Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Newsbriefs From the May 20 GRIA Meeting

Margaret Brent Elementary School Principal Pamela A. Smith presented a new initiative called STEAM Powered Schools, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. Barclay Elementary is also participating in the program.

STEM programs are well known nationwide, but Smith made the case that art programs are also a critical component of early childhood education. Margaret Brent has secured funding from the non-profit Arts Every Day to bring artists of all types into the school to work with the students. Remington's Single Carrot Theater is also involved in STEAM.

To celebrate the initiative, the two schools are hosting a rollout event on Wednesday, June 3, 5:30 to 7:30pm, at 300 E. 29th St. Check out the Margaret Brent page on this site for more information.

Baltimore Energy Challenge, a non-profit promoting energy efficiency, offers several services for free to Baltimore residents and businesses. Their marquee offering is their installation program, where they send folks to your home to install items including CFL or LED light bulbs, low-flow showerheads and faucets, hot water pipe insulation, CO/smoke detectors, light switch and outlet insulation, LED night lights, power strips, and flashlights. Call (443) 869-2614 to schedule an appointment for this free service.

The group also shared some energy-saving tips and facts.

  • Fridges and freezers are most efficient when they are about 80% full. If you're not a big cook, add jugs of water to get to 80%, you'll save money and have potable water on hand in case of an emergency.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water. It costs around 19 cents to run a load of laundry with hot water. That same load run with cold water costs only around 4 cents. Detergents are readily available that are designed to work well in cold water.
  • It sounds old-school, and it is, but dry your clothes outside in the sun. An electric clothes dryer accounts for about 12% of many household electricity bills.
Baltimore Energy Challenge is currently hiring an AmeriCorps volunteer to work in the installation program, and is hiring a new director for the program. 

GRIA has signed a one-year Adopt-A-Lot agreement with the city for the open space at 27th and Sisson. The group has also secured funding for improvements to the site. For more information, check back here tomorrow (May 21).