Baldi Middle School receives national recognition
The School District of Philadelphia’s C.C.A. Baldi Middle School is the first middle school in Pennsylvania to receive the honor of a National Banner Unified Champion School from Special Olympics Pennsylvania.
The Unified Champion Schools is a program that promotes social inclusion with sports as the foundation and integrates youth leadership. Baldi was among 10 other schools in the state to receive this distinction and 121 nationally.
“These schools set a wonderful example for others around the state and we are also excited that Baldi was the pilot for our middle school model that establishes a feeder pattern of Special Olympics programming within its learning network,” said Matt Aaron, Special Olympics Pennsylvania President & CEO.
There are more than 30 schools within the School District of Philadelphia that are leading components of the Unified Champion Schools programming. Of those 30 schools, Lincoln and George Washington High Schools and Baldi have received national recognition as a National Banner Unified Champion School for meeting the 10 national standards of excellence.
“We are proud to have the first middle school in the state to receive this distinction as we continue to build our efforts on creating the most positive and inclusive school climates possible,” said School District of Philadelphia superintendent William R. Hite Jr.
“Our leadership and staff at Baldi and across the district are committed to providing opportunities for all students to participate in sports and recreational activities through unique programming models,” he added.
School leadership and staff at Baldi embraced the concept of creating a continuum of engagement and inclusive school culture for students with and without disabilities within their shared community.
Baldi has a number of special education programs, and students from Baldi feed into George Washington High School. This creates a continuum of engagement which was a goal for both the District and Special Olympics Pennsylvania.
Players Coalition awards $10K to SLA at Beeber
Science Leadership Academy Middle School is among the schools, districts and organizations across the country being awarded grants to help close the digital divide.
“Once again, Players Coalition has delivered on their promise to influence and support our community, which impacts systematic social and civics change in education and beyond,” said Christopher Johnson, founding principal of Science Leadership Academy at Beeber.
“We are forever grateful not just for the grant, but for a community of people who are true to their word and mission.”
Sponsored by Players Coalition, a nonprofit founded by NFL players Anquan Bolden and Malcolm Jenkins, the organiztion is donating $350,000 grants nationwide to help provide students and schools with needed technology to set up all students for success with learning from home, despite family income.
This year’s grant recipients are part of a larger, years-long initiative from the Players Coalition. Since 2019, the PC Charitable Foundation has awarded more than $675,000 in grant funds to schools throughout the country to address the digital divide by ensuring internet connectivity and access to STEAM education programming and technology.
“We live in a digital society. Unfortunately, it is a sad reality that there are students who do not have access to computers or internet access at home, which is especially devastating this year when so many schools and districts have taken learning online due to COVID-19,” said Carson Wentz, Players Coalition supporter and quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Addressing the digital divide, especially when it comes to students, cannot wait. Action must be taken now.”
—Compiled by Chanel Hill