Our first investment in a district neighborhood school

We have some great news: Yesterday, our board voted to approve our first investment in the expansion of a district neighborhood school. Read about here it in today’s Inquirer.

The $215,000 grant from the Great Schools Fund will be used to plan for the expansion of Powel Elementary School, a K-4 district school near Drexel in West Philadelphia, and the creation of a new middle school to serve the same Powelton and West Powelton neighborhoods. The funding will support a collaboration among Powel, Science Leadership Academy (SLA), the Franklin Institute, and Drexel University.

Powel Elementary puts young, mostly economically disadvantaged students on the path to college readiness; seventy percent of the school’s third graders are reading at or above grade level. We are thrilled to give more kids – about 500 more students – access to a high-performing neighborhood school, and especially excited to explore adding a middle school in a section of the city that currently lacks high quality middle school options. As Powel’s principal, Kim Ellerbee said, “this is something that the community has wanted for so long. It was always like a dream. I don’t know that they ever thought it would ever happen.”

We also awarded a $75,000 planning to Wissahickon Charter School, a high-performing K-8 elementary school in Northwest Philadelphia that recently won approval from the SRC to open a second campus serving more than 500 students.

We continue to seek out high-performing schools of all types – district, charter, and private – who are able and willing to serve more under-served students in Philadelphia. Please visit our website for more information. Finally, a special thank you to our over two dozen Great Schools Fund investors who are making this work possible. To get involved, please contact us.

Recent News
School Investments

Since 2011, we’ve invested nearly $60 million to give 25,000 more students access to high-quality schools.


Our goal is to raise $140 million by 2022 to invest in great schools of all types. To date, we’ve raised more than $80 million.

By the Numbers

We invest in schools of all types. Our committed funds are currently invested in charter (65%), district (25%) and private (10%) schools.


Our goal is to ensure 50,000 more students each year are on the path to college by 2022.