Hartford Schools Get Boost From Corporate, Philanthropic Partners
Report: Nearly $15M Supported District's Reform Efforts in 2011-12
By VANESSA DE LA TORRE
January 28, 2013
HARTFORD —— Corporations, community groups and local agencies contributed nearly $15 million to support the school system's reform efforts during the 2011-12 year, according to a district report released this month.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving gave at least $3 million to a range of initiatives, including $1.09 million to Capital Workforce Partners, which has a summer youth employment and learning program, and $150,000 to Hartford Performs for arts in the city schools.
Travelers, the largest corporate donor, invested more than $1.1 million, including $350,000 for the Principal Leadership Academy that funds salaries for three resident principals who are trained throughout the year, said Kelvin Roldan, the schools' chief institutional advancement officer.
Another major contributor, the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, distributed $2 million to benefit the schools, the report stated. Donations included $100,000 to the Opportunity High alternative education program.
A 2012 survey of community providers reported that 51 organizations were offering 326 programs in 47 city schools, many of them for elementary-age children. For example, Milner School received about $700,000 worth of programming, largely from its lead agency, Catholic Charities, which offers after-school activities, case management and parent engagement, according to the report.
Roldan said Monday that he expects grants and donations in the current 2012-13 year to surpass $15 million because of two recent gifts.
In December, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a three-year, $5 million grant managed by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to expand the city schools' relationship with the Achievement First and Jumoke Academy charter school networks.
And last week, the school system launched the Hartford Promise college scholarship fund after receiving $4.1 million from six donors, including Travelers, Hartford Hospital and the nonprofit Say Yes to Education. The program, which begins with the Class of 2016, will award graduating high school seniors up to $20,000 over four years to help pay for college.
Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said the corporate and philanthropic gifts are "fundamental" to the city's education reform work. One of Kishimoto's initiatives, the Third Grade Promise, pledges that Hartford kindergartners will read at grade level by the time they complete third grade.
"I will continue to work with our partners to target investments to accelerate student achievement," Kishimoto said in a statement.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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