Square Principal Harold
Eason (left), Poe, the Ravens' cheerleaders,
Senator Nathaniel McFadden (jacket),
Erica Liberman of KaBOOM! (orange),
and Ravens president Dick Cass (white
hat) cut the ribbon to the finished playground.
June 11, 2007 over 300 volunteers turned
out to build a new playground for Collington
Square School. The project was made possible
by a partnership between the The
Baltimore Ravens, KaBOOM!,
the Baltimore Curriculum Project, and
Collington Square School. Over $100,000 was contributed
by The Ravens to build the customized playground.
Ravens provided over 200 volunteers including
70 of the 90 Ravens players,
Head Coach Brian Billick, Team President
Dick Cass, all the administrative staff (the
Ravens closed their offices for the day),
the cheerleaders, Baltimore's Marching
Ravens and the mascot Poe.
pitched in to build a beautiful new playground
for the school. Volunteers also planted
trees and flowers in front of the school,
built benches and picnic tables, painted
the blacktop with a map of the US and games,
and painted a fabulous mural on the side
of the school. The
Ravens players did their share
of heavy lifting all day long -- assembling
playground equipment, moving mulch, and digging
with the Ravens players, Collington Square
teachers, and students "running the
gauntlet" through the Ravens' fog and
flame machine to the exhilarating music of
Baltimore's Marching Ravens.
were inspired by speeches from
former Baltimore City Schools Interim CEO
Charlene Cooper-Boston, Baltimore Curriculum
Project Executive Director Alison Perkins-Cohen,
Collington Square School Principal Harold
Eason, and Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick.
the day players ran football drills in the
park with the kids, cheerleaders taught students
cheers and Baltimore's Marching Ravens played
mini concerts for small groups of students.
seven-hour day culminated in a ribbon-cutting
ceremony. State Senator Nathaniel McFadden and
Ravens President Dick Cass expressed their
gratitude for everyone's hard work.
those present were moved by the camaraderie
among the volunteers and the outpouring of
support from the community.
on the Ravens/KaBOOM playground project was
an awesome experience for me," says Jeanette
Stewart, BCP Board Member and Collington
Defensive Coordinator Rex Ryan (left)
and Assistant Offensive Line Coach
Greg Roman lug a bag of mulch toward
the playground site.
was so amazing to see how the Ravens, KaBOOM!
and the community all came together as one
big family to build this playground in one
day. I am so glad I was able to help and
give back to the community."
Stewart was active on the playground planning
committee and worked tirelessly throughout
the day registering volunteers, serving food,
and building the playground.
support, and supplies were donated by thirty-eight
businesses and organizations.
number of special guests stopped by to support
the event including
Vernon Crider (who volunteered with
his wife Officer Darlene Crider), City Council
President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, BCPSS
School Commissioner Buzzy Hettleman, Deputy
Mayor Andy Frank, Abell Foundation President
Bob Embry, and Director of the MSDE Charter
School Office Pat Crain (who volunteered).
enjoyed working on the playground at Collington
Square with the Baltimore Curriculum Project
as well as the community," says Kenny Abrams,
Ravens Director of Community Relations. "It
gave us great joy to put smiles on the faces
of the Collington Square students."
The Ravens Playground Grand Opening was held
on June 15 and the children were overjoyed
with their new play space. Nickelodeon was
on hand to film the event, which premiered
as part of their "Let's
Just Play Go Healthy Challenge" TV series
on August 26.
to l) Ravens Defensive Tackle
Kelly Gregg and Guard Ben Grubbs helped
with the landscaping.
was a rewarding activity because of the way
it pulled the whole school community together,"
said Mr. Harold Eason, Principal of Collington
I looked at the crowd at the kick off of
the build I was almost overwhelmed at seeing
the faces of parents, students, community
business leaders, community church members,
political leaders, The Friends of Collington
Square, The Baltimore Curriculum Project
and everyone else who cares for this school," said
playground has since become a source of pride
for us and the most fun place many of our
children can think of."
Baltimore Ravens All Community Team Foundation serves as a separate non-profit entity of the
team's community outreach efforts. In addition
to Ravens appearances and in-kind donations,
the foundation provides support to Baltimore
area non-profit organizations. Ravens players
are also active in the community through individual
foundations of their own.
a national nonprofit organization that envisions
a great place to play within walking distance
of every child in America. Celebrating ten
years of service in 2006, we rally communities
to achieve better public policy, funding
and public awareness for increased play opportunities
nationwide; provide resources, including
trainings, challenge grants, and publications
for communities that wish to plan a new playspace
on their own; and bring together children,
business and community interests for a select
number of community playspace builds each
year. Headquartered in Washington, D.C.,
KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago, Atlanta
and San Mateo, California.