Green Street Academy Celebrates Grand Opening
September 21, 2015
Baltimore, MD (September 21, 2015)— Today, Green Street Academy, a 6-12th grade charter school housed in the formerly-vacant Gwynns Falls Junior High School(GFJHS) celebrated its Grand Opening. Cummings, an alumnus of GFJHS, delivered the keynote address.
“I can barely recognize my old junior high school,” Congressman Cummings said. “I am inspired by the teaching philosophy and commitment to this neighborhood exhibited by everyone at this school. I know that the dedicated staff at this school will inspire every student that walks in these halls to have confidence in their competence to make their future dreams a reality.”
“The building is an actualization of the vision of this school—to be a driver of environmental, and more importantly economic, sustainability in this community,” said Green Street Academy's Executive Director, Dan Schochor.
Following a $23 million renovation, the new Academy boasts chicken coops and tilapia farms which will supply local restaurants like Woodberry Kitchen; Virtual Reality Labs that will take students through active construction sites; and partnerships with the United States Department of Forestry and the University of Maryland Medical School to provide students with competitive internship experiences and industry certifications.
The Academy’s opening is a welcomed break from the pattern of divestment from the once middle-class St. Joseph’s neighborhood in West Baltimore. The median income of the neighborhood is now $36,000 and nearly half of the residents have not earned their high school diplomas. The Academy believes that its commitment to educating not only students, but parents and residents of the community, will be a critical element in supporting an upward mobility and economic sustainability for the entire St. Joseph’s neighborhood.
Cummings is committed to uplifting the youth of Baltimore City.
In July, Cummings joined students participating in the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Summer bioscience Internship Program at an annual luncheon. Cummings, a 1976 graduate of the University of Maryland Francis King Cary School of Law, encouraged UMB to create the program in order to provide opportunities for Baltimore students to learn about careers in biomedical research through hands-on work experience. A video of his remarks to the students is available here.
On September 26, 2015, at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD, Cummings will be the keynote speaker at the Black-male Orientation to Leadership Development (BOLD) conference. Cummings will be speaking to African-American men in grades 8 to 11 who are struggling in school.
A video about Green Street is available here.