It's been a good week for STEM education and literacy in Philly - Generocity Philly

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Sep. 29, 2017 1:55 pm

It’s been a good week for STEM education and literacy in Philly

Good news: Lots of money just got pushed into local schools, and more might be on its way. Plus, a look back at our education reporting from the month.

Hackett School third graders show off their reading skills for the Roberts Foundation founders and Superintendent Dr. William Hite.

(Courtesy photo)

For the month of September, Generocity has been focusing a chunk of its reporting on education.

We’ve covered a bunch of different topics within the theme:

This week saw more good news on the STEM education front, too: Startup PHL, the city initiative that uses public money to match investment in Philadelphia’s innovation ecosystem, just announced the winners of its sixth Call for Ideas grant program. The winners are:

  • Coded By Kids (the team of which has spoken out recently about the need for more than just STEM programming for a better educational future)
  • Onyx Valley
  • Philadelphia Children’s Foundation 
  • TechGirlz
  • VietLead

Each organization will receive a piece of $100,000 for youth-focused programming.

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And Amazon — you know, the corporate giant that’s considering Philly, among many other eager cities, for its second headquarters — along with FacebookMicrosoft, Salesforce and Google is pledging $50 million to a $300 million fund “aimed at creating K-12 computer science programs,” reported Technical.ly Philly on Wednesday. That’s on top of $200 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s budget for the same cause.

While that money hasn’t been distributed yet, Philly tech executive Bob Moul told Technical.ly the city would be a prime (eh?) place for those dollars to grow:

“An amazing group of people in the Philadelphia STEM Ecosystem have been hard at work to develop and launch ‘CS for Philly’ which will happen the first week of December,” said Moul. “We’d love to have Ivanka [Trump] join us, tour a few of our schools like TECH Freire and MaST Community, and talk about how we can maximize the impact of this program for all K12 students in Philly.”

For some positive non-tech news, Fund for the School District of Philadelphia hit the $3.5 million goal for its Right Books campaign a year early, thanks for a $450,000 gift from the Roberts Foundation.

According to a release, 1,900 of the book collections funded by the campaign have already been distributed to local schools according to reading level appropriateness. Said Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite:

“Having the right books, for the right children at the right time is crucial to their learning experience. Early literacy remains a pillar of our efforts to prepare our students for success in college and career. We greatly benefit from strong partnerships and generous donors who, like us, are 100 percent committed to investing in our children who will be the future leaders of this great city.”

Next month, we’re focusing on aging issues in Philadelphia. Got a story idea about this or any social impact topic? Email julie@generocity.org.

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Full disclosure: Technically Media cofounder and CEO Christopher Wink is on the board of and Coded by Kids. He was not involved in this report.

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