Baltimore School Gets A Makeover

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Benjamin Franklin High School
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Mary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4-4:30...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s a new beginning for a Baltimore City school.

Mary Bubala reports Benjamin Franklin High School in Brooklyn is evolving into a school that will prepare students for the 21st century.

There’s a vibrant student body at Ben Franklin High School.  The only thing out of tune is an aging school building.  It’s 85 years old.  But this Baltimore City school in the Brooklyn/Curtis Bay area is rebuilding itself for the 21st century.  The first step is to take down the bricks that seal the front door to the school.  Years ago, the entrance was moved to the side of the school.

“To reopen it, it’s kind of like opening up the doors of opportunity for the kids,” said Albina Joy.

Joy has been a science teacher at Ben Franklin for six years.  She says the new entrance, along with the new curriculum at the school—which focuses on environmental studies, urban agriculture and horticulture—will help students thrive in the new economy, which focuses on green jobs.

“Technology-wise and education-wise, because, like China and the other countries are way ahead of us in that area and aspect in science area so we have to catch up to them and this is a way to catch up to them,” said student Angel Mendoza.

About 225 students attend Ben Franklin High School.  The renovations are being paid for through state grants and Race to the Top dollars.  It will take about three years for all the work to be complete.

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