August 21, 2012
To: Education reporters, editors, producers; assignment desks
From: Dennis O’Shea
firstname.lastname@example.org | 443-287-9960 (o) | 410-499-7460 (m)
email@example.com | 443-997-0360 (o) | 443-756-7505 (m)
WHAT: Hundreds of Baltimore public school students whose families can’t afford required school uniforms have been invited to Johns Hopkins to eat ice cream and receive two free uniforms donated by employees and students.
WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 22, 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. (Remarks at about 5 p.m. Distribution of uniforms immediately after remarks.)
WHERE: The Glass Pavilion, Levering Hall, the Homewood campus of Johns Hopkins University. (Follow GPS directions to the South Garage at 3101 Wyman Park Drive, Baltimore. Ascend to quad level and walk north to Levering Hall, at coordinates E2 on http://tinyurl.com/jhu-homewood-map.)
DETAILS: Speakers include Ronald J. Daniels, president of The Johns Hopkins University, Michael A. Sarbanes, executive director of engagement at the Baltimore City Public Schools. Johns Hopkins is providing hand-scooped vanilla bean and chocolate ice cream with toppings including rainbow and chocolate jimmies, crushed peanuts and whipped cream.
BACKGROUND: Employees of Johns Hopkins (university and health system) and Johns Hopkins students have contributed more than $22,000 to buy school uniforms for more than 550 students attending one of more than 130 Baltimore City public schools. The students are among those determined by the school system to be unable to afford uniforms required by their elementary, middle or high schools.
This is the Johns Hopkins Adopt-a-Student Uniform Drive’s second year. The program started in 2011 aiming to support 30 students but in the end provided uniforms for 120 kids in 23 schools. This year, the initial goal was to clothe 125 students. The response has far surpassed that goal.
Johns Hopkins employees and students were asked for $40 to provide a pair of uniforms in the appropriate sizes and in the colors adopted by a student’s school. The uniforms will be handed out in gift bags to those students who attend the ice cream social. Those who cannot attend will receive their uniforms from the city schools’ Office of Engagement. The Johns Hopkins Office of Work, Life and Engagement is still accepting donations for additional students in need of uniforms. Visit http://www.hopkinsworklife.org/uniformdrive for information.
QUOTE: University President Ronald J. Daniels, asking employees to support the second Johns Hopkins Adopt-a-Student Uniform Drive, said that uniforms make a “significant difference” in the academic experience of public school students and the learning environment in their schools. “Baltimore schools that adopt a uniform policy do so to allow their students to focus on class work, avoiding the distractions and frictions that can arise without standard attire,” he said. “Students in uniform don’t dwell on fashion competition or on differences in economic circumstances between themselves and their classmates. … They can see each other as partners in learning rather than rivals.”
RSVP: Please let Dennis O’Shea or Karen Salinas know if you intend to cover Wednesday’s event. Contact information above.