The William Penn Foundation has announced the launch of its ten-year strategic vision, including grants totaling more than $3.2 million.
The foundation's new strategic plan focuses on three objectives: making the greater Philadelphia region a more vibrant and creative community, closing the achievement gap for low-income children, and protecting the region's water quality. In alignment with these goals, the foundation awarded $1.5 million to the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, a $1 million challenge grant to the Children's Literacy Initiative, and a total of $717,500 to four organizations working to strengthen environmental stewardship.
The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe will use the funds to complete the development of its new facility in a renovated water pumping station. Individual grants for watershed protection were awarded to Outward Bound Philadelphia ($165,000), the Scattergood Foundation ($82,500), the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties ($110,000), and the Wildlands Conservancy ($360,000).
The Children's Literacy Initiative will expand its program to help more than two hundred thousand low-income children in grades K-3 improve their ability to read and write through consecutive years of high-quality instruction. "Early literacy is one of the most important determinants of future success in a child's life," said Helen Davis Picher, interim president of the William Penn Foundation. "The evidence-based nature of CLI's work and its potential for substantially transforming lives on a large scale is emblematic of what we hope to accomplish under our new grantmaking strategy."