April 30, 2015
On April 15th, long-term supporter, The Louis Calder Foundation, agreed to allow the Partnership for Inner-City Education to release and spend their $1 Million endowment gift originally awarded for annual capital improvements. This $1 Million gift would fund a massive classroom renovation project in our six Partnership network schools. This project will affect all 83 Pre-K through 8th grade classrooms – impacting over 2,100 students. All of our 1st through 8th grade students and teachers will get a combination of brand new desks and chairs. Other classrooms, as needed, will be freshly painted, equipped with new whiteboards, lighting, blinds, storage, improved flooring and more. This gift will allow for a dramatic transformation – and sends a strong and inspiring signal about the aspirations and high expectations of the network model to our students, teachers and staff, families and supporters.
This unprecedented improvement will be coordinated by George Grenier, Director of Facilities along with COO, Kwame Millar and the Operations Managers at each school. It will be all hands on deck as every classroom at all six schools will be cleaned out and spruced up. When Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer Kathleen Porter-Magee announced the good news to her six principals at the April 28th leadership meeting, the reactions were a combination of excitement and disbelief. Never before in their careers have they been presented with such a complete upgrade school-wide. Work has already begun with the selection of furniture and materials being spearheaded by Kathleen Porter-Magee and George Grenier with input from the principals.
As Executive Director, Jill Kafka noted, “You know you have a real partnership with a foundation when they support a project of this magnitude. The original endowed grant was earmarked for capital improvements and generated $50,000 per year. Now they have given us the rare opportunity to make a demonstrable and immediate impact on all our schools, in every classroom for each teacher and every student. When I envision how this will transform our classrooms and our students’ academic lives, it leaves me speechless. We are so grateful for the support The Louis Calder Foundation has given us throughout the years and especially now as we forge ahead creating this pioneering network of inner-city Catholic schools. It is nothing short of remarkable. It would be so exciting for our supporters to visit our schools before the work begins, then again in September so they can see – first-hand – the impact of this deeply appreciated gift.”