Find out the latest on the impact of our funds and what's happening around The District – information about policies and initiatives, achievements of students and teachers, action you can take to support Philadelphia public schools citywide. We also have details on meetings and events that you won't want to miss!

Upcoming Events

Each month there are many events that benefit schools and students, citywide. Here we highlight a few select ones. Mark your calendar!

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Latest News & Recent Events

Philly School City’s First Outdoor Learning Environment Focused On STEM Education

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — “A couple of years ago, there was nothing here. It was an asphalt lot.”

As Michael Burlando knows, there wasn’t always so much activity outside of the Chester Arthur School in Philadelphia’s Graduate Hospital neighborhood.

But now, thanks to Burlando and many other organizers, the playground on Catharine Street is becoming a training ground.

“It is a reason to celebrate,” Superintendent Dr. William Hite told the crowd at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday.

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Student Achievers honored at reception

Close to 60 student achievers were recognized Thursday evening at a Center City reception held by The Philadelphia Tribune, the School District of Philadelphia and Wells Fargo Bank.

Held at the Union League, the annual Student Achievers Reception served to honor graduating high school seniors from the School District of Philadelphia and local charter schools who have persevered through personal and academic adversities to reach academic success.

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The Fund for the School District had a huge goal: Establish 1,900 classroom libraries in schools. How’d they do it a year ahead of schedule?

Two years ago, when the School District’s nonprofit arm was rebranded and revived, it launched with a goal that seemed both ambitious and critical: To fund classroom libraries in every single kindergarten to third grade classroom in the city, and to train every K-3 teacher how to teach reading, by June 2018.

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All Philadelphia District Schools to Be Equipped With AEDs

The School District of Philadelphia is announcing plans to place AEDs in all district schools on Tuesday.

This addition is part of a health and safety project. While all high schools have AEDs, the district wants to expand the AED initiative to elementary schools.

In addition to the new equipment, elementary school principals will be taught hands-only CPR and how to use the AED machines.

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Thousands gather at Wells Fargo Center for College Signing Day

Badia Weeks couldn’t stop smiling as she sat in the Wells Fargo Center in her Ursinus College sweatshirt.  Surrounded by hundreds of other Philadelphia high school seniors, she grew more excited as she listened to speeches about following her dreams, and realized that after making it through years of standardized tests, applications, and deadlines, she could officially say she was going to college.

Weeks, a senior at George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science, was one of several thousand Philadelphia high school seniors who packed the center in South Philadelphia on Wednesday for #ReachHigherPhilly College Signing Day, an event reminiscent of signing day for athletes. During the event, students waved homemade Class of 2021 signs, cheer squads and bands performed, and the Washington-based rapper Wale took to the stage as Philadelphia celebrated the seniors’ achievements.

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Private Sector Is Urged To Help Philadelphia Public Schools

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — About 50 business leaders gathered Tuesday morning to hear about ways they can donate time, resources and money to Philadelphia public schools.

Mayor Kenney said Philadelphia schools are underfunded, but the private sector can step up. What do we do,” he said. “Do we wring our hands, throw our hands up in the air say, ‘We’re not being funded, there’s nothing we can do about it.’ No. We’re going to raise money privately.”

The Zarwin Baum law firm hosted the meeting to show how it has adopted Mitchell Elementary in Southwest Philadelphia.

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Ding Ding! Burgers Duke It Out To Be Crowned Philly’s Best

It was nearly impossible to walk out of XFINITY Live! hungry Sunday during the 7th annual Philly Burger Brawl. You could hear and smell the burgers sizzling on the grills all throughout the venue’s parking lot as live music was blasting. Food lovers like John Davis were more than satisfied: “Pretty full, tired! I’ve hit every one so far.”

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We're Hiring: Administrative Coordinator/Development Associate

Reporting to the President and CEO of The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, the Administrative Coordinator/Development Associate will have a dual role of providing both administrative support and development assistance. The candidate will assist with fundraising campaigns, special events, grant writing, and writing for our website, blog post, and social media platforms.  

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12 Great Stories That Have Nothing to Do With Politics

After learning that there were over 1,000 broken instruments in the Philadelphia school system, Robert Blackson decided to do something about it. Mr. Blackson collected scores of damaged flutes, trombones and other instruments for an exhibit. In October 2017, hundreds of children and volunteers will play these instruments in a Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, created by David Lang. You can watch a short trailer for the project above.

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A Symphony Scored from a School District’s 1,000 Broken Instruments

The School District of Philadelphia has over 1,000 broken musical instruments, from flutes with bent keys to trombones missing slides. Some of their fixes are easy, others complex, yet due to funding cuts in the city, the district doesn’t have a budget for either. Each broken instrument represents a student who’s unable to participate in music programs. When Robert Blackson, director of exhibitions and public programs at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, learned about the issue, he saw an opportunity to draw attention to the struggle of music education, while also raising money for repairs.

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We want you to be informed and empowered collaborators with us and The District — working together to build and sustain initiatives that help Philadelphia public schools thrive and students succeed.

Guide to Fundraising & Grantwriting for Schools

The Office of Grant Development (OGD), a department within The School District of Philadelphia, is proud to offer a Guide to Fundraising and Grantwriting for Schools to help principals, teachers, parents and school communities.

The Guide is tailored to meet the unique priorities of Philadelphia Public Schools based on needs specified by school and community members. OGD proudly supports schools and administrative offices in securing available resources for enriching educational opportunities for students in line with the District’s current guiding document, Action Plan v3.0.  


2016 Year in Review: Our Report to the Community

The Fund plays a critical role in ensuring privately funded initiatives are managed with the accountability and oversight required to maximize impact on student achievement.

Currently, the Fund has a stewardship of $3.4 million through the generosity of a variety of philanthropic organizations. 


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