOut Initiative. The organization promotes sports as a human growth experience and aims to transform the “winat-all-costs” sports culture into an environment where sports are education-based.
“The goal of high school athletic programs is to win, but not the purpose. The purpose is the human growth and development of students and connecting them to caring adults in their learning community,” said Joe Ehrmann, former Baltimore Colt and cofounder of the InSideOut Initiative. “For this to be accomplished, we must align the school community around this shared purpose and hold our educational system accountable to the transformative power of what sports can and should provide our students.”
The Baltimore Ravens are funding the implementation of the InSideOut Initiative, which officially launched last summer at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills. The partnership represents an unprecedented and significant, multi-year commitment in support of Baltimore’s students and public schools.
“We are pleased to support this important initiative,” said Dick Cass, President of the Baltimore Ravens. “As our players can well attest, participating in sports builds character only when the coaches have been trained properly, and that is what this initiative will achieve.”
“Successful schools provide opportunities for students to explore their interests, with enriching activities both in and out of the classroom. They also create positive cultures where students have the confidence to explore those opportunities,” said Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, City Schools’ chief executive officer. “This investment will help equip our students and coaches with the skills and confidence they need to develop as leaders in our city, for our city. We are so thankful to these partners for stepping up in this major way.”
In Fall 2017, Baltimore City Public Schools launched a blueprint that lays out how the district will build a generation of young people with the skills, knowledge, and understanding to succeed in college, careers, and community. The blueprint’s emphasis on student wholeness, literacy, and staff leadership is based on the understanding that if students are motivated and excited about learning, have the foundational skills to think critically and express themselves powerfully, and have supportive adults around them, they will move steadily toward high school graduation and postgraduate success. Partners interested in learning more about how to support the district’s priorities can visit www.baltimorecityschools.org/blueprint.
Implementation of this city-wide initiative is being led by the Fund for Educational Excellence – a nonprofit organization working to improve student achievement in Baltimore City Public Schools. The Fund will serve as the project manager and provide assistance to all school athletic directors, support City Schools’ administration, and provide technical assistance to ensure all schools have equal opportunity to access the available resources.