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Bloomberg gives $5 million to Baltimore’s Open Society Institute

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg gave $5 million to the Open Society Institute-Baltimore on Thursday to help fund a local effort that aims to help keep city teens in school and boost graduation rates.

Bloomberg’s gift will help underwrite OSI’s Accelerated Pathways Initiative, part of the nonprofit’s education and youth development project.

The Accelerated Pathways Initiative is a five-year program that works with pre-K through high school students to support school reforms, create new schools and foster learning in and outside of the classrooms, OSI officials said.

It creates “rigorous, supportive and accelerated high school options in Baltimore that will significantly increase graduation rates and post-secondary success, particularly for the city’s African American male students,” an OSI statement released Friday said.

“Mayor Bloomberg shares our deep commitment to ensure that all children have access to a challenging academic program and the encouragement and support they need to graduate well prepared for successful futures,” said Diana Morris, director of OSI-Baltimore, who is also serving as acting executive director of the Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs.

Bloomberg, a 1964 graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, with a degree in electrical engineering, was visiting Baltimore for the dedication of the $1.1 billion Johns Hopkins Hospital facility Thursday.

Part of the new hospital building in East Baltimore, the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center, was named in honor of the mayor’s mother. Bloomberg is a major donor to  Hopkins.