A former NFL linebacker has turned his career into one of education, and now, he’s trying to help kids at his elementary school to keep warm.
Earlier this week, Aaron Maybin, who played for the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals, sat in a room of kids bundled up to keep warm as their school, along with others in Baltimore, battled recent below freezing windchills.
NPR reported that some schools had a temperature of about 40 degrees.
Maybin posted video of his discussion about the cold with his elementary students to Twitter.
Since then, a GoFundMe account has been created to help raise money to bring heat to the buildings.
In two days, the account more than doubled its $20,000 goal, raising as of Friday afternoon more than $52,000.
Drives for winter clothing have also started to make sure the students have the warm jackets and gloves they need.
Still, others who want to help are trying to find where they can send space heaters to help keep the chill away.
Students returned from their Christmas break to classrooms that were cold and older buildings that have heating issues, The Washington Post reported.
One high school student said he had four shirts, two hoodies and a jacket when he was interviewed by NPR.
“It’s kind of hard to get comfortable when you’ve got so many layers on and you’re not used to it and you’re still cold,” Dennis Morgan told NPR Wednesday.
Buildings in Baltimore City Public Schools were closed because of both snow and building issues, The Washington Post reported. They were also closed Friday. The National Weather Service was forecasting a high of 18 degrees for Friday afternoon, with the temperature dropping to 10 Friday night, but with the windchill feeling about 15.
The Baltimore Teachers Union pushed Wednesday to have the city shut all schools until officials could correct the problems, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The union president wrote a letter to the district’s CEO.
Sonja Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, said the city’s schools are some of Maryland’s oldest school infrastructure.
“Too many of our buildings have outdated heating systems, poor insulation, and aging pipes as a result of years of inadequate funding for maintenance and facilities improvements,” Santelises told The Baltimore Sun.
She told the paper that the district will close schools when conditions are unsafe or unhealthy.
A local lawmaker said that there is more than the lack of heat plaguing the school system.
“Baltimore has a lot of needs, not just boilers, not just air conditioning,” Del. Curt Anderson told The Sun. “Lavatories, water systems, roofs, broken windows.”
There is also a backlog of repairs for the district, the newspaper discovered.
“We are the wealthiest state in the county,” Del. Maggie McIntosh, chairwoman of the Maryland House Appropriations Committee said. “And to think there’s any child right now, today, in this state in a school without heat is wrong and we need to fix it. Now.”
Recently, the school district asked the state for additional funding for construction projects. In the proposal, the Sun found that heating and window replacements were put at the bottom of the list and were not funded. Earlier, Gov. Larry Hogan told the Board of Public Works to withhold millions of dollars from Baltimore City and Baltimore County until schools designed plans to install air conditioning in buildings. The money was given back to the districts last year, but there was a warning from Santelises that some planned maintenance could be delayed to meet the air conditioning requirements, the Sun reported last January.
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