Story by LaTasha Hewitt
Allegheny East Conference's Baltimore Junior Academy (BJA) recently received two separate grants from the Maryland State Department of Education Nonpublic Aging Schools Program. The grants, totaling $38,000, will be used to improve the technology infrastructure of the school, allowing teachers and scholars greater access to the use of technology as a resource to support mastery of the curriculum
The upgrades will include replacing existing data wiring with Category 7 cables and installation of a firewall and secured wireless access points. In addition, funds will also allow BJA to undertake a comprehensive upgrade of its security system. Cameras will be added throughout the campus (inside and outside), as well as a point-of-entry video intercom system.
“Our scholars not only deserve to have access to the most appropriate technological resources that our teachers can leverage to support their growth, but be supported by a safe environment that is able to mitigate potential risk to person and property,” says David Turner, principal.
Additionally, BJA has received $120,000 for the fifth year to provide a six-week summer program at the academy, sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School in Washington, D.C. With the ongoing support of the Bainum Family Foundation in Bethesda, Md., the academy continues to be able to serve the Park Heights, Md., and surrounding communities by ensuring that scholars in K–8 grades have a safe space for the summer. The foundation has allowed BJA to serve 100 scholars yearly, with no cost to families, exposing them to the Freedom School’s model. Furthermore, the academy was able to employ 10 to 12 university students who serve as servant leader interns, supporting our scholars in the classroom and on field trips. BJA was one of 183 Freedom School sites in 2018 with 11,830 total scholars served.