(Photo courtesy of The Philadelphia Foundation)
Family Fun Nights, garden supplies, field trips — simple luxuries, but ones that many public elementary schools in Philadelphia can’t afford.
Nine local schools are soon getting upgrades like these thanks to the Philadelphia Public School Giving Circle, which launched last fall to make small, project-based grants for educators at low-income schools.
The giving circle’s assets are held in a donor-advised fund at The Philadelphia Foundation and has a fiscal sponsor in Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition.
“We all know that education is the great equalizer and what holds people back is the lack of resources in some places. This is an attempt to kind of level the playing field a little bit — and to also make us feel good,” cofounder Andy Toy told us at the time. “It’s not every person for themselves, it’s everyone working together.”
Yesterday, the fund announced its first grants, worth $4,300 total. As shared by The Philadelphia Foundation Communications Director Betsy Anderson, the supported projects are:
- Family Fun Nights for academic enrichment in science, math and literacy at Spring Garden Elementary School in the Poplar neighborhood.
- Purchase of new math and reading curricula for fifth-graders at Henry C. Lea Elementary School in West Philadelphia.
- Garden supplies — a rain barrel, watering cans and gloves — and a storage chest for the Vare-Washington Elementary School in South Philadelphia.
- Back-of-chair seat sacks for fifth-graders to store and organize learning materials at Horatio B. Hackett Elementary School, which serves students from Fishtown, East Kensington and Port Richmond.
- Guided reading books and literacy materials for students in the bilingual program at Southwark School in South Philadelphia.
- Five Chromebooks to support blended learning at Warren G. Harding School in Frankford.
- Tickets for first-graders to see Ambler Theater’s “Puss in Boots” for James J. Sullivan Elementary School in Frankford.
- 100 sets of headphones for use with Chromebooks at S. Weir Mitchell Elementary School in Kingsessing.
- Four Ozobot robot starter kits to start an after-school robotics club at Thomas K. Finletter Elementary School in Olney.
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