(Philadelphia – June 30, 2020)-William Penn Foundation (WPF) has conferred two, generous grants to the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s (PHA) to address the impacts of COVID-19 and the economic shutdown. The $150,000 grants to each program will help the authority modify the ParentChild+ home visiting program and out-of-school time (OST) program for youth, keeping participants safe during the pandemic.
“We are thrilled and most grateful to the William Penn Foundation for its support of these vital programs. The emergency caused by the pandemic has stretched everyone’s resources, so these grants are like manna from heaven,” said PHA President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah.
“We know that much work is needed to ensure that all Philadelphians share in the recovery from COVID- 19,” said Janet Haas, M.D., Board Chair of William Penn Foundation, in a statement detailing these grants among others.
“These initial grants signify our commitment to helping ensure that all Philadelphians have the opportunities and resources needed to thrive.”
The Foundation grant to the ParentChild+ home visiting program will allow it to expand and cover 50 more PHA families. Home visitors coach adults on the best ways to use books and play to support their child’s development.
Families with children ranging in age from 16 months to 5 years will receive twice weekly Zoom “visits” from a community-based early learning expert, as well as children’s books and educational toys. The visits will help reduce learning loss and family stress. The health emergency has made it extremely difficult for families living in PHA developments to participate in existing early childhood programs offered by the agency.
The second grant will transform PHA’s out-of-school time (OST) programming for 250 youth at 11 sites. The authority and its partner organizations will redesign and implement enhanced OST programming that responds to the current conditions, including developing print materials and virtual programming, and extending the “Lunch and Literacy” program at three sites. The agency has moved to substantially expand internet access at its sites, which will strengthen this work.
The William Penn Foundation was founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, and dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that increase educational opportunities for children from low-income families, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advances philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. In 2020, the Foundation will grant more than $117 million to support vital efforts in the region.