Atlanta-based Foundation 'Adopts' Gwynns Falls Elementary

SOURCE: Stringer Foundation
Fashion figure Travis Winkey, a native of Baltimore, helped broker a significant donation. He hopes the Stringer Foundation gift will begin a chain reaction of generosity.
With the final phase of construction in progress, the new fully-wired media library at Gwynns Falls Elementary School will serve as the site for a press conference on Friday, October 28, at which the Stringer Foundation, an Atlanta-based non-profit, is scheduled to announce the selection of Gwynns Falls Elementary for its “Adopt-A-School” Program. Kelci Stringer, widow of Korey Stringer, former NFL Pro for the Minnesota Vikings, established the foundation to provide monetary gifts for organizations that work to educate and empower youth. She will be on hand to present the school with their initial "wish list" gift of 25 television monitors with DVDs. The wish list also includes computers and reference books for the school’s new media library. These items will be scheduled for delivery before the holiday recess.

“Everyone at Gwynns Falls Elementary is excited--teachers, administrators and students alike," said Hartavia Johnson, principal at Gwynns Falls Elementary for the last eight years, in a prepared statement to the press. "Many individuals and organizations have approached us with offers but few follow up. This is the first time anyone has ever requested a wish list from our students, and delivered in less than two weeks."

Gwynns Falls Elementary School, the only City school with a hearing-impaired program for elementary school children, is being wired with cable for internet access, as a number of Baltimore City Public Schools are, but it had no budget to acquire computers, monitors and reference books once the wiring was completed. “This is a challenge that many of our area schools are facing," said Johnson. "The Stringer Foundation could have picked any school in the state of Maryland. They chose Gwynns Falls, and our wishes have been answered. For us, this opportunity is a dream come true.”

Gwynns Falls is the second school to be selected for participation in The Stringer Foundation “Adopt-A-School” Program, a key component of the foundation’s national campaign to enhance the development of youth. The first adopted school is located in Atlanta, Georgia. The third school will be selected from the state of New York. Students, teachers and administrators at each selected school are asked to develop a wish list of necessary resources. Items are provided based on priority.

Travis Winkey, Stringer Foundation liaison, a native of Baltimore and fashion/beauty industry figure, asked the foundation board to adopt a school in Baltimore for the program. In a statement to the press, Winkey explained, “I love my hometown and whenever I can to steer opportunities to the people of Baltimore, I do. I hope the Stringer Foundation’s gift triggers other contributions and starts a chain reaction.”

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This story was published on October 24, 2005.