March 2, 2010

Johns Hopkins, city schools launch service partnership

Most staff eligible for two days paid leave to assist Baltimore students and teachers.

JHU President Ronald J. Daniels and Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Andrés A. Alonso read to students at Barclay Elementary/Middle School. (Photo: Will Kirk,

JHU President Ronald J. Daniels and Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Andrés A. Alonso read to students at Barclay Elementary/Middle School. Photo: Will Kirk/

Johns Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels and Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Andrés A. Alonso today announced a new program offering full-time benefits-eligible university staff up to two days per year of paid leave to pursue service opportunities in the Baltimore City public schools.
Unveiled at Barclay Elementary/Middle School, the Johns Hopkins Takes Time for Schools program will share the time, talent and dedication of Johns Hopkins University employees with Baltimore’s students, teachers, principals and administrators through a variety of projects, including working directly with students, offering management and leadership support to administrators and providing facilities and infrastructure improvements. The opportunities already posted range from volunteers to help out at a weekly equestrian club where Baltimore City public school students ride as part of a Special Olympics program to the need for a graphic designer to help create material for a special in-school reading program.

The initiative partners a world leader in health, education and science with a public school system undergoing a period of growth and achievement. Over the past two and a half years, the Baltimore City school system has seen increases in test scores, student enrollment and the diversity of academic settings it offers students, thanks in no small part to support from thousands of parents, residents, businesses and nonprofit organizations. Now the city school system is making it easier for everyone from individual volunteers to large employers to find meaningful ways to support the work of city schools with a new, automated volunteer and partnership matching system. Johns Hopkins University is the first employer to use this system.

Johns Hopkins Takes Time for Schools was created with Alonso’s endorsement under the leadership of Daniels, who, since his installation as the university’s 14th president in September 2009, has made strengthening ties between the university and the communities it touches one of his main goals. This initiative is one of the first examples of his commitment to working with the city to the mutual benefit of both Baltimore and Johns Hopkins.

“We are excited to be part of the transformation that is taking place in the city’s public schools under Dr. Alonso’s leadership,” Daniels said. “This new initiative will allow us to better channel the talent, expertise and good will of our faculty and staff to support the success of Baltimore’s future generations.”

Alonso said he is equally pleased with the partnership.

“To become the entire system of great schools our 83,000 great kids deserve, we need all of Baltimore City to be involved in the progress under way in our schools,” Alonso said. “President Daniels and Hopkins understand this and are showing remarkable leadership by acting on their commitment to Baltimore City’s students. Through the Johns Hopkins Takes Time for Schools initiative, extraordinary people from the university will be connecting daily with our own extraordinary teachers, staff, parents and-most importantly-kids. We in City Schools are extremely grateful and look forward to the great things that will come of this partnership.”

Daniels and Alonso were joined at Barclay Elementary/Middle School by several city leaders, including Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke and Neil Duke, chair of the board of school commissioners. The announcement was part of a public service event at the school in which Daniels and Alonso read to students in conjunction with Read Across America Day.

As part of Johns Hopkins Takes Time for Schools, participants will have the opportunity to serve in many capacities, including direct student engagement and support; offering assistance in areas of management, administration, facilities and infrastructure improvements, and operations (food services, health and wellness, information technology, public and media relations, capital development and so on); and otherwise improving the schools. Using an online system, each Baltimore City public school will post announcements describing specific service opportunities available.

Daniels, who became president in March prior to being officially installed in September, began ramping up Johns Hopkins’ commitment to city youth this past summer, when he led the charge to employ 250 young people, a substantial increase over previous years, through Baltimore’s YouthWorks summer jobs campaign. Johns Hopkins has been participating in the YouthWorks program for many years, exposing 14- through 21-year-olds to a variety of public- and private-sector work settings and helping them prepare for future careers.

For information about the Johns Hopkins Takes Time for Schools program, or to sign up, go to Questions can be directed to the Office of Work, Life and Engagement at 443-997-7000 or