The Rex Organization’s charitable foundation, which is celebrating its 10th year, awarded $1 million in grants Saturday to New Orleans educational organizations. A total of 63 groups received support.
Since it was launched by Rex in 2007, the Pro Bono Publico Foundation has contributed $5.5 million in all to schools and educational organizations.
The foundation’s grants have reached $1 million for the second consecutive year, Chairman Storey Charbonnet said. “We’ve seen continued annual growth in contributions to help invest in our community’s future by supporting a strong educational environment, from ‘cradle to college’ for children,” he said.
Although individual grant amounts were not released, grants ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 were awarded to organizations that serve children of all ages, from early childhood programs such as McMillian’s First Steps to higher-education programs such as College Bridge New Orleans, which helps local students enroll and succeed in college.
Through the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, the Pro Bono Publico Foundation also continues to sponsor booster-club activities at Taylor Playground, which is located across South Derbigny Street from the Rex den, in the Hoffman Triangle neighborhood. The foundation has supported the park for the past several years and has sometimes let neighborhood groups use the den as a gathering space.
This year’s open house at the Rex den also highlighted the work of Teach For America, which has members and alumni at seven out of 10 public schools in Orleans Parish. While some worry that the organization is supplying inexperienced instructors to area classrooms with high numbers of at-risk children, others see the youthful teachers as crucial to educational reform in Orleans. As it did last year, the Pro Bono Publico Foundation gave Teach For America its largest grant, $60,000.
Among those receiving grants were 25 individual schools and 10 charter-management organizations encompassing 39 schools: Arise Academy, Audubon Charter School, Belle Chasse Academy, Benjamin Franklin High School, Bricolage Academy, Choice Foundation (McDonogh 42, Lafayette Academy and Esperanza schools), Collegiate Academies (Sci Academy, G.W. Carver and Livingston Collegiate), Crescent City Schools (Harriet Tubman, Akili Academy and Paul Habans), Cypress Charter School Association (Cypress Academy), Einstein Group (Einstein Village de l’Est, Sherwood Forest, Einstein Middle and High), FirstLine Schools (Arthur Ashe, Samuel J. Green, Langston Hughes, Phillis Wheatley, Joseph S. Clark), Good Shepherd School, Homer A. Plessy Community School (through Citizens Committee for Education), InspireNOLA Charter Schools (Alice M. Harte, Andrew Wilson and Edna Karr), International High School of New Orleans, International School of Louisiana, Jefferson Chamber Foundation Academy, Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy, KIPP New Orleans Schools, Lake Forest Charter School, Lycee Francais de la Nouvelle-Orleans, McMillian’s First Steps Academy, NOCCA, Net Charter High School (through Educators for Quality Alternative), New Orleans College Prep (Crocker, Sylvanie Williams, Cohen College Prep and Hoffman Early Learning), New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy, Raphael Academy, ReNEW Charter Schools (Dolores T. Aaron, Schaumburg, McDonogh City Park Academy, ReNEW Sci Tech, Early Childhood Center, Cultural Arts Academy and Accelerated High), St. Augustine High School, St. Michael Special School, St. Stephen Catholic School, Sci High — New Orleans Charter Math and Science High School (through the Foundation for Science and Mathematics Education), Success Preparatory Academy and Warren Easton Charter Foundation.
In addition, 28 organizations received awards for providing educational and arts programming, training, research and support to schools and children: 4.0 Schools, Bayou District Foundation, Breakthrough New Orleans, Center for Development and Learning, Chartwell Center, City Year New Orleans, College Bridge New Orleans (housed at New Orleans College Prep), College Track New Orleans, Communities in Schools of Greater New Orleans, Eastbank Collective of Charter Schools (Louisiana Alliance of Charter Schools), Education Pioneers, Greater New Orleans STEM Initiative (Core Element), KID smART, Leading Educators Greater New Orleans, Lighthouse for the Blind in New Orleans, Live Oak Wilderness Camp, Louisiana Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools, New Schools for New Orleans, Policy Institute for Children, Posse Foundation, Roots of Music, Special Education Leadership Fellowship, Stand for Children Louisiana, Tulane University's Cowen Institute, YA-YA and the Youth Empowerment Project.